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The Built Environment Bulletin with Mikhail Naumov, Paylode


Welcome to ‘The Built Environment Bulletin’, with Tabitha Francis, our Q&A focused on the North American Built Environment.

Our Q&A series is an opportunity for our Head of PropTech, Tabitha Francis, to discuss all things Built Environment, Start-ups, and Career with different founders from across the region. Each week we will ask Built Environment innovators burning questions and quiz them about their products. We hope you find it insightful and enjoy getting to know the founders as much as we have.

This week we have been in touch with Mikhail Naumov, Founder & CEO of Paylode.

Paylode is the leading resident perks platform helping residential operators and real estate firms launch and manage amazing perks programs without the burden and expense of building one in-house. Paylode is like having an entire partnerships team in your corner – but without the overhead costs. We vet and pre-negotiate thousands of perks offers from top consumer brands, and provide easy no-code tools to save companies massive amounts of time and money. Perks programs increase engagement, retention, resident satisfaction, and conversion, while also unlocking a new stream of revenue for your business.

Learn more at

How did you find yourself in the Built Environment sector?

Moving is expensive, and CEO Mikhail Naumov experienced this when moving from California to Miami. Wondering why there weren’t more ways to save during this process, Mikhail was inspired to create a partnerships platform that generates positive ROI for real estate companies by helping their residents save on products and services they need every day. 

Paylode perks are customized to each community – local offers like restaurants and event tickets are tailored right down to the neighborhood, meanwhile, national perks provide valuable and exclusive discounts for widely recognized national brands. Managers also make great first impressions when they create move-in bundles, helping residents save money on move-in costs. 

Real estate operators choose Paylode for resident perks, though we serve a wide range of industries including residential real estate, insurance, hospitality, e-commerce, and more. The resident perks programs are turn-key and easily embedded into top resident portals and property management systems, while each building or regional portfolio manager can easily curate their perks programs and offers to specifically reflect their resident base in terms of interests and market demographics. 


What was the mission when you set out to create Paylode and what is unique about your business vs competitors?

Our mission is quite simple: enable companies to launch and monetize amazing perks programs that generate loyalty and retention through time and money-saving perks. 

We became a favorite choice for residential real estate for tenant perks because we keep it quite simple. Instead of competing with complicated 3rd party apps with points and payments processing, a Paylode perks center gets you access to any of the 1000+ offers in our marketplace instantly, and can be launched for your entire portfolio in a few minutes. It integrates directly with your existing property management system and resident portal. At the same time, perks can also be attached as an instant reward for valuable resident actions – like paying rent on time or showing proof of insurance. 

Within the residential real estate industry, Paylode is the preferred platform to easily provide perks to your residents, while also opening up an entire world of resident rewards and designing marketing campaigns to influence engagement and long-term retention and renewals.


What are some of the challenges you have faced within the Built Environment sector given the macro-climate?

Since we’re a perks-as-a-service company, we have benefitted from the new way of working remotely. This allows us to be in more places, actually – we’re able to see clients in person, build relationships, and go to more conferences when we have more people in more places.

Working with clients, it’s easy to see how “resident perks” might be considered a nice-to-have in this economy. But when you utilize the full potential of Paylode, the perks program more than pays for itself through ancillary revenue, while also boosting the metrics you need to move – like on-time payments, tours, and applications – all while building positive relationships with your residents. 

The real estate industry, especially multifamily and single-family rentals is a complex industry with its own set of preferred vendors, incumbent property management software providers, and constant noise around new “flavor of the month” innovations. We provide a very straightforward solution with clear ROI, that is easy to implement across your entire portfolio. In simple terms – Paylode is the easiest way to launch, manage, and monetize a valuable perks program for your residents.


Obviously, you have just raised so congratulations! It has not been an easy landscape for those looking for funding this past year so what would your advice be to other startups looking for new capital?

The market is tough, and some of the strongest and most resilient companies are built in a challenging economic environment. Listen to your customers and don’t be afraid to evolve to show investors and clients that you are agile and responsive to market changes. 

We started out thinking that the ancillary revenue would be the main driver for our clients. Don’t get us wrong, the extra revenue is very appealing. Yet after speaking with 300+ companies, we found that a much bigger focus for most companies is improving engagement, retention, and resident experience. When we focus on what the customer needs, you’ll get a more positive response that you can work into your pitch. When you’re confident that you have your pulse on the market, you’ll carry that confidence with you into your fundraise. 


With this capital secured, what does the road ahead look like for the company, what are the growth plans or how are you going to be deploying this cash?

We aim to continue building the number one Perks platform of the internet. We continue to discover new ways that our clients can leverage their perks programs to achieve meaningful economic impact and measurable brand value across their businesses. 

We’re working with leading residential operators from the NMHC-50 as well as smaller regional portfolios and are helping millions of residents save money on products and services they need every day. As real estate operators continue looking for better ways to differentiate their offerings to attract and retain long-term residents, perks programs have become a table-stakes item for any building. 

Our job is to make what used to be a headache for in-house teams, into an effortless and smooth experience for both property managers and their communities. 


As we’ve all seen, the market has changed dramatically in the last 18 months. How do you think this has impacted hiring across the sector?


Just like your residents, employees want to feel valued. In a world where remote work beckons, and real estate requires you often to be present, how do you stand out as an employer that’s worth commuting for and committing to? Clarify how you support career development and what benefits you provide that extend beyond the average. 

A fun part of working with Paylode is that our clients also can make a perks center for their employees, giving them the same amazing deals you give to your residents. 


Final question- what are your predictions for the rest of 2024?

We live in an “incentive-driven economy” – Customers expect rewards, incentives, and personalization everywhere they go, and ideally in the smoothest way possible. Don’t get too distracted by the shiny allure of AI – the biggest returns will be from focusing on fundamentals, understanding your customers, and meeting them where they are. 

LMRE are specialist PropTech recruiters, if you need help growing your business or making any key hires please get in touch via the form below!

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