Gray lends legal savvy to SaaS firm

By Chris Officer | Staff Writer

Before joining Santa Barbara software firm AppFolio, Karen Gray practiced as an attorney and sold real estate in Boston, watching firsthand the way technology impacted the industries from the inside.

Gray spent seven years working with legal technology as an end user, transitioning processes like litigation research to online tools. When she joined the property and legal case management company to help build its sales team, she said she felt like “a startup within a startup.”

“It was the perfect marriage of my experience in legal technology and coming to a new young company and helping see that incredible growth,” Gray said.

The role means consulting frequently with customers to find new ways they can glean value from AppFolio’s line of products and services. New acquisitions for the company in the past year have also meant helping customers learn how to scale their own businesses with new tools like automated leasing services and utility management.

Meanwhile, as she got more involved with the school her kids attended, she saw ways to bring similar technologies to bear, helping the Hope School District Education Foundation and the Monte Vista PTA develop Google Suite and Salesforce databases.

“As we grow we can have better insights, analytics and tracking,” to help raise crucial funds for the district, Gray said.

“I think often you look at your skill set and try and figure out where that fits in,” she said. “There’s a lot of institutional knowledge that happens in these parent groups, but if it’s not captured and transferred year-over-year, it gets lost. You optimize resources by use of technology.”

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