A major landlord in New York City and othershave invested $5.7 million in a technology startup that haslaunched a platform to that saves landlords money onapartment broker fees and vacancy costs.

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The startup is Doorkee, which has operated in New York since2019, and raised the funding round from landlords Simon BaronDevelopment, Stonehenge NYC and Bushburg Properties. Otherinvestors were venture capital firms Corigin Ventures andAlpha Edison. The company, which has operated in New York Citysince 2019, will use the funding to expand its platform and growinto other US markets.

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Resident turnover is a logistical hurdle for Simon Baron becauseit finds out less than 30 days in advance that renters are moving,leaving little time to market and lease the space, according toMatthew Baron, president at Simon Baron. Then the property sitsvacant longer.

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"This is why a platform like Doorkee is so promising, and it'swhy we chose to invest," Baron explained. "They're helping us toreduce our vacancy time, leading to significant cost savings, andproviding a viable alternative to the traditional rental processthat benefits us and our tenants."

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Currently, the landlords using Doorkee own more than 40,000apartments in New York City. The way it works is that landlordsintegrate the Doorkee platform into their leasing systems.

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Tenants can earn a $1,000 average reward if they notifytheir landlords that they plan to move up to 100 days in advance.That gives the landlords extra time to find replacement tenants,which means their units do not sit vacant as long. Such vacanciescost landlords $3.1 billion annually in New York City, said a pressrelease.

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Renters looking for apartments use Doorkee to locate anapartment well ahead of time, do virtual tours and sign leases.This saves money on apartment broker fees—they amount to $600million annually in New York City—both for the landlords andrenters.

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Doorkee co-founder and COO Jordan Franklin said that the Doorkeeplatform could cut landlords' costs by 60% by slashing broker feesand vacancy costs. It saves about $5,000 per apartment.

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Franklin noted, "The time for innovating the rental process islong overdue, and this has never been more true than in thesituation we find ourselves in today with COVID-19, which isforcing people to transact almost entirely online."

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Angela Morris

Angela Morris is ALM Media's Texas litigation reporter. She covers lawsuits in all levels of Texas state and federal courts. Based in Austin, Morris earned journalism and government degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006, and since then, has worked primarily as a reporter and writer, but also has skills in videography, photography and podcasts. Follow her on Twitter at @AMorrisReports.