Starwood Waypoint, a publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on the single-family rental market, has doubled its portfolio over the past year. Despite concerns from the broader market about the difficulty of managing a portfolio of single-family homes, Gary Beasley, co-ceo, has a one-word answer for how company can do this efficiency: technology.

“We like to say there two things that have allowed the industry to emerge—the financial crisis and the emergence of cloud and mobile computing,” Beasley told REFI in an interview in New York earlier this week. “All of our staff has iPads and we also have our own apps that provide real-time information on the houses in our portfolio. It’s very much like a manufacturing process and we have more than 1,000 processes automated in the system.”

Beasley explained the system like this: once....

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