In today’s “personalization first” era, when a company wishes to establish its market leadership, it starts by defining its customer base and catering to its needs, even if its operations are based on a B2B model.
Effective personalization tools are an obvious requirement for high-demand, high-risk clients like those of the real estate market. It seems like the global real estate market has been pretty much unaffected by the unstable economy, the post-Covid geographic transitions, or the organizational office shifts.
Investing in real estate may still be one of the most popular means to accumulate wealth.
The estimated size of the U.S. real estate market was USD 3.69 trillion in 2021; it is expected to reach USD 3.81 trillion by the end of 2022. While real estate companies worldwide are thriving, their operational methods are under scrutiny. Digitization and automation have led investors to demand 21st-century efficiency, and most midsize real estate firms are still unable to deliver these standards.
In every industry these days, innovative technology is considered a standard and critical operational must, as well as a value-generating business asset. However, it seems that one of the most undeniably most successful industries today has very few technological solutions for enhancing its operational liabilities and services and providing their investors with the personalization to which they are accustomed.
There are over 100,000 real estate firms operating in the United States. They are dissimilar in size, area of expertise, and goals; however, their customers have similar needs. Until now, midsize real estate companies were not able to provide investors the same meticulously tailored services as large real estate companies. Automate reporting, sharing and customizing reports, tracking, managing, visualizing complex fund structures, and sending sensitive documents in a secure manner are all services that require time, experts, and sometimes a significant budget.
The available technological solutions today are quite limited and far from able to provide industry-focused solutions for midsized real estate firms or services that meet the high bar set by the large enterprises.
Agora is a fintech/SaaS company that has developed an advanced real estate investment management platform and commercial real estate software designed to enhance investor experiences and simplify investment operations. The software enables global, real-time cross-border payments. It includes a tool that automates and prepares specific required filings and tailored, private and secure reports on profits, losses, deductions, and credits to the IRS.
“Real estate firms have very specific needs, but very limited options, mostly ‘one-size fits all software programs that were designed for real estate, VCs, private equity, hedge funds, family offices, and so on,” says co-founder and CEO Bar Mor. “The reality is that each of these has very specific needs and requirements, some more complex than others, and there is a huge advantage in being a vertical-specific company.”
Coming from a long line of successful real estate investors, Mor detected an untapped need. “Real estate firms and investors are dealing with inefficient workflows, manual processes, and a lack of transparency in managing their back office, investors’ relations, and financial operations,” he explains. “Since real-estate investments require tailored solutions, our technology is focused on real estate, with fintech and prop-tech combined. We not only provide a tool to manage information and share data but also combine different types of services.”
Investors Demand Transparency
“Our clients today manage over $40 billion in assets, over 14,000 investors, and 28,000 investments,” says Mor. “Investors demand transparency, quick access to data and reports, and a digital experience. Our investor portal is simple and convenient to use.” He describes the portal as a demand-based platform designed to provide the efficient solutions real estate companies seek. “The burden these companies carry is heavy.”
The platform helps firms to automate essential processes, like reporting, managing payments, sharing documents securely, and tax operations. Mor insists that the platform is so efficient, it even facilitates capital raising processes: “Our platform reduces the fundraising process from weeks to days and produces a faster, more professional experience while reducing friction. We see that fundraising is up to 80% more efficient when using the platform,” he adds. “Firms report that they spend 50% less time on operational tasks for investor relations, that there is a significant reduction in human error due to the minimized use of excel spreadsheets, among other things, and that reports are completed and distributed rapidly.”
Founded in 2019, the NYC/TLV-based company already assists over 150 real estate companies worldwide. In the last few weeks, it has raised $20MM, which it will use to further expand the industry-specific financial products and capture a larger market share.
When the industry standard requires you to develop a competitive edge, your survival may depend on identifying the right technologies.