When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
And get going we did. Historic inflation, soaring rates, and a chilly housing market did their best to slow progress in the proptech industry at large last year, but at Picket, headwinds swept away distractions and clarified our purpose.
We are here to make every home a source of prosperity, and we’re proud of the progress we logged in 2023. But we also recognize how much there is to do—and do urgently—to help single-family rental investors and residents get more value out of every home, no matter the macroeconomic environment they face. Our aim in 2024 is to simplify and spread access to that value, and we plan to do it in four ways:
- Make analyzing the investment potential of any home effortless
- Make buying and selling work better for buyers and sellers
- Make renting a joy no matter which side of the lease you sign
- Make wealth-building through real estate achievable for all
No one at Picket looks at that game plan with smug certainty, but we’re not cowed by the complexity either. We’re galvanized. Core to success in each of these objectives is making—making with our customers’ needs at the fore and a maverick’s relentless impatience at heart. Nothing could suit us better.
In this letter, we’ll share highlights of the progress we made last year to build a unified Picket Platform that combines smart technology and expert services for every part of the SFR investment lifecycle.
Then we’ll tip our caps to the work to come.
Make analyzing the investment potential of any home effortless
- Picket Investment Platform, 2.0: We rebuilt our platform infrastructure behind the scenes to give investors even greater control over the models that power automated investment analysis. Whether our clients are building an investment thesis from the ground up using our market and property data sets, or they’re applying a battle-tested buy box, our system makes it simple to automate complex analysis and identify properties that fit nuanced strategies across markets.
- Seamless data migration with Picket IO: Picket is driving a new standard in proptech data management. We tackled multiple portfolio transfers this year with two simple goals: no substantive data loss, no structural data discrepancies. But those goals proved deceptively complicated, so we set about building specialized technology that could turn a thorny manual process into an automated slam dunk. The result is a proprietary portfolio ingestion engine that moves data efficiently and accurately between systems, and the benefits will span the entire SFR investing lifecycle. With this technology, we can plot existing assets geospatially in rich, data-driven context; we can quickly analyze capital allocations against targets; we can run portfolio diagnostics to find underperforming properties; and we can facilitate property management transfers without skipping a beat.
Make buying and selling work better for buyers and sellers
- Cut the complexity: We’re setting out to make real estate investing so simple that even the largest transactions feel effortless. In fact, we imagine a world where buying or selling an investment property can happen with a single click. That entails a lot of intelligence under the hood, certainly, but as we bring more and more stages and steps of the real estate investing lifecycle onto our platform, we’re moving closer to this process-optimized ideal. By gathering, analyzing, and organizing all the data investors need to assess opportunities instantly, we can help them decide confidently, act decisively, and never spend a dollar on wasted time.
- Efficient dispositions, higher returns: Picket's new dispositions-focused workflow technology takes another step toward process simplification by streamlining high-volume selling. Our agents use dynamic market analytics and multiple local datasets to price and market properties for retail buyers, and our transaction team collaborates with clients and service providers in a single easy-to-use dashboard, from make-ready to close. The result: lower DOM and higher average sale-to-list (currently 99.7%).
Make renting a joy no matter which side of the lease you sign
- Resident logistics, simplified: Last year we released a resident app that consolidates all the logistics of renting in one mobile hub that’s accessible on the go, ultra-convenient, and delightful to use. This app will continue to be the locus of effort in the months ahead as we explore an increasingly wide range of benefits and services for our residents. It’s also the epicenter of new applications for AI. Stay tuned for more on Picket AI this year…
- A center of excellence for BTR: We created a playbook for build-to-rent community management that combines streamlined asset onboarding, targeted marketing, and high-velocity lease-up strategies. We see BTR communities as a critical part of the response to America’s housing shortage, and we want to be on the forefront, helping investors, builders, and community members come together to create thriving new neighborhoods in growing regions nationwide.
- Advil for home maintenance headaches: Hassle-free maintenance is one of the greatest benefits of the renting life, but it’s also one of the most inconsistently delivered. We want to change that. Picket introduced technology last year that allows our teams to communicate with local service providers more efficiently and track resident outcomes more easily. With better workflow technology driving smoother process behind the scenes, service providers, property owners, and residents can quickly and confidently cross those home maintenance projects off the to-do list.
Make wealth-building through real estate achievable for all
- An appropriate dose of audacity: A well-used graph of “the startup curve” has been cycling through founderland for years. It charts team enthusiasm through the prototypical startup stages, from idea to product-market fit to scale. A huge part of the “curve” wends through a trough of tough-going—when the inciting inspiration of the business is a distant memory and evidence of its fruition just a dream—and anyone who has ever worked at a startup can identify. It’s nice to wallow in the collective empathy of that trough, but what separates the flame-outs from the scale-ups is how quickly a team can get to the other side. It takes an appropriate dose of audacity to acknowledge that though today’s steps feel small in the face of the next mountain we’re climbing, they do matter—a lot. Progress won’t happen without them. So here at the beginning of 2024, you’ll find the Picket team on the march.
- Insatiable commitment to execution: Successful teams hold two things in tension: alignment to the vision of tomorrow, and commitment to executing the immediate need of today. Picket is a team of builders, and our team moves faster to get today’s needs met today—for clients, for residents, for partners—than just about anyone else in our industry. Our Product, Engineering, and Ops teams are best in class, and their ranks continue to grow with experts from diverse industries. They come to Picket because they believe in where we’re headed and they want to see the impact of the steps they take today.
- The vision of tomorrow: This is what motivates us to keep marching. We know fewer and fewer Americans can afford to buy a home, and fewer and fewer want to own one. We know there aren’t enough to go around. We know buying and selling a home is hard. We know renting is no picnic either. We know most people see investing in real estate as a way to wealth, but few see a path to doing it. Most importantly, we know all of that can change. Picket is setting out to enrich every life through the value of home. All the work behind us—to create a platform that makes it easy to understand the investment potential of any home, easy to buy and manage homes, easy to sell and reinvest—serves that vision. So does all of the work ahead as we help owners and residents get more value out of home. We’re only three years into this project, and it will be a long haul. But we’re here for it. We’re excited about it. We hope you are, too.
This has been a formative year to say the least—challenging, clarifying, energizing—and we thank each of you for being part of the journey. We look forward to the year ahead.
The Picket Team