2023 Wrapped: A Year of Elevating The Rental Experience

As the year ends, a big thank you to all of our renters and partners who were a part of Obligo’s 2023 journey. As a company that allows renters to skip paying a security deposit, we’ve seen incredible growth over the course of the last year. Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights.

Empowering Renters with Financial Flexibility

We want to help all renters, both those who enjoy deposit-free living and those who prefer to pay a traditional cash deposit. This year, we focused heavily on learning from renters and providing them with resources to reduce friction in their renting process, rent responsibly and avoid charges at move-out:

Move In Checklist: How to Maximize Your Security Deposit Refund

How to Avoid Charges at Move-Out: The Must-Have Checklist for Renters

Obligo Explains: Why Living Deposit-Free is Financially Smart for Renters

In our “Obligo on the Street” series, we hit the streets of NYC to get renter opinions on a variety of security deposit related topics, including what they would do with their savings if they could skip paying a security deposit:


We conducted focus groups to gain insights on all things security deposits related, including renters’ decision-making process to live deposit-free, as well as the benefits they enjoy from doing so. Everyone involved, Obligo employees & renters alike, had a lot of fun!

Property Manager Success Stories: Real Impact, Real Results

To help partners attract more qualified renters, ease their operations, and power a better resident experience, we continuously gather feedback so we can deliver the best-in-class deposit-free service.

Stevens Realty started offering Obligo to give residents the option to live deposit-free, but also because collecting security deposits had been a massive challenge for them. Their results speak for themselves:

From delighting residents to leasing staff burden, our property management partners find significant benefits when going deposit-free with Obligo:

“We see really strong improvements in our operational efficiency. We’re getting more done with the same staff and moving residents in faster. Our owners are happy because vacancies are filled, and our residents are happy because they’ve quickly secured a home. It’s really a win for everyone.” | Brent Morris, Managing Broker at Real Property Management® Triad

“Being able to offer the flexibility of deposit-free living, especially in today’s rental market, is the biggest benefit.” | Kiani Kaahaaina, Owner and Principal Broker at Elevate Hawaii

When we accept a tenant using Obligo’s deposit-free service, we know we’re fully protected.” | Carrie Rodriguez, Accountant at Real Property Management® Pros

Property Management Insights & Tips

Throughout the year, we invited numerous industry experts to offer insights on all things property management, from the importance of managing renter expectations to leveraging ChatGPT to get a leg up on the competition. Some of our most-read blogs of the year:

Buttery Smooth Move-Outs: The Art of Managing Renter Expectations

Top 3 Accounting Challenges & Solutions for Property Managers

A Guide to Getting The Most out of a Property Management Conference

How Property Managers Can Use ChatGPT to Win in Today’s Rental Market

As experts in the security deposit space, we’ve written explainers on why adopting a comprehensive deposit solution like Obligo can benefit property managers, owners, and residents alike:

Is Deposit-Free Right For Your Portfolio?

The Hidden Costs of Security Deposits for Property Managers

AI & Data-Driven Enhancements that Transform Rental Operations

With continuous investment into our AI qualification engine, we want to ensure every renter has a path to qualify for deposit-free living. This year, over 90% of renters qualified instantly by connecting a single bank account via Open Banking.

The Obligo team is also committed to crafting features that continually empower our property management partners. From monthly webinars diving deep into topics like “Scaling Your Business with New Tech” and “Marketing With Obligo,” to launching our first User Group, we want our partners to help us prioritize and plan for the future. 

This year we developed a number of cutting-edge enhancements to streamline property management operations and increase transparency with residents.

As Obligo continues to grow, we have increasing visibility into large industry datasets, including average charge rates against a resident’s security amount at move out. Our Charge Rates Analytics feature was developed to help property managers maintain charge rates in line with peer averages, which in turn helps further build resident trust, encourage positive reviews and generate word of mouth referrals:

Our AI-Powered Deduction Descriptor feature was designed to increase efficiency during the move-out process, saving property managers valuable time by automatically generating text descriptions, while fostering trust with renters by providing detailed information on any move-out charges. 

Building Trust Between Landlords & Renters

Obligo is on a mission to build trust between landlords and renters. As such, we partner with a diverse range of landlords and property managers who own and manage residential portfolios across the nation. While we want to bring our deposit-free rental model to every household, we need to make sure we partner with the right portfolios and property managers:

How Obligo Screens Property Managers & Landlords

Continuing our tradition for the fourth year, we presented our Renter’s Trust Awards to 15 exemplary property management companies that exemplify Obligo’s core mission.

We applaud these outstanding organizations for their commitment to treating renters with fairness and communicating transparently. Bravo!


The Deposit-Free Software Partner of Choice

Last year, Obligo embedded our solution within two leading property management systems, AppFolio and Buildium, and since then, our R&D team has further deepened our integration capabilities and solidified our position as the deposit-free software partner of choice.

Our partnership with AppFolio on their FolioGuard Security Deposit Alternative, is becoming widely adopted as property managers look to attract more qualified renters and rid themselves from operational burden. We also became the #1 company activated through the Buildium Marketplace, an ecosystem of property management apps that allows Buildium users to have their entire tech stack under one roof.

Obligo’s scalable API-first technology, strict SLAs and best-in-class security powers a seamless and embedded deposit-free experience for software partners. We’re excited about more PMS partnerships to come in 2024! We can’t announce them yet, but stay tuned…

Onward & Upward

As Obligo grows, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to serve renters and property managers in every city and town across the country. In 2024 and beyond, we remain committed as ever to powering the rental experience of the future through financial technology that eliminates the burden of security deposits.

If you’re on board with our mission, get in touch with us — together, we can expand the deposit-free movement to benefit millions more renters across the U.S! 

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