5Q PropTech Interview – Cem Savas CEO & Co-Founder at Plentific

5Q PropTech Interview – Cem Savas CEO & Co-Founder at Plentific

1. Why did you start Plentific and what is the company’s mission?

Plentific emerged when myself and my co-founder, Emre Kazan, identified from personal experience that property management could and should be made better.
Whether that be for local trade specialists, property managers, tenants, and beyond.
Since 2013, Plentific has made it easy to find reliable trade services and manage property repairs and maintenance – in essence, it’s driving the mission to make property work better for everyone.

2. How can the real estate sector engage with PropTech to bring the built and digital environments together?

I think the built environment’s historic characteristics and inefficiencies have acted as an innovation barrier for too long.
A digital approach provides several opportunities to streamline those inefficiencies and boost profit margins.
One way the two can work well together is leveraging the social impact PropTech can create in the value chain – by helping solve things like housing affordability and urbanisation.
With Plentific, we’re taking a key aspect of the built environment – property management – and injecting digital solutions to create better services, more competitive costs, and improved tenant engagement.

3. How did you manage to scale your product and process to service more than 130,000 residential units in the UK and Germany?

Key to scaling are client relationships and the strength of our offering.

In the UK, we initially ran small pilots with clients which after successful completion, demonstrated the power of our offer.

We were able to increase our share of our clients’ portfolio as the benefits of Plentific vs. more traditional management models were recognised.

For our largest two clients, we’re proud to now have their entire property portfolio on our platform, which is a testament to how much they value the service.

And once you do a good job for large clients, news travels, and we have also won a number of smaller clients.

The way that Plentific is set up (providing clients with full flexibility in how they use the marketplace) means that we can provide a relevant service industry-wide; to those looking for full R&M coverage, to those looking for a ‘back-up’ solution.

Expanding into Germany, we again started with a pilot in a single region for a major client, which resulted in success.

We’re now looking to support them across a number of regions in Germany, for thousands of properties in their portfolio.

We have also recently won a number of new clients in Germany and look forward to working closely with them to serve as much of their portfolio as possible.

4. You have transformed your business model from B2C to B2B. What kind of improvement or change have you enacted within Plentific to succeed?

We understood during the transition that building personal relationships is key and how important trust and compassion become.

So we focused on the intent – the why – why are we doing this? And our purpose became clear.

It helped refine the value proposition and working on pilots with housing associations became the fundamental means to finding the right product-market fit.

Insight is like our mana, it’s been so integral to the process, which is why we’ve built whole initiatives like PropertyLab around it.

Which is a nice segue into the importance of innovation in the process.

We don’t innovative in isolation – it’s purpose-built and highly collaborative and made for an important org-wide culture shift when transforming.

5. You have recently launched your own incubator program PropertyLab. Could you tell us more about it?

We have incredible internal resources to produce rapid solutions, but the best way to uncover industry issues and opportunities is a collaboration with the industry voices themselves.

Hence, PropertyLab was born. Over a 14 week sprint, Plentific and a cohort of selected industry leaders identify an industry-wide issue, discover and prioritise insights using the best in design-thinking theory.

The data is discussed in-depth with our Product team who then design a trial-ready prototype solution, perfectly positioned to bring a step-change.

Sprint 1: Compliance in fact has just come to its end, and we have a build-ready compliance dashboard like no other in the field.

We are already getting ready for Sprint 2 in November 2020, but as mentioned, innovation never stops and we’ll be holding a series of mini-labs throughout summer.

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