Residential property management leads the way in Australia proptech

Residential property management leads the way in Australia proptech

Late in 2021, the Australian residential real estate market was valued at a record AU$9 trillion, just five months after reaching AU$8 trillion. We’ve already seen 47% price inflation in the residential market in capital cities since late 2012. It comes as no surprise that the Australian proptech industry is also booming, with a reported 428% increase in proptech companies between 2013 and 2019. The residential property management category is the fastest growing in this space - 66% of Australian proptech companies cater to the residential sector, and of the 47% specialising in B2B, property management is the largest niche (20%).

Property management primed for tech disruption

Property managers have historically faced a number of challenges in their role - such as reducing paperwork, managing repetitive tasks and communicating with stakeholders across many channels. A typical day could involve anything from dealing with repair requests to securing quotes from tradies, property maintenance, in accordance with local regulations or arranging an inspection after a tenant has moved out. Many of these jobs have the potential to be automated, making residential property management an ideal candidate for technological disruption. Owners and companies that use “set-and-forget” tools are likely to increase efficiency in their business and become more profitable.

An examination of key proptech investors and trends
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This article focuses on five proptech companies shaking up the Australian residential property management industry.

:Different

Founded in Sydney in 2016 and now with Melbourne and Brisbane offices, :Different has secured a total of US$8.1 million in total funding. The company is led by Mina Radhakrishnan and Ruwin Perera, a husband and wife duo with Silicon Valley experience. 

:Different is a full-service portal for property management and maintenance, leasing, and finance. :Different provides apps for both owners and tenants, offering both parties one place to log, approve and follow the progress of maintenance requests. For owners, the app is able to manage property inspections and host the full history of a property’s inspection reports. It also connects owners with an extensive trusted trade network and benchmarks data around trade costs, so they can feel reassured they are paying the right price. Tenants are also able to search and apply for properties.

Instarent

Another Sydney-based startup, Instarent has seen rapid growth since it launched in 2017, expanding 400% during 2020 and 2021. Following an equity crowdfunding drive in 2021, it has raised a total of US$489.6K in funding and is making waves in the private rental space. The company was created by AJ Chand, a real estate investor with experience in property management.

Instarent is advertised as an automation app that replaces a property manager, giving investors the ability to self-manage their properties for less cost. Owners can use the app to find tenants and let their properties, manage inspections and enable automatic rent collection. The app also connects owners and tenants with tradies, allowing all parties to log issues and track repair progress.

Kolmeo

Kolmeo aims to connect owners, tenants agencies and property managers on a mobile-based app to streamline property management processes. The app contains a range of forms and templates for booking and logging inspections, handling maintenance requests and generating reports all on-the-go. For tenants, the app is a handy place to store documents, payments and to communicate regarding maintenance issues, while owners are able to get a real-time overview of what’s happening at the property.

The Melbourne proptech has plenty of experience in real estate, having been around since 2005 as AgentPlus, a property management software business, only rebranding to Kolmeo in 2020. They’re a good example of how companies working in the property arena can identify pain points and use technology to create solutions that solve challenges in the sector. In this case the tech team is using React Native, GraphQL and Microsoft Azure to ensure the platform can scale.

Managed App

Managed was designed by former estate agency owner Thom Richards and co-founded with Nick Bouris. The company is also based in Sydney.

Managed offers a fully automated payments platform for collecting rent and managing bills, with the ultimate aim of helping agencies to grow their rent roll without increasing overheads. The platform also connects users with over 4,000 licensed and insured tradies, allowing for seamless communication around maintenance work. Managed also offers landlords insights into their portfolio performance, covering aspects such as team performance, financial data and rent roll.

As of 2021, AU$650 million in transaction volumes had been processed via Managed. The platform was recognised at 2021’s Australian Digital Technology Awards as the real estate sector’s leading start-up. At Zai, we're proud to help Managed deliver world class levels of service to customers. You can find out how we're doing that here.

OurTradie and OurProperty

Founded in 2013 by Russell Burstow, this Brisbane-based proptech company was originally launched under the name of OurTradie as a property maintenance platform. Property managers can use the tool to hire and pay tradies that have been approved and reviewed by customers.

OurProperty was created in 2017 and billed as an all-in-one property management platform covering everything from managing lease renewals to repairs, compliance, inspections and rent collection. Its aim is to increase profitability by automating the repetitive jobs within property management. With one unified place for property management tasks, users save time and also improve communication.

Yabonza

Founded in 2016 by Mark Trowell, Yabonza has secured AU$5.7 million in funding to date. It has offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

Yabonza’s property management platform offers owners a real-time view of their property portfolios, allowing them to manage finding tenants to rent collection, maintenance tasks and inspections. Yabonza’s model centres on a mix of platform usage and support via a dedicated “Asset Manager” focused on driving property performance.

Yabonza also provides full, instant visibility of an investor’s property portfolio to share with a financial adviser and inform decision-making.

The rise of residential property management in 2022

Proptech solutions such as the ones mentioned above allow owners and investors to manage their portfolios with more efficiency, ease, for less cost and greater yield. They also aim to improve communication between tenants, landlords and tradies and create a more streamlined end-to-end experience for all.

A recent survey asked Australian proptech founders what they needed to better succeed. The top response was industry support (21%), calling for property associations to facilitate collaboration opportunities between the industry and proptech ecosystem. Access to funding was the second most popular response (16%) and in particular, access to early-stage capital. There are over 380 Australia-based proptech companies, most of which were founded in the last five years. Investing in this emerging proptech ecosystem will allow more startups to take a slice of the AU$6 billion property management market in 2022.

The continued growth of proptech solutions will mean payment flows will become more complex. Zai’s API integration makes it possible to disburse and collect payments in real-time 24/7, 365 days a year and we provide flexible payment APIs that can make the most complex payment flows simple to administer and manage.

To discuss how we can help you solve your payment needs, contact us here.

And for more information on how to optimise your success in the residential property market, download the guide below:

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