Indianapolis based AppealTrack’s SaaS platform for managing property tax appeals is getting traction with the nation’s top tax specialists. Josh Colter, the company’s Business Development Leader explains more.
- Tax consultants, accountants, and attorneys use AppealTrack’s SaaS platform to manage property tax appeals. More than $30 billion of assets are tracked in AppealTrack by some of the nation’s top tax specialists, including the 5th largest accounting firm in the US.
What makes your company/product different from your competition?
- The property tax industry is an industry of exceptions. There are unique rules from state-to-state, county-to-county, and even from one taxing district to the next. So a key differentiator for AppealTrack is that we’re not trying to be all things to all people. Instead, we listen to our clients and design software to address the problems that are of utmost concern to them. That means we’re intentionally not accommodating every jurisdictional-level requirement. The result is that clients regularly comment on how intuitive the solution is and how quickly they can become productive in growing their practice.
What is it like to start a company in the Rust Belt?
- The startup community in Indianapolis is gathering steam. Our office is located within an innovation technology space called DeveloperTown, which is filled with creative thinkers and doers. Also, several of the vendor firms we’ve hired have experience working with tech startups, which has been a benefit.
Tell us about your fundraising experience in the Rust Belt?
- We closed a single round of funding after validating our business model. The first version of AppealTrack was built using a combination of personal savings and customer presales. Getting clients to pay to use AppealTrack allowed us to be more selective about funding partners. Our investor relationships are as good as they could possibly be. It’s all about alignment of expectations!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
- It’s critical to get out of the building and talk to your customers directly. If you don’t have a solid understanding of your target customer’s needs then you’ll waste time building something that no one actually wants. Because we took the time to understand our client’s businesses, we’ve been able to align our messaging with what’s important to them and ultimately grow very quickly.
- A separate but closely related lesson: once you’ve nailed the client’s problem, then taking the time to build scalable & sustainable business practices to support rapid growth is time well spent.
What is the future for your company?
- We see no signs of slowing down given the following two trends:
- Largest source of revenue for local government is property tax;
- Recession has impacted the value of property
- So property owners want to reduce their taxes (by reducing the property’s value) while at the same time local government is feeling the pressure from tightening budgets. The result is a large increase in the volume of property tax appeals being filed. AppealTrack continues to gain momentum by attracting new clients from across the country.
For more information on Appeal Track, please visit www.appealtrack.com