Property Connect Holdings Limited (ASX:PCH) CEO, Darren Patterson talks about bringing fintech to the property market, starting with the company's LiveOffer rental auction platform, and other platform enhancements including online auctions and strategy.
Rachael Jones: Hello I’m Rachael Jones for the Finance News Network. Joining me this morning is Property Connect Holdings Limited (ASX:PCH) CEO, Darren Patterson. Darren welcome to FNN.
Darren Patterson: Thank you.
Rachael Jones: First up Darren. Can you start by giving us an introduction to your company?
Darren Patterson: We operate a real estate technology platform, called LiveOffer. LiveOffer has a few components, one of them is an auction for rental marketplace. We’re moving into doing online auctions for property sales. And then we’re also looking to launch a mortgage origination service, to enable a seamless but transparent process for property purchases.
Rachael Jones: Before we move onto the technology. Can you tell us why the property market needs a service like yours?
Darren Patterson: Property in Australia is right for disruption, it’s a very profitable industry. The market is controlled by agents that operate in a franchise model. The two dominant portals take a lot of value out of that chain. And we believe that marketplaces that provide transparency, real time transactional services, will provide value for landlords, renters, vendors and purchasers in that space.
Rachael Jones: Now to your platform. Can you tell us more, starting with the online rental auctions?
Darren Patterson: The online rental auction platform is designed to provide transparency and a seamless process, for both the landlord, the tenant and the property manager. The tenant, or prospective tenant, can actually control their move-in day, the term of the lease and the amount they want to offer per week. Sometimes you see tenants turn up to highly sought after properties and there maybe 10/15 people. This gives them a full view and transparency as to where their offer is, in the market. And it allows the property manager to effectively communicate with the landlord, and decide who’s the optimum tenant for the property.
Rachael Jones: Can you tell me about the online auctions?
Darren Patterson: It’s a new product that we’ve just started to launch. Initially we’re targeting off-the-plan developments. As we start to see a contraction in the property market in Australia, we believe there’s a strong demand to market these properties internationally, and to achieve optimum pricing.
Rachael Jones: What other enhancements do you have?
Darren Patterson: We’re about to move into providing construction development finance and residential mortgages. That, we believe, will help facilitate the entire property transaction.
Rachael Jones: Darren you spent some time in the US and Europe. Have you seen any solutions there they’re using for the efficiency of matching tenants, agents and landlords?
Darren Patterson: Not really, again it’s a fragmented market. The US is roughly 33 per cent multi family assets, then people that own and then people that invest. So it’s an emerging space, it’s something that is ideally suited to the solution that we have. It’s a transient market where renters move between states quite frequently. We see that emerging in Australia, particularly as developers look to build, to let and develop property funds. Hence we’re targeting those markets, we see that in high-density areas like Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East. And we’re rolling out a lightweight sales model, which is focused around licensing in those markets with partners.
Rachael Jones: Now to your financials and strategy. How are you progressing?
Darren Patterson: We’re ahead of plan, we recently did a placement, our technology platform on the rental side is built. The auction piece we just recently announced is ahead of plan as well, we’re now in licensing and commercialisation phase.
Rachael Jones: Now to the last question. Why should investors consider Property Connect Holdings for their portfolios?
Darren Patterson: The property market is right for disruption, property technology is very fragmented in this country and other markets. We believe we’ve got the solution that can add value and we can extrapolate from. Our current market capitalisation makes us a pure value play.
Rachael Jones: Darren Patterson, thanks for the update.
Darren Patterson: Thank you for having me here today.