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Case study: Roofstock

How Stessa, Roofstock’s platform for landlords, uses embedded banking to deepen engagement and generate new revenue

What Bridge built with Unit:
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Roofstock saw an opportunity to make Stessa the essential platform for landlords. 


With embedded banking, Stessa has become a one-stop shop, offering purpose-built tools for things like rent collection, expense management, and accounting.

Key terms

Embedded banking is when a tech company teams up with a financial institution to make banking products (e.g., high-yield accounts, credit cards) available inside their app or website.

Data points

  • More than 200,000 landlords rely on Stessa to track over 1 million rental units valued at over $125 billion.
  • Landlords who use Stessa Cash Management accounts have a customer lifetime value (LTV) 4x higher than other customers. 
  • Landlords who use Stessa Cash Management accounts log into the platform twice as often as other customers.
  • Landlords who use Stessa Cash Management accounts are 3x more likely to upgrade to Stessa’s premium SaaS product.
  • Customers who use Stessa Cash Management accounts are retained at a rate 3.5x higher than other users.

The growing market for single-family rentals

Roofstock is a real estate investing and services platform that helps investors of all sizes acquire, manage, and sell rental properties.

It’s a significant opportunity. Single-family rentals in the United States make up a $5 trillion market, according to Cerberus Capital Management. Of these, about 70% are owned by individual investors. 

For these individual investors, managing rental properties can be an administrative headache. Routine tasks like managing expenses, filling vacancies, screening tenants, and collecting rent are often difficult and time consuming. 

In fact, many landlords still manage their properties via spreadsheet. Many don’t even know whether they’ve made or lost money until they get their returns once a year from their accountant.

Becoming a one-stop shop for landlords

To help landlords get a handle on their finances, Roofstock offers Stessa. It’s a platform that makes it easy for real estate investors to track and manage their portfolio of investment properties. Today, more than 200,000 landlords rely on Stessa to manage 1 million rental units valued at over $125 billion.

Stessa is free to get started. They offer two premium plans—Manage and Pro—for landlords looking to unlock advanced accounting, reporting, banking, and leasing functionality:

  • The Manage plan ($12/month) offers eSigning by DocuSign, 60+ legal forms and templates, automated Schedule E report, and more. 
  • The Pro plan ($28/month) includes everything in the Manage plan plus unlimited portfolios, advanced reporting, unlimited smart receipt scans, higher APY, and priority phone support.

“Our goal is to provide a purpose-built, complete solution for real estate investors,” says Heath Silverman, Vice President of Retail Product at Roofstock. “Stessa, as a system-of-record, helps bring everything together in one place, providing landlords with peace of mind while helping them save time and money.”

In order to deepen engagement with landlords, Stessa decided to expand their platform to include access to embedded bank accounts.

With Unit, Stessa offers landlords access to:

Banking designed for your customers

For many landlords, managing rental-property finances is a significant pain point. 

Say you’re a landlord with multiple rental homes. Each property typically requires a dedicated business bank account—with additional accounts for things like security deposits and capital improvements. 

At traditional financial institutions, business bank accounts typically require a great deal of time and paperwork to open. They can be subject to high fees and restrictions, and they don’t offer tools to measure your financial performance.

For Stessa, embedded banking eliminates a key point of friction that landlords face when managing their properties. 

To solve these problems, Stessa offers access to embedded bank accounts, called Stessa Cash Management accounts. They offer the following benefits: 

  • Accounts organized for landlords. Landlords can open as many bank accounts as they need. Stessa Cash Management simplifies account organization and structures it in a way that supports property-management workflows. 
  • Cards for each property. Landlords can get separate debit cards for each property, making it easier to track expenses. Physical cards even come printed with the names of their respective properties, which helps owners and operators select the right card(s) for a given purchase.
  • Automated rent collection. Routine financial tasks like rent collection and bill payments can be automated, often with faster deposit times.
  • Simpler money movement. Landlords can easily wire money and send ACH payments—for example, to pay a roofer or refund a security deposit. 
  • Seamless expense management. Landlords can see all of their expenses in one place. Expenses are automatically imported to Stessa Accounting, with transactions linked to their respective properties.
  • A better banking experience. Landlords don’t pay fees for accounts, bounced checks, or overdraft. There are no minimum balance requirements, no monthly maintenance fees, and no inbound wire fees.

As a result, Stessa Cash Management customers are twice as likely to log in. They’re retained at a rate 3.5x higher, and they’re three times likelier to upgrade to a Stessa premium plan. 

A partner for long-term growth

In their search for an embedded finance platform, Stessa evaluated all the major players. They chose Unit for three reasons:

  1. Simple to launch. Unit accelerates Stessa’s time to market without requiring a heavy investment of engineering resources.
  1. Compelling product vision. Unit has a clear product vision and a roadmap to achieve it—both for Stessa’s current banking needs and their anticipated future needs. 
  1. Fully-featured technology. Unit provides technology that enables Stessa’s customers to access a complete set of modern banking products, including all the features and functionalities they expect.

Thanks to Unit, Stessa has reduced their reliance on financial data aggregators like Plaid and Yodlee. When landlords use these services to link their external bank accounts, the connections often break—a frustrating experience. With embedded bank accounts, there’s no need to connect anything, and the data is richer.

Unit also helps Stessa navigate their compliance obligations and their relationship with Stessa’s bank partner. That way, they can stay focused on their customers.

A shared roadmap

For Stessa, embedded banking was designed to eliminate a key point of friction landlords face when managing their properties. 

The results have been impressive: customers who use Stessa Cash Management accounts are engaging more with the platform and spending more money. In fact, they have a customer lifetime value (LTV) 4x higher than other customers. 

Stessa Cash Management customers are twice as likely to log in, and they’re three times likelier to upgrade to a Stessa premium plan. 

Stessa has continued to invest in core functionalities for landlords, including DocuSign, tenant screening, vacancy marketing, and legal templates. 

Looking ahead, they plan to offer additional features to help landlords find high-quality tenants, manage maintenance requests, and continue managing all their capital seamlessly in Stessa. They maintain that Unit will be an important partner in the journey.

Stessa is a financial technology company and is not a bank. Banking services provided by Thread Bank, Member FDIC. The Stessa Cash Management Visa® Debit is issued by Thread Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa cards are accepted.

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