Goleta startup AppFolio creates easy-to-use software for the property management industry. To make room for its growth, it nearly doubled its 8,000-square-foot home at 55 Castilian Drive — across the street to a 14,527-square-location at 50 Castilian Drive.
Cottage Health System Business Services previously occupied the space, but it needed to expand and moved to 6550 Hollister Avenue a year ago.
“The space itself was a great fit for us; it’s a nice big, open area that can accommodate,” said Aimee Miller, AppFolio’s vice president of marketing. “It’s accessible and gives us room to continue to grow.”
The company provides free webinars and features articles for property managers that help them run a better business, but Miller said the key has been word of mouth.
“It’s a great market for property managers, and we’ve built a foundation of happy customers and a service team that excels with a web-based product that we add functionality and features to,” she said. “Property managers are excited about our approach, and word of mouth is important. Our base of customers is growing at a rapid clip.”
The business, founded by Klaus Schauser and Jon Walker, has grown to more than 80 employees in its five-year lifespan. The rapid growth of renters and homeowners looking to lease space has accelerated business.
“Our customers are looking for easy solutions to run their business better, and we’ve had the advantage to listen to customer demand and build our product to better solve these problems,” Miller said.
It has partnered with UCSB to offer student internships in the company, and Schauser’s longtime ties to the university have strengthened participation.
“We have a close relationship with UCSB and Westmont,” Miller said. “Students come out ready for careers, and it’s a great pool of really excited, fresh resources.”
Control Point moved to the Castilian Tech Center from 360 Olive St., where it had occupied 14,891 square feet since 2008. Its corporate headquarters is now at 110 Castilian Drive in a 14,227-square-foot location that was once occupied by CenCal Health, which consolidated to one space at 4050 Calle Real in 2010.
“Moving from Santa Barbara to Goleta allowed Control Point to lease significantly nicer office space with more parking, all at a 10% discount compared to downtown,” said Steve Hayes, partner with Hayes Commercial Group.
Founded in 1995, the firm provides management and engineering services specializing in multi-discipline, model-based design for complex systems that include combat, automotive, robotics, avionics and aerospace, guidance and navigation, health management, diagnostics, monitoring and survivability systems. It has facilities in Michigan, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, according to its website.
Representatives from Control Point did not return calls for comment.
Another firm that has snapped up space recently is National Resale Hardware, which leased 98,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in Goleta.
“I think we’re beginning to see internal growth in Santa Barbara and Goleta. We’re not in the market where we’re attracting companies of size,” Hayes said. “The key to some of these deals is a combination of two or three vertical markets in health care, high tech and defense areas. They are doing very well.”
The South Coast office vacancy rate dropped nearly 1 percent in the first quarter, mostly because of activity in Goleta, according to a first-quarter market review by Hayes Commercial Group. The city’s vacancy rate dropped more than 3 percent, to 10.8 percent from 13.9 percent. Despite the activity, achieved lease rates dropped 17 percent in the first quarter.