It was all about phone calls, in-person meetings, and—yes—fax machines. Today the industry is rapidly shifting to embrace newer technologies, according to Bill Lopez, CEO of Livo Holdings Inc., a company that provides a property management software-as-a-solution (SaaS) tool.
“If you’re reading up on any of the hottest sectors for technology trends, proptech and real estate tech are at the top of the list,” Lopez says. “For the longest time, the rental industry resisted emerging technologies, and in today’s environment, it’s literally a matter of survival.
Lopez, an entrepreneur and real estate industry veteran, sat down to talk about his startup, Livo, and how the 8base services team enabled him to quickly get to market with his SaaS product.
Lopez believes that lack of options when renting has resulted in drawbacks for both the property manager and the renter. Lopez says, “Livo is a more flexible option for renters. Other failed bidding platforms come off as ‘just another tool to increase rent’. Livo’s platform allows prospects to make offers based on the move-in date or term of the lease, not just the rental amount”.
The Livo platform enhances the existing process by increasing flexibility for both the renter and property manager. Lopez believes that property management companies employing the traditional model are leaving both money and better terms on the table. “If there’s a waiting list on that exclusive listing and you’re getting a ton of interest, why should you rush off to lease it on a first-come, first-serve basis?” Lopez asks.
“LivoSecure™ is able to achieve this by leveraging technology that improves the rental experience for prospects while also maximizing leasing terms for owners and operators”, Lopez says. “LivoSecure™ targets rentals that are expected to receive more than one application, and for other premium rentals - such as those with the best views, features, layouts, and locations. And due to our flexibility of use, LivoSecure™ is a particularly valuable tool in a down market as well.”
As the rental market abruptly moves to what we are calling the “no-handshake” rental process, LivoSecure™ is perfectly positioned to make this a reality for the US market.
With the real estate market embracing digital technologies, he believes that Livo is actually a couple of years overdue. But this presented the non-technical founder with a problem all too familiar to entrepreneurs without a software development background: what’s the best way to build digital products and take them to market as fast as possible?
In previous roles, Lopez had experience working with software developers, and that process of finding developers and getting a product released was anything but quick or free of stress.
“One of my previous projects was built by more than one agency; it was costly and a difficult process to manage and go through,” recalls Lopez. “At times I felt disconnected from the product, feeling overwhelmed by the engineering side of development.”
By contrast, Lopez said that he loved working with 8base. After the Livo team interviewed several agencies, they decided that the surest path to success was partnering with 8base to develop LivoSecure™.
“We found that 8base was asking us the right questions,” said Lopez. “8base speaks to the entrepreneur who may not understand tech on their level.”
"Sure, we can develop a great idea and business model, but turning those ideas into a viable platform is truly an art form. 8base was the only choice that gave us the best chance of getting Livo up and running as fast as possible with a high-quality product that I could count on."
Going into this project, Lopez may not have had an intimate understanding of the technical advantages of the 8base platform —such as it being built on a best-practice serverless architecture that auto-scales on AWS, a leading cloud hosting provider — but he does understand well the importance of getting Livo developed the right way, the first time.
“The 8base team only had to explain this to me once: it’s complete nonsense to have an MVP that you have to rewrite as soon as you begin to add a significant amount of demand and new customers on the system,” Lopez says.
“When you’re forced to do a rewrite for your V2, you’re really just losing time and treasure, all the while your competitors are working overtime to catch up,” says Lopez. “With 8base, we could build Livo and know it was rock solid out of the gate and completely ready to evolve in a financially responsible manner.”
For example, the 8base team leveraged their own platform capabilities like user authentication, password recovery and security safeguards that had already been written, tested, and proven.
These types of services are table stakes for all SaaS products, but ultimately they don’t add value to the software. Having these modular components allows the entrepreneur and software developers to quickly focus on the true differentiators of the SaaS product.
Lopez said it was refreshing to have a development team who was as passionate about Livo as he was. “8base did a lot of listening to understand, on a granular level, what we wanted to accomplish with Livo,” says Lopez. “We started with a series of meetings, and in no time, our project managers understood the potential of our product and the path to get us there. 8base took the time to learn our market and how LivoSecure™ can play a disruptive role in the proptech movement.”
Over the course of development of LivoSecure™, Lopez had twice-weekly sync meetings with his 8base development team. He was quickly able to see his idea manifest into working software and was able to interact with the team with technologies like Slack, Trello, and GitHub. Lopez was also particularly delighted when some of the 8base developers brought new ideas to the table and found ways to make LivoSecure™ even better.
“Obviously, the transactional requirements of Livo had to work and I could have hired a traditional agency to get it done,” Lopez says. “But not a lot of agencies can do it right the first time. Just as important as getting it done quickly is developing a platform that looks awesome and performs flawlessly.”
"We are a Miami, Florida based company and it is important for us to not only have a high performing product, but it has to embody the stylish image and the diversity of our community. In other words, Livo has a ton of swagger.”
Lopez recognizes the dilemma that many founders face when building a SaaS product. Development of your product is one of the largest investments a company will make—you have to get it right.
He believes one of the biggest factors in choosing a company to build your platform is the level of confidence you have in the people behind the company name. At the end of the day, your product is only as good as the team who built it and the deadlines that were made while building it.
“I don’t know anyone who has ‘extra’ money to throw away or unused time to waste,” Lopez says. “8base ensures that I’m losing neither.”
Find out more about Livo at