We asked myRPlanner founder, Steven Laidlaw, about building a condominium reserve fund management app. Steven and his colleague, Taylor, started their career as engineers at an oil and gas SaaS company, but they both had very little programming experience. They chose Bubble because they found that the no-code platform had the best and easiest tools for database workflows and calculations.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
myRPlanner is a condominium reserve fund management tool. Reserve Plus engineers use the app while completing the onsite inspection, calculating volumes, capturing age and condition, and collecting photos of the various condo components. This information is then used to auto generate the reserve fund study. The costs, condition, components, and ages are stored in myRPlanner database. This information is then used by the user/membership (condo boards and management) to generate financial updates, 5 year plans and budgets, RFQs, investment recommendations, and risk assessments. We offer our services on a 5 year contract amortizing the cost of the reserve fund out over 5 years. We are the only reserve fund provider offering subscription based SaaS right now.
How does your app work?
When the user logs in to myRPlanner, they first access the dashboard from which, they can view basic info about their condo, view and modify the 5 year plan, view their service agreement and invoices. They can then access the request for quotation (RFQ) which will gather 3-5 quotes for proposed project or upcoming expenditure. Or by providing actual financials from the previous year, generate an annual update and 30 year re-forecast along with Condo Risk Assessment.
All these tools tie back to the reserve fund study which provides in-depth information to the user. Information or data entered by the user bolsters the accuracy of the financial forecasts and information contained in the reserve fund study.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
Taylor and I are both engineers that started our careers at an oil and gas SaaS company, but have very little programming experience. We started writing reserve fund studies using word and excel, but always wanted to transition to more automation and to convert our business to SaaS if we could justify to our existing clients.
Our first iterations were done using excel spreadsheets and macros. We then found a product called AppSheet that allowed us to complete the onsite inspection on a phone or tablet which would upload a CSV to our excel sheet and run the macros. Finally, Taylor found Bubble and started to build our processes into the online database and started using the workflows to generate a basic reserve fund study. Once the database was established, we could then build other reserve management tools that fed off the database.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
We had tried a few other options for building our web tools and database. When we finally tried Bubble, we found that it had the best method for spreadsheet-based databases; the workflows and calculations were easy to use and worked well with how we wanted to program myRPlanner.
What have been your milestones or successes so far?
We have grown by approximately 150% per year each year since 2016 when we first converted to Bubble and became a SaaS company. In 2020, we tripled revenue and grew the number of condominium subscribing to myRPlanner to 130, we added 100 Vendors to the Vendor side of our RFQ Platform (potential secondary revenue stream), and we expanded our effective market to the 2 major cities in Alberta. In 2021, we expect to continue to grow at approximately 150% per year and to expand our market to 1-2 cities in British Columbia.
What are your next steps or future plans for your app?
We plan to add an investment recommendation calculation/platform and an insurance risk assessment. And we plan to reach $1,000,000 in recurring revenue in approximately 2 years.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 500,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.