In an industry as complex and multifaceted as real estate, it takes a true visionary to create a company that simplifies and streamlines the process. A holistic view of real estate emerged through extensive research and a deep understanding of the relationship between real estate strategy and cross-company corporate strategy.
As a result, Making Real Estate Affairs Safe, Simple and Efficient PropertyAngel Management Pvt Ltd was founded by its CEO and MD, Sapna Chandiramani and Rahul Pai.
Sapna is a visionary leader with a wealth of industry experience, having worked closely with Fortune 500 and Global 500 CEOs to develop strategies that optimize real estate while supporting the core business. Her commitment to transparency and data-driven decision-making has set a new standard in the industry.
Together, Sapna and Rahul have a unique combination of technology and real estate backgrounds, respectively, which led them to start this venture, and this is also the combination that has helped them succeed.
Before starting PropertyAngel, Sapna was a senior manager at Yahoo!, and her experience helped her set up the systems, processes, tech and org structures and build the PropertyAngel team to scale and excel. The team at PA is empowered to operate independently, and the founders believe their primary role is to provide mentorship.
With a focus on providing high-quality information and efficient processes, Making Real Estate Affairs Safe, Simple and Efficient is PropertyAngel revolutionizing the real estate sector. Its holistic approach to real estate management optimizes strategy, creates cost savings, and ensures that the business is supported at every level.
In an exclusive interview with CIOLOOK, Sapna spoke about leveraging cutting-edge technology and implementing robust security measures to reshape real estate transactions.
The highlights of her candid discussion are given ahead.
Please brief our audience about your organization, its USPs and how you are currently positioned as one of the property management solution providers.
PropertyAngel is a property management company in Bangalore that has gained recognition for its exceptional services. We provide comprehensive property management solutions, including tenant search and management, property maintenance, rent collection, legal agreements, and more. Our tech-driven asset management services for individual apartments, villas and houses have received prestigious awards from Zoho and grants from Facebook.
Additionally, we have consistently been ranked among the Top 10 Property Management Companies in India. Established in November 2014, PropertyAngel Management is a major O2O second landlord platform with assets worth over ₹1500 crores under management. Our impeccable track record boasts 100% on-time rent distribution and an occupancy rate of over 94%. Our ultimate goal is to ensure secure, seamless and efficient real estate transactions.
PropertyAngel’s property management services stand out due to three key factors-maximization of returns, integration of technology and personalized approach. These USPs result from the expertise brought in by our entire team, hailing from the technology and real estate sectors.
Tell us more about your company’s offerings and how you position yourself amongst your competitors.
PropertyAngel’s core strength is the combination of personalization and technology. As a small team, we can provide personalized service and a single point of contact for customers. Other smaller players usually operate this way, but their technology adoption is minimal, making it harder for them to provide efficient and transparent service. Larger players have large customer support teams, but getting a single point of contact who can make decisions and solve problems is rare.
At PropertyAngel, we have been able to get this combination right after considerable experimentation and learning. We have apps for customers, vendors and partners, and landlords get a single senior point of contact who knows everything about their property. This combination is our greatest USP, and customers love it. As a bootstrapped company, its main focus is constantly improving the customer experience.
This industry has cutthroat competition, and several players have raised large amounts of funding. How do you compete with them? Why did you choose to remain bootstrapped?
As a bootstrapped company, PropertyAngel can focus on the customer experience, push harder on growth once satisfied with its happiness metrics, and restructure or revamp processes when needed.
Despite having several competitors who have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, many have failed because customer satisfaction is crucial in this business. Property management involves managing other people’s assets and investments, and property is most people’s largest investment.
Once a company raises large amounts of funding, there is tremendous pressure to scale, and if they have not optimized the customer experience, this pressure to grow prematurely can backfire, which has happened in the industry.
We chose to remain in control and focus foremost on the customer experience, which has worked for us so far, despite the limited amount of marketing we do. We have built our brand mostly by word of mouth.
How large a role does technology play in your organization today? How do you see this evolving?
Technology plays a significant role in PropertyAngel’s operations. We won a Tech Star award from Zoho in 2022 and use technology to automate processes, provide transparency and bring efficiency. We have also invested in a US-based blockchain startup, as we believe that, eventually, real estate transactions will need to move over to a solution like that.
Although we have apps for our customers, partners and vendors, we plan to work on tools using AI/ML, such as image recognition to reduce error rates in the exit checks process, predictive analysis to accept/reject tenant applications to minimise risk, and more such tools. We recently concluded our Three-day Propathon 2023 virtual event, where the country’s top builders, including Prestige, Brigade and Shriram, set up virtual stalls in a 3D platform.
In the future, we plan to build more immersive experiences like this to simplify the transaction and enable a one-stop shop fulfilment. The real estate technology infrastructure in India is quite a laggard, and much needs to be done.
Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how adopting modern technologies like AI and ML impacts today’s real estate sector and how PropertyAngel is adapting to the change.
The real estate sector in India has been slow to adopt technology compared to its peers in the West and East. Despite leading the digital revolution in FinTech, India lags in PropTech. Physical paper transactions are still prevalent, and there is no easy way to check who owns a property.
Obtaining the physical ‘encumbrance certificate’ can take days, leading to many property disputes. However, startups are innovating in interesting ways, and several opportunities exist where AI/ML can be leveraged, including Virtual and Augmented Reality, Predictive analysis to detect trends and fraud, Property Search and Recommendation and chatbots. At PropertyAngel, we are working on some of these.
What have been your top innovations? How do you envision scaling your organization’s operations and offerings in the future?
The real estate industry in India is slated to hit One Trillion dollars by 2030. We hope to keep our focus on the customer experience and ride on that growth through partnerships.
We love experimenting and innovating as an organization and constantly work on something new. Some of our recent innovations have been the PropStar Awards, which is a tenant loyalty program. We also launched an academy to educate consumers and create courses for aspiring professionals. And our very recent launch was our 3D virtual event, Propathon 2023.
Considering the current industry scenario, what challenges do you face, and how do you drive your company to overcome them?
Our challenge is always centred around improving the customer experience, given the challenges in our industry, such as semi-skilled and unprofessional vendors. We are constantly working on training our vendors, incentivizing them to honour appointments and show up on time, to under-promise and over-deliver and not the other way around. We have built tools to help them function more efficiently and are constantly working on training them as well.
What would you advise budding professionals aspiring to venture into the property management solutions sector?
Iterate constantly with the processes to see what works. Don’t build technology right away. Build the organization’s frameworks, experiment with them, and then build technology around them.
*Clients Praise for PropertyAngel*
“A phenomenal E2E customer experience process that’s augmented by passionate and loyal team members. As a customer service leader doing customer experience management work for over 20 years, I applaud property angels’ efforts to deliver great experiences to customers like me.” – Bala Venkataramanan, Global Customer Service Executive – Bill.com Google, Intuit & HP.
“I have recommended PropertyAngel to too many people. Very professional in the responses, and I am very satisfied. Their response time is very fast. After giving the property to PropertyAngel, I don’t need to worry about my apartments anymore. Keep up the good job.” – Jitendra Agarwal, Flat Owner-Vaswani Reserve, Project Manager Georgia, U.S.A.
“Working with PropertyAngel has been a great experience! It’s always reassuring when you deal with firms that are extremely professional and transparent in their dealings and respect timelines. Would be happy to recommend their services anytime.” – Ruchita and Shali Thilankan, Penthouse Owners- SJR Parkvista.