From PayLease to Zego: why we decided to rebrand
Today we’re starting a new and exciting chapter for our company. Not only do we have a different look and a fresh new website, we even have a new name: Zego (Powered by PayLease).
We’ll be the first to admit it: it’s a drastic makeover. But we’re swooning over our new identity and want to share with you why this transformation is such a perfect fit for us.
For starters, the name PayLease only partially encompassed who we’ve grown to be. We’ve been serving the residential real estate industry for 17 years, and since then, we’ve evolved with the world, and with the challenges of our clients. To put into perspective how much we’ve changed over the years, let’s do a quick throwback to 2003, the year we were founded. Day-to-day life was much different back then.
The iPhone wouldn’t be invented for another four years. MySpace was the only social media in existence. Most of the nation spent Thursday nights watching Friends (unless you were high-tech and could TiVo it). And if you needed to pay rent, then the only option was to write a check.
Our founders, Ty Kalklosh and Yann Phung, were talking about the annoyances of paying rent one night while drinking a round of IPAs. For two busy professionals such as themselves, writing a rent check and dropping it off to their property manager was a waste of time.
Digital payments were already the norm everywhere else. Why hadn’t the multifamily industry caught on? Ty and Yann knew they could engineer better, more convenient rent payment options that were mutually beneficial to community managers and their residents. And with that, PayLease was born. Then we started to grow – really, really fast.
Year after year we saw flocks of new clients and experienced triple-digit growth. On the inside, the excitement of skyrocketing success combined with an increasing roster of fun-loving PayLeasers produced a one-in-a-million company culture.
It was a winning formula. Not just for us, but for our clients too. The simplicity of our platform and the friendliness of our employees created a demand to offer solutions outside of payments.
We rose to that challenge. Now we offer a comprehensive resident engagement platform that unifies critical resident touch-points—from payments and utilities, to communication and smart devices—into one app. Not something anyone in 2003 would have dreamed of.
Looking in the mirror
As we gradually expanded beyond our payment roots, we started to realize it was time to reshape the narrative about ourselves. A year ago, we weren’t sure exactly what that would entail. Maybe updated messaging and a logo refresh would suffice? But after some long, hard looks in the mirror, we realized a full rebrand was necessary.
It was time to catch up to the company we’ve become. We don’t have a single product offering anymore. Our start-up days are far behind us. The challenges we solve—both now and in the future—are entirely different than the ones the property management industry needed in 2003.
Hanging onto the PayLease name was preventing us from articulating who we are and the problems we solve. So in 2019, we took a deep breath then dove headfirst into a rebrand.
So why Zego?
In 2019, we acquired an impressive start-up: Zego. Their tech-forward resident engagement platform, mission, and sleek modern style embodied everything PayLease was hurtling towards. In such a short time frame, it’s become a vital part of our identity.
We contemplated many other names for ourselves. But in the end, we kept circling back to what was already part of us. Zego. Not only do we have existing emotional and capital investment in the name, it is a strong word. Memorable. Limitless. It has a built-in dynamism and brings to mind a sense of power, efficiency, and simplicity. All qualities that are reflected in our PropTech solutions.
At the same time, we wanted to preserve the brand power and reliability of PayLease. Thousands of property management companies know from experience that we’re dedicated to helping them go above and beyond for residents. So, we decided to combine forces. Now we are proudly Zego (Powered by PayLease).
The next chapter
While we have a different name and a few more tricks up our sleeve than we did back in 2003, our mission remains the same. As Zego, we will continue to take the friction out of your most critical resident touchpoints and transform the manual processes that bog this industry down.
To be honest, shedding the PayLease name was an emotional process. But we’re feeling really good in our new skin. We’ll always be fond of the PayLease name and feel nostalgic about the time it represents for us. But it was simply too limiting for the company we’ve become. Now we feel more authentic to who we are. Our name and identity will withstand who we are today and who we’ll become going forward.
We’re excited about what this new chapter holds for us and are happy to have you along for the ride.