Alis­ter Maple-Brown

Elite Property Manager - - CONTENTS - Alis­ter Maple-Brown is the CEO of Rock­end. For more in­for­ma­tion visit rock­

We hear talk of real es­tate and prop­erty man­age­ment dis­rup­tion from tech­nol­ogy ev­ery day. And we've all seen and heard of the new plat­forms, pro­grams and apps that are chang­ing dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of how we work.

But what we don't hear is the fu­ture vi­sion of the in­dus­try from the in­dus­try it­self. What do we want it to look like? What kind of five-star ser­vice do we be­lieve we could de­liver in prop­erty man­age­ment if we were tech­no­log­i­cally en­abled to save time and money and of­fer more? And how would we charge for that?

To date, the proptech con­ver­sa­tion has been dom­i­nated by the start-ups and ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists.

It's time to talk about how tech­nol­ogy – whether a startup or an es­tab­lished busi­ness – is go­ing to help ac­cel­er­ate the pace of change and de­liver ex­po­nen­tially bet­ter ser­vice to our cus­tomers.

I was priv­i­leged to speak at a re­cent REINSW Fu­ture of Proptech event where the in­dus­try gath­ered with more than 20 proptech start-ups. The dis­cus­sion was a ro­bust de­bate about how the in­dus­try could sup­port and work more closely with proptech.

Rock­end has been part of this in­dus­try for close to 40 years. We started as a trust ac­count­ing soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tion and have steadily broad­ened and evolved our tech­nol­ogy of­fer­ings to help prop­erty man­age­ment and strata man­age­ment busi­nesses sim­plify their day at work.

We see the in­no­va­tion that is oc­cur­ring within the startup space as a tremen­dously ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity. We wel­come in­no­va­tion in proptech and see our­selves as a chan­nel and part­ner to the new in­no­va­tors. We see our 55,000 ac­tive users base be­ing a great op­por­tu­nity as a busi­ness chan­nel for any proptech busi­ness look­ing to launch.

We cur­rently have 11 part­ners tightly in­te­grated in Prop­erty Tree, our cloud prop­erty man­age­ment soft­ware, via our API. They have been se­lected based on their abil­ity to solve cus­tomer prob­lems and meet the ev­er­in­creas­ing needs and de­mands of agen­cies.

For us at Rock­end, the real chal­lenge comes not from how we wres­tle with the tech­nol­ogy but how agen­cies can har­ness the tech­nol­ogy-driven changes and the in­creased cus­tomers' ex­pec­ta­tions that are upon them, which are putting huge pres­sures on their ex­ist­ing busi­ness model. That's a chal­lenge we're ac­tively lean­ing in to.

In April 2019 we will be run­ning an in­dus­try hackathon that will bring to­gether lo­cal proptech tal­ent and key agen­cies. We want to help iden­tify and solve prob­lems cur­rently be­ing faced by the in­dus­try.

A re­cent in­no­va­tion sur­vey con­ducted by Rock­end at the Prop­erty Man­age­ment Con­fer­ence (PMC), held on the Gold Coast, showed the big­gest area ripe for tech­nol­ogy over­haul as sug­gested by prop­erty man­agers is sim­pli­fy­ing the process and time spent on manag­ing prop­erty keys and the over­all in­spec­tion process.

We will sup­port the best proptech ideas with grants, re­sources, of­fice space and men­tor­ing. To­gether with the 2018 State of the Aus­tralian Prop­erty Man­age­ment In­dus­try re­port which comes out soon, we see our­selves as a rich source of ideas, in­sights and chan­nel to mar­ket for in­no­va­tive start-ups.

And when we start talk­ing about op­por­tu­ni­ties this way, the fu­ture sounds not scary but ex­cit­ing in­deed!



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