There's Another Billionaire Named Steve Winn

By on September 7, 2017 in ArticlesBillionaire News

We all know Steve Wynn, the billionaire casino mogul. But did you know there's another Steve Winn? The other Steve Winn is routinely told he's not the real Steve Wynn, which he takes in stride and with a bit of humor. Winn is the 70-year old founder and CEO of RealPage, Inc., a company that makes software for managing apartment buildings and other multifamily rental properties. Sure, that's not as glamorous as being a hotel and casino owner and operator in Las Vegas, but it is lucrative enough to make "the other" Steve Winn a billionaire as well. Steve Winn has a net worth of $1.1 billion. (Steve Wynn, on the other hand, has a net worth of $3.6 billion.)

RealPage is located in the Dallas area community of Richardson. Winn owns a bit more than a quarter of the outstanding shares of his company, which have risen 38% this year only on the strength of the rental market in the United States. Winn's company posted a second quarter revenues of $161.3 million. RealPage is on track to have more than $1 billion in revenue by 2020. There are good reasons for Winn's optimistic outlook towards his business. There are roughly 46 million rental units in the U.S., with thousands of landlords.

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Winn has been building RealPage's product offerings for nearly two decades with a goal of appeal to any and all needs a property manager might have. RealPage can set up a website for rental listings, handle calls from prospective tenants, check the credit of applicants, collect rent, arrange for utilities, pay bills, schedule maintenance, manage move outs, and perform competitive analysis of how a property is doing compared to similar properties.

Clients of RealPage own 11.5 million rental units. There is plenty of room for growth. And Winn is on it. He has 400 salespeople out selling his product. The total market for landlord software in the U.S. is an $11 billion a year industry. RealPage has plenty of room and opportunity for growth.

Winn grew up in Dallas and got an electrical engineering degree from the University of Texas in 1969. After college he joined Computer Language Research, Inc., an accounting software firm founded by his father. Eight years later, Steve took over as CEO. In 1995, he expanded the company with a tax software business acquired from Simon & Schuster. A lease accounting software company called Little Buddy was part of the deal. Winn initially had no interest in Little Buddy or the sector of business it served.

He soon changed his mind when he realized that the rental leasing world had no software provider that dominated the industry. He saw an opportunity. The Winns sold CLR in 1998 and Steve bought back Little Buddy for $10 million and founded RealPage. Twenty years later the company is worth $3.4 billion.

Over the last two decades, he has made roughly two dozen acquisitions. The biggest of those  happened this year. RealPage has a pending $300 million acquisition of the pricing optimization software company Lease Rent Options. Also in the planning is a $250 million takeover of On-Site Manager, which helps process rental leads.

Winn does find it funny when he is mistaken for casino mogul Steve Wynn. So does his dad. Recently when Francis Winn checked into the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, it came up in conversation that he was Steve Winn's dad. The Mirage check in staff thought he meant Steve Wynn and gave him the Presidential Suite for $500 a night.

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