“Zuora seemed like the obvious option for a billing solution” – Melissa Clucas, Controller at Buildium

By Aarthi Rayapura September 28, 2016

Buildium, a Boston-based startup, is a cloud-based property management solution that helps real estate professionals grow and manage their business. With 12,000+ customers in over 46 countries managing over a million residential units, the company is on a phenomenal growth path.

We recently had a chance to talk with Melissa Clucas, Controller at Buildium at our second Boston Tech Community – Happy Hour networking event.

Some excerpts from our chat below:

Were you always in the subscription business?

Yes! We adopted the subscription model back in 2004, way before it was all the rage! Our two co-founders bought property together and were trying to manage them. It was then that they felt the need for a cloud-based tool that would help manage properties, and built it over a weekend. From the beginning, they saw how amazing the subscription business model was.

What was the inflection point that made you realize you needed help managing the subscriptions?
The company’s substantially growing and it’s an incredibly exciting time. Two years ago, we realized that our “home-grown billing system” couldn’t support our rapid growth and plans to go upmarket. We had all of these usage add-on services such as background checks, online payments, 1099’s, and property inspections. We needed a way to be able to package products and create custom pricing for customers.

It was at that point that we really said, “We want to go to the next level. Our current solution does not work for us. What else exists out there that we can consider?”

And you chose Zuora. Tell us a little bit about that decision-making process.

We looked at a few other subscription billing options but it came down to Zuora because it’s a more fully built out platform for subscription billing and for usage-based billing. From an accounting and finance perspective, there was a lot of great reporting around actual revenue and the ability to create revenue recognition rules that did not exist in the others. Zuora seemed like the obvious option for a billing solution. The way we see it, Zuora can grow with us and meet our needs as you evolve your platform and product.

You went live on Zuora fairly recently. Have you seen any benefits yet?

I’ve seen huge benefits from a finance perspective. There’s only three of us in finance for a 150 person company.

With our home-grown billing solution, I had to comb through all of our data, pull out anomalies and recognize revenue manually. In Zuora I’m able to simply run a report. It has saved me at least a couple of days each month with my financial close.

I know that my sales and product teams love the ability to launch new products and packages quickly. We recently did away with our old pricing and launched new products and we couldn’t have been able to do that with our old billing solution. We set up the product catalogs, we clicked a button, and everything was flowing through!

Read the complete case study to find out how Zuora helps Buildium grow with flexible pricing and automated their back-end billing, payment, and accounting operations.