Housing providers like realtors, property managers and leasing agents work to match prospective renters and buyers with their ideal new home that meets their price points and move-in preferences. The challenge for many housing providers is balancing lead inquiries, showings, applications and signings in an already packed day.

Addressing this challenge is the mission of Kitchener-based QuickCasa. Its AI-powered platform, Conversational AI Support Agent, provides automated lead engagement and pre-qualification for real estate and multifamily housing professionals through a human-like conversational virtual agent.

Dayna Voisin, CPO and co-founder of QuickCasa, said the platform is designed to provide fluid, human-like interactions between agents and leads based on their specific needs.

“QuickCasa is able to fluidly converse with leads, establishing an initial personalized connection that provides responses to the prospects based on their individual needs,” Voisin said. “It eliminates the need for sales agents and property managers to have those early initial sales conversations.”

A new approach to housing prequalification

Voisin has over eight years of experience helping scale property tech startups in the multifamily housing industry. She has helped build and design products in customer experience and product management roles, which allowed her to work very closely with property managers and residential sales teams.

“From my experience working collaboratively with property management teams, I got to see first-hand the challenges they face with managing and pre-qualifying leads across multiple properties,” she said.

QuickCasa is designed to fit within the residential sales funnel. It works with leading property management software platforms to fill the gap between a lead’s first contact and the agent approving them for a property.

Voisin said that a property typically receives an average of 30 new leads daily, with low visibility into the quality of those leads. That number is much higher for pre-construction developments.

“That’s where QuickCasa comes in,” she added. “We built it to streamline the initial qualification while still providing a very personalized first impression. We want to help minimize the amount of uninterested and spam inquiries that sales teams are taking their valuable time responding to.”

Using AI to create personal connections

To understand their pain points, Voisin and the QuickCasa team spoke with residential sales agents and property managers. She said they noticed a similar issue across everyone they spoke with — a lack of time to provide a personal touch to their interactions with leads.

“We're losing the human, personal touch,” Voisin said. “Many sales teams are having to use templates and autoresponders to keep up with the number of inquiries each day, because they’re just so busy. There isn't really that rapport building and personal touch to truly connect with the lead and understand what they're looking for. It sounds backward, but we're ultimately using AI to reintroduce the human touch.”

Instead of booking a showing for a unit that might not be the best fit, QuickCasa uses cognitive AI scoring to understand the lead’s ideal property requirements. QuickCasa can refer them to the available unit or property that best meets those needs. Once the prequalification is complete, the sales team can complete showings with the qualified people for the property, saving both sides time and effort.

Voisin added that talk of AI in property tech often involved chatbots — something they want to avoid.

“We are not a chatbot. We're an extension of the leasing team or residential sales team. Some clients have said QuickCasa is like their inside sales agent. We're not just some natural language processor where you get a predefined response based on keywords. QuickCasa communicates like a real human. It’s never the same conversation twice. We've done a lot of testing over the last several months to perfect it,” she said.

How Fierce Founders has supported QuickCasa’s growth

Even with her years of experience in tech, Voisin said she knew she needed additional mentorship and a support network as QuickCasa went from idea to beta. She applied and was accepted into the Fierce Founders Bootcamp in November 2023, graduating in January 2024.

“I’ve worked with startups and scale-ups, but I've never been through an accelerator program as a founder myself,” Voisin said. “I’m a huge advocate of women supporting other women, so Fierce Founders seemed like a great way to build my network — and confidence as a woman founder! We're already a Communitech member, too, so this was a chance to get additional resources on top of what we already have available,” said Voisin.

Like any startup, QuickCasa was looking at funding options. She said her time in the Fierce Founders program helped her understand the opportunities and requirements for raising venture funding or choosing the bootstrapping route.

“One of the best parts about being in Fierce Founders was speaking with the other founders within the program. They are an amazing source of knowledge. I learned that you don’t always have to rely on venture capital companies and angels right away. You can spend months focusing on pitching, whereas we bypassed that. We spoke with a couple, took note of their feedback, and then said let’s forge ahead and focus on growing our customer base. We hit the market quickly, and within five months, we've gained a lot of traction. We consider our VC and angel relationships as mentorships, and we may look at securing a round in the future,” she said.

Voisin also took advantage of the ElevateIP program, which Communitech delivers in partnership with Invest Ottawa and North Forge on behalf of the federal government. ElevateIP provides Canadian startups with the tools to understand, strategically manage and leverage their intellectual property.

“We connected with ElevateIP to help with trademarking and proprietary data management patents. It was important that we leverage these types of resources that Communitech provides their members,” Voisin said.

The Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp, Uplift and Intensive Track programs are made possible thanks to the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the Business Development Bank (BDC), Google for Startups, Vidyard, the City of Kitchener and the Ontario government.