PMC 2017- Reinvent

Key takeaways from our Chief Product Officer.

Apmasphere’s PMC2017 at the RACV Royal Pines resort on the beautiful (albeit a little rainy) Gold Coast was another great meeting of the minds of the real estate industry event.  As the head of our Product team at Console, it was a privilege to be able to join another great event and get an insight into what the industry leaders are preparing for in the coming year.

The roster was full of amazing presenters and industry thought leaders openly sharing their experiences, regardless of brand or allegiance.  As a Gold Sponsor, Console was able to showcase our exciting Console Cloud product, and share the news of the launch of our Console Pay automated rent collection capability, with a focus on giving time back to our clients – what would you do with an extra hour in your day.

This years theme was “Reinvent” – a timely theme for our business as we work to reinvent our Property Management software with Console Cloud.  Our team works to solve problems, reinventing the business process to focus on how you should be working in 2018, 2019 and 2020, rather than just copying what you do today and putting it on the internet.

FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS

The overwhelming theme from the speakers was a focus on relationships.  Relationship selling isn’t a new theme in the Real Estate industry.  It’s the pinnacle position that our sales offices have been striving for in the property sales space for decades, but it’s easy to be overwhelmed in the transactional nature of fire-fighting and reacting to inputs in the property management space.  The focus on lifting your business from transactions to partnerships and trusted advisors really struck a chord with me.

FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY

What became very evident was the industry’s reliance on great technology.  As Cathie Crompton, Head of Network Property Management at Harcourts International, put it so eloquently – The new marriage is between us (property managers) and our technology companies.  It’s a great point – we all need to embrace new technology to assist us in a number of areas.  In doing so, it’s not so much the solution today that you as property managers and principals need to decide on, but the vision of the company that you’re marrying yourselves to and the longevity of that business.

REAL ESTATE IS COMING INTO A NEW ERA

We’re finally able to break away from the business processes that your software has dictated by adopting new technology.  We’re more capable than ever of collecting more data more quickly, to inform better decisions for our businesses.  Interestingly we make these “marriage” decisions on a daily basis at Console – for example we chose Amazon because we understand how well they’re capitalised and the sustainability of their business to support ours.  When you look at potential solutions in the market, are you considering the health of the provider that you’re choosing to marry?

We choose platforms to help us gather data around Net Promoter Scores – another key theme that Andrew Coronis (Coronis Real Estate), Ewan Morton (Morton Real Estate) and Brock Fisher (Little Property) all touched on.  As Chief Product Officer I understand that if Console wants to better understand how our clients engage with us, then our clients probably want that knowledge too and PMC2017 was a great proof point of just that.  But data is only one part of the equation – how we use that to gather insights and shape our businesses in 2018 is the key.

FOCUS ON AUTOMATION

It was reassuring to hear it over and over again from our industry leaders that we need to learn to embrace technology, and importantly embrace automation.  The goal of automation and systems is not to replace the property manager, but to automate the low-value, mundane transactional tasks, and let you, the talented individuals that manage our largest asset class in Australia focus on meaningful, data-driven discussions to build relationships with our tenants, landlords and suppliers.

At Console, that’s exactly what we’re striving for.  Products like Console Pay start to introduce those concepts of set-and-forget transactional activities.

With Console Cloud now online, and new agencies and new features coming online every day, our Product Owners begin to gather a wealth of information to quietly set about solving your problems in the background.  Our cloud product helps us understand what are the most valuable problems that we need to solve by helping us better understand the way that you use our products.

GOOD DATA CREATES A COMPETITIVE EDGE

PMC2017 showed us that the industry leaders have taken on the overhead of gathering a number of disparate systems to assist in gathering data to drive insights into their business.  They use this to drive more valuable conversations and build relationships and give themselves a valuable competitive edge in the market.  It confirmed that as a whole, the property management industry is seeking automation of transactional activities to create the time to move the Management part of the job back to managing relationships rather than managing transactions and interactions.

Console is spending its time reinventing our product so that in 2018 the Console Cloud platform will bring this to the masses and help you to reinvent your business, and importantly your value proposition to those who engage you.  Console Cloud will give you the solution to aggregate those data and insights and automate the low-value transactional activities to allow you to focus on building relationships, providing insights to your landlords and tenants and add value to the role that you play in this important area, managing Australia’s most valuable asset class.

Personally, I’ve come away from PMC2017 excited to have the opportunity to be a part of that reinvention of our property management industry.