Founders’ Fridays: Jacob Thomason, RentPost
Hey, Rachael here reporting from Four Athens! Today’s featured Friday founder is Jacob Thomason from RentPost. We talked about topics like the challenge of the work- life balancing act and what he does to relax and get away from it all.
Founder: Jacob Thomason
Startup Name: RentPost
RP: Tell me a little bit about RentPost.
JT: RentPost is online property management software. It’s Web- based software for managing rental properties in the cloud. Tenants pay rent online and can submit work orders. Property managers have all the tools they need to effectively manage rental properties. That’s anything from the property management company doing their owner statements and calculations for management fees, to accounting, to work order management, to lease tracking.
RP: Where did you get this idea?
JT: I built a system prior to RentPost that was a listing site. Over the course of building that, I couldn’t help but think there was a better way to manage rental property, in particular the rent collection side from tenants. My partner asked me about the idea of online rent collection, and since I had already been thinking about it, we both agreed to do it.
RP: What have been some of your biggest challenges so far?
JT: Probably the work-life balance. There are not enough hours in the day to do it all. Knowing what to do hasn’t been the challenge. Getting it all done and getting the help in order to get those things done is the biggest challenge.
RP: What have you learned in the process of building RentPost? Is there something you wish you knew now that you didn’t know at the beginning?
JT: I have learned a lot about partnerships.
RP: What would you say to someone who is considering building their own start up? Any advice?
JT: There are a thousand things you could say, but choose something that you’re passionate about and that isn’t going to feel like work.
RP: Where do you see yourself and RentPost being in the next year?
JT: There are a few different paths, but I see us continuing to grow the business and pulling in more clients. I want to have a sales team in place and another developer on board with the company.
RP: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
JT: The challenge. It’s more waking up and the challenge of what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. It’s not so much waking up and ‘oh I’ve got to go to work’, it’s more waking up and figuring out how we are going to solve this problem today.
RP: Are you from Athens? Do you plan on staying here?
JT: I am from and born in Athens. I went to school in Macon at Mercer University, I lived in Charleston for three years, I lived in Taiwan for one year and now I’m back in the Classic City. I am going with the flow wherever the business takes me, wherever life takes me is where I am going.
RP: What has been the high point in your journey of building your start up?
JT: Our launch was really awesome. I spent a lot of time on the marketing and PR side of the launch, so on day one we had tons of people emailing us, knocking on our door and signing up for our application. That was really exciting. We got lots of feedback and lots of interest.
RP: What about a low point?
JT: There are a lot of those. In retrospect I can list low points, but at the time they weren’t necessarily low points. If something happens it’s just a bump in the road like everything else. Things like losing a big client can be a low point, but it is really just a bump in the road. I look at low points differently depending on if I look at them in retrospect or in the moment.
RP: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
JT: I love travelling, and I like intellectual conversations, extreme sports, photography, and music.
RP: What do you do to relax, to get away from everything?
JT: I sleep. It [work] is always on your mind. You can’t really get rid of it. If somebody figures that out they should let me know!