Flexible Rent from Till

Till is challenging the traditional renter and landlord payment structure. Flexible Rent from Till is a personalized payment schedule for renters who need a better way to budget and pay for rent. Flexible Rent keeps rent prioritized so that a renter doesn’t have to be penalized with high-cost late fees, face eviction, or use a payday loan.

Historically, the rental housing system has had to rely on one-size fits all processes which can be punitive.  All renters receive the same lease, payment schedule, and the only performance drivers that have existed have been punitive late fees and evictions. Till aims to transform the model.

According to Johnny Ray Austin, CTO at Till, “People get paid on different cycles, and everyone’s expenses and lifestyles are different. However, rental payment cycles lack the personalization we’re accustomed to with other services. Till aims to change this by taking a renter’s entire situation into context, and then creating a rental experience that meets their needs.”

Till analyzes cash flow data to create a new rental payment schedule throughout the month that’s more in-line with the renter’s needs. It helps renters better manage their budgets, while still paying their rent on time.

Flexible Rent from Till benefits landlords as well, preventing churn by helping them understand and work with their residents while improving the resident’s ability to pay rent. The benefits for landlords include:

  • Stabilized cash flow, especially with delinquent renters
  • Improved on-time cash flow
  • Reduced delinquency management efforts and costs for their site teams

A Service Built On Data

With data as the foundation of its service, Till chose the Snowflake Data Cloud on AWS as its data platform. Till integrates with property management systems that hold data such as balance and payment information about renters. In-house tools query the property management systems and store the raw data in Amazon S3.

Other in-house tools massage and normalize the data, transforming data into a structure that’s consumable by its internal infrastructure. From there, Snowpipe picks up the data and automatically ingests it into Snowflake. According to Austin, “The ingest process is like magic. It just works.”

The Importance of Data Security

Because Till handles renters’ PII, data security is critical. 

To ensure data security, Till leverages the dynamic data masking capabilities in Snowflake. Austin’s team creates and defines masking policies and applies them to columns that contain sensitive data. Snowflake dynamically rewrites queries, applying the masking policy SQL expression to the column. Users see masked data based on the execution context conditions defined in the masking policies. “Dynamic data masking is simple and transparent, and it just works every time,” said Austin.

“We wanted a seamless way to secure PII data that wasn’t a bolt-on. Snowflake provides an array of really great data security capabilities. In fact, no one comes close to Snowflake with its advanced security features. We rely on their granular permissions and controls on specific pieces of data.”

—Johnny Ray Austin, CTO, Till

Developing a Deeper Personalization Strategy

Till is delivering on its mission. Renters benefit from a payment schedule that’s more aligned with their cash flow, while landlords increase their on-time collections. To date, landlords have seen the following results:

  • 20–50% increase in on-time collections
  • 99% renter payment success
  • 70% reduction in time spent managing delinquency

Going forward, Till plans to explore the ingestion of U.S. Census data via Snowflake Data Marketplace. Census data will provide insights based on demographics at a regional level. 

According to Austin, “This will help us understand trends, how people move, access to public transportation, information on local school districts, and more. This is part of our evolving personalization strategy. We see great paths forward using things like Snowflake Secure Data Sharing.”