How COVID pushed two female tech founders to change their game

It’s an understatement to say that this pandemic has had a devastating impact on our communities, our economy, and our overall health and well-being. As businesses continue to feel the impact associated with COVID, this is our story of how 2020 pushed us to the limit and how we responded.   

While global economists estimate that COVID has cost the world over 300 million jobs, we have been very fortunate that we’ve actually added jobs, have experienced growth, and even secured funding, though it was not easy. 

It’s a story of turbulence, determination, and ultimately growth. 

To understand iRestify’s journey as we navigate through a pandemic, we have to bring you back to March 2020, where, in just one day, most of our clients went home to stay, which caused much of our business to go on hold. As the government introduced strict lockdown measures throughout the month of March, the majority of our clients, which happened to be commercial office tenants at the time, no longer had use for their commercial spaces. 

“I remember that day, in the third week of March, after our client shutdowns, sitting down at dinner, thinking about everyone’s hard work, the way our cleaning operators must feel having their contracts placed on hold, not knowing the future.”  Erifili Morfidis- Co-Founder of iRestify. “Then I thought: Erifili, this is not just happening to iRestify. It is happening to the whole world. Now is the time to persevere and re-build.”

As more offices gravitated to remote working environments, we needed to focus on a new business model.  

“We knew that multifamily units were the prime zones which would need cleaning services on high-priority. People can stop travelling to public, commercial, and workplaces but they have to keep going to their homes.” Charlotte Gummesson – Co-Founder of iRestify.

We made some tough decisions and pivoted. We needed to go where the people were.

We shifted our efforts and focused on the multifamily property management sector. Property managers had to adjust to circumstances themselves to keep their buildings and occupants safe. Before the pandemic, property managers had already shown great interest in our technology, since the iRestify platform allowed them to easily book and manage cleaning and maintenance services remotely from any device. But when the pandemic hit, our remote features became a necessity.

Through our digital platform, property managers monitor the progress of their cleaning service, conduct remote quality checks and instantly communicate with their cleaning teams. All without having to conduct physical inspections which really became crucial during the pandemic. 

We listened to our clients and our current product was refined to answer their specific needs; we created solutions that really added value for building operators and their tenants. We constructed marketing and sales strategies aimed at targeting these areas within the multifamily space. We released white-papers, crafted an aggressive market strategy, and introduced customized cleaning services such as Rapid Deep Clean Deployments and specialty services such as Health and Safety Screeners. We also launched new product features such as live maintenance updates aiming to provide tenants with peace of mind, knowing that their buildings are being cleaned and disinfected frequently.

We’re thankful that through the diligence of our people, our culture of resilience and grit, we were able to change our game while adding value to the Multi Residential property management sector.  We recouped the business that went on hold on the commercial tenant side, and we also grew our business, added jobs, and landed some of the largest enterprises in the North American property management industry. As a collective team, we pushed ourselves to levels that we had never reached before. Our product and operations teams worked tirelessly on improving our client experience through technological features that give property managers the digital proof of delivery they need to ensure an excellent tenant experience. At the same time, our cleaning operators worked around the clock to ensure common spaces were sanitized and disinfected with strict guidelines and schedules.  We introduced services aimed at keeping multi-family communities safe, and we partnered with top property management companies with an emphasis on health and safety. 

The pandemic forced a transformation for many companies, including ours. We had to adapt and evolve. We are grateful for the success that everyone’s hard work resulted in and for our ability to provide leading-edge technology to ease the challenges of property managers and help keep tenants safe, healthy, and secure.

Thank you.