Carlos Matias, Founder & Managing Director
Everyone has heard that location is everything in real estate. Likewise, providing international software requires an understanding of the local needs, cultures and real estate practices, not to mention the need to handle multiple languages and currencies. It is a daunting task that presents a major challenge for international franchises and large independent real estate companies serving multi-country markets. Take, for instance, the language barriers. There are more than six regional variants for Spanish and five for German alone. This makes it difficult for these real estate franchises and companies to provide tools to local agents that will help them manage relationships with their customers while making the buying/selling process efficient and easy. Buyer and seller preferences are so unique in each different culture that one-size-fits-all just doesn’t work. The differences in real estate transaction laws and policies add to the challenge. So, to be successful as a technology vendor in the international world, it takes much more than just developing software. It takes a deep understanding of each country, their culture, and their language variations in addition to the specifics of each country’s real estate practices. PropTech Solutions has that understanding and the solutions to match.
While North America has a centralized Multiple Listing System (MLS) in over 99 percent of their markets that provide for seamless collaboration between agents and a common technology platform for each market, the case is different in most international markets. Only a few MLSs exist outside of North America.
What this means is that buyers can’t work with a single associate to look at all available properties and sellers can’t easily expose their listings to all the buyer agents in their market, because there is no agreed-upon means of collaboration, like MLS. It also means that every real estate company is on their own when it comes to choosing or developing real estate technology tools. While there are local real estate tools of varying quality in each country, those that serve multiple countries are few. The past is littered with unsuccessful entrants into this world that have seen the opportunity but underestimated the challenge of capitalizing on it.
International real estate franchises and large independent companies need to have technology that provides outstanding, localized real estate tools, while also providing connectivity between the countries they serve and their corporate headquarters.
They need powerful listing and search tools as well as robust CRM and marketing tools. All of these modules have to be tuned to the local language, culture, and real estate practices while providing transparency to the franchise so that they can manage their regions effectively.
Enter PropTech Solutions, the holding company of two global real estate technology solution providers: GryphTech and Phoenix Software. While the former provides comprehensive tools to all levels of a real estate franchise organization, the latter offers a cutting edge Real Estate Platform (REP) that enables real estate companies to grow and manage their business globally. Together, these companies provide technology that supports many of the world’s largest and most successful franchises, such as RE/MAX, ERA, Coldwell Banker, and Keller Williams. Their cloud-based, multilingual, multicurrency, and mobile-friendly lead-to-close solutions are the foundation that ties these franchises together with their regions, brokers, and agents.
Carlos Matias, the owner and CEO of PropTech Solutions, is a major authority on international real estate technology. Having provided these services for over 20 years, Carlos is successfully growing his business to where he now serves many of the largest international franchises in over 60 countries worldwide. Carlos explains, "We have seen many technology companies come and go that have tried to establish themselves internationally in the real estate vertical.
Carlos adds, "At the end of the day, for brokers and agents to use our platform, it needs to be localized. Our system should not be offering a “seaside” option for homes in Switzerland nor a "mountain view" for homes in the Netherlands. We get it, and we do it right, which is why we have been so successful."
GryphTech also offers tools like iConnect that empowers agents to help customers appropriately price their properties. Through a comparative market analysis of current inventory (supply) and past sales (demand), they can help customers understand the proper price point for their property to achieve maximum value in the shortest possible sales time. At the franchise level, the system tracks all aspects of each transaction, who bought, who sold, the price of the home, the commission paid and the royalties due. Without MLS, it is very difficult for franchises to monitor and manage accurate royalty payments for their brokers and agents. PropTech Solutions' products provide the transparency necessary to manage this efficiently, to bill their offices accurately, to run analytical reports, and to do this with respect to multiple currencies and languages anywhere in the world.
The partnership between GryphTech and RE/MAX has enabled the implementation of the iConnect platform in European, Latin American, African, and Asian regions.
"Phoenix Software has been a dedicated partner of Keller Williams Worldwide for several years. As the most innovative real estate company in the world, it is imperative that Keller Williams partner with the best. To be able to confidently present Phoenix as a technology option to the Keller Williams global network has been invaluable. We are grateful for their partnership and commitment to helping our regions grow."
Keller Williams Worldwide
Powering Customer Success
The pairing of franchise expertise with iConnect has led to significant growth. As an example, RE/MAX's entry to Mongolia—despite it being a remote market with a distinctly cultured language and population— turned out to be a huge success. In a short span, RE/MAX went on to become the number one real estate brand in the region and the franchise became the fastest growing in terms of agent count and transactions. Another shared success is RE/MAX Portugal, where the GryphTech-hosted franchise website is among the country's top visited real estate websites today, surpassing even the local website portals. More recently, Phoenix Software began working with other brands like Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker and ERA, delivering lead-to-close solutions through REP and in just three years, REP has grown to support over 6000 agents using the platform in 20 countries.
Steering Ahead in Tune with Evolving Trends
Having carved a leadership position in the global real estate space, GryphTech and Phoenix Software maintain their edge in the market by continually innovating their real estate tools. Moving forward, they are focusing on leveraging promising technologies such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) and chatbots to overhaul customer engagement. These chatbots can efficiently reply to queries relating to price ranges and specifications of a particular property, providing better-qualified leads for agents so that they can follow-up with opportunities more quickly and close more business. They also plan to utilize image recognition technology to enhance listing quality. "A proof of concept of our image recognition technology is already underway, and it will hit the market soon," informs Carlos. Integration of additional innovative technologies, including voice-activated assistants like Alexa and Google Home with their existing solutions, is also on the roadmap. Through these efforts, GryphTech and Phoenix Software are successfully providing the world with a true, international real estate platform that will continue to evolve along with the needs and desires of the major real estate brands.