Leading pan-African professional real estate services provider Broll Property Group (www.Broll.com) is a creator of PropTech technology and arguably the continent’s leader in this regard. It has achieved this preeminence through internal software development and collaboration with other technology companies. Software development has been at the heart of Broll’s business for over two decades, providing customers and industry with a unique edge in technology and PropTech.
Broll-Online â¢ is an in-house PropTech solution providing comprehensive end-to-end real estate services that encapsulate real estate, financial and facilities management, mobility and business intelligence into a single integrated platform, explains Stuart Mathieson, IT manager of the Broll group. PropTech promises to dramatically adapt the way real estate transactions are undertaken, with the potential to reduce the burden of compliance checks, shorten the path to deal signing, and even revolutionize the transfer of funds and property.
Managing assets using legacy systems from centuries-old databases is now a thing of the past as technology has disrupted and simplified the real estate industry across industries. âPropTech has the ability to quickly and fundamentally change the way real estate is administered and maintained,â comments Jarrod lewin, Division Director: Technology, Cushman & Wakefield | BROLL. It even offers the ability to use the blockchain to provide a full history of real estate transactions, property transfer services, confirmed changes in title to property, and wider adoption of crypto-based payments. Additionally, Big Data and AI can transform transaction management and advisory functions, especially since many industry reports are very retrospective rather than predictive.
The PropTech component of the real estate sector alone is expected to generate billions of investment and user interest. It is quickly gaining attention around the world as traditional real estate is forced to innovate and embrace technology where face-to-face interactions have been drastically reduced and changed. According to unissu, the United States has approximately 2,234 PropTech companies. In Europe, the UK is the largest number of PropTech companies with over 800. PropTech in Africa, like the rest of the world, is gaining ground in the real estate industry and is quickly becoming a key component for real estate companies.
Broll-Online â¢ was designed from the ground up to meet industry best practices in real estate services. Designed using the latest Microsoft technology, it works natively over the Internet through a private or public cloud (SaaS), making it possible to work anywhere and on any device. The solution is scalable for a large company with multinational interests or large portfolios, targeting property managers, occupants and owners. Technological innovation is at the heart of the solution, from improving the tenant experience through native mobile apps to providing data mining platforms to customers. The platform’s functionality scale is shown below:
Accounting and finance
At the heart of the platform is a fully-fledged accounting system, including auxiliary books of debtors and creditors, capable of scaling and accounting for multiple legal entities in all geographies and currencies.
Administration of property and leases
Leases as well as offers are generated directly from the system, based on downloaded owner models, minimizing the need for manual intervention and manual creation and management of documents. A tailor-made FICA module offering transparency and efficient management.
Rate increases and other municipal or utility charges, as well as utilities fluctuate and are easy to manage. Arrears, new billing periods and the monitoring of municipal accounts for buildings under management are automated on the system, allowing trend analysis reporting.
Operation and management of facilities
The Broll-Online â¢ checklist application enables building management teams to be mobile and on-site, while being digitally guided step-by-step through complex inspections. From weekly inspections to monthly compliance, administrators have the flexibility to configure and create checklists and assign them to staff.
The app also allows users to attach photographic evidence for job completion. However, before any work is executed, all orders go through a request and approval flow before being electronically routed to suppliers through the procurement module which is driven by the workflow. Only approved contractors and suppliers can be used. The accumulation process as well as the collection are automated.
Configurable robotic process automation (RPA) and email readers can unleash efficiency and increase professionalism in all communications. The module is configurable enough to manage all corporate registers, from risk registers to legal incident registers. It also extends to the public web through portals accessible by fault center from a mobile or browser-based device to record or track maintenance-related calls.
Mobility & Business Intelligence
The tenant mobile app seamlessly extends the platform to bring tenants closer together by providing a rich range of online mobile services. The registration process is automated by the functionality built into the app via an approval process. Once enabled, tenants can share the app within their organization based on roles (e.g. finance, facility maintenance, and leasing).
The business intelligence platform is strategically positioned above the very rich Broll-Online â¢ structured data platform to exploit this data. The platform presents the user with a menu of available information which, in turn, is used to extract and deepen the data. All financial, facility, real estate, rental and workflow information is directly accessible.
âFor the Broll team, the real power of PropTech’s potential in Africa lies in the ability and willingness to collaborate and partner with stakeholders with skills that are not already in-house. The adaptability, flexibility and collaborative potential of Broll-Online â¢ certainly bear witness to this, âconcludes Mathieson.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Broll Uganda.
Notes to editor
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About the Broll property group
Broll Property Group is the largest independent and proudly South African commercial real estate services company. With operations in 13 African countries and over 2,000 employees, we deliver high-performance solutions based on a culture of innovation, distinguished by service excellence and long-standing customer relationships – that’s why we are known as the “real estate progressives”.