REFI Radio: startup ceo Francesca Loftus on virtual amenity management

HOM, a tech startup that aims to provide tenants in luxury buildings with easier access to onsite amenities, is hoping that its service will help landlords to retain tenants. “hOM is Eventbrite, Gofundme, and Seamless all in one app designed for tenants in buildings,” said Francesca Loftus, ceo.

The app provides direct access to service provider’s calendars, and engages twice the number of tenants as an amenity manager does with the aim of increasing tenant retention, Loftus said. Users include Kushner Real Estate GroupBentall KennedyBrookfield, and AvalonBay.

apartment rental
apartment rental

The company is part of MetaProp NYC’s real estate tech accelerator program, which helped hOM to connect with many of its users, Loftus said. Meanwhile, Ryan Freed, a hOM co-founder, lived in a Kushner-owned building, and reached out to the company about the service. Stonehenge, which offers tenants a diverse amenity package, was the company’s first customer. “They already had fitness classes in their buildings, with one fitness instructor for each type of class – they ran into issues when that instructor wanted to go on vacation,” Loftus said, noting that tenants tend to be angrier about inconsistent amenities than not having those amenities at all.

hOM provides full-time jobs with benefits to service providers in buildings that use the app. “Fitness instructors are often independent contractors with no healthcare, which is ironic given that they are healthcare providers who use their body every single day,” said Loftus. “Full-time employees are critical to the success of a business – our fitness instructors provide both the service provider and administrative role, thus cutting costs.” The revenue generated from just eight classes per week covers the cost of employment, she added.

The company’s clients pay an average of $1,800 per month for the app, and it scales up or down depending on the number of events. “It’s a far cry from the $30,000 a month that landlords typically spend amenity managers,” Loftus added. “Every year, we have a meeting with the company to go over the events budget, which is separate. The app itself is a low barrier to entry – a code comes in the welcome packet when a tenant moves into the building, with no extensive setup and no password.”