Smart local PropTech company adds digital simplicity to practitioner’s lives

Smart local PropTech company adds digital simplicity to practitioner’s lives

ADVERTORIAL

Smart local PropTech company adds digital simplicity to agents’ lives

Smart local PropTech company adds digital simplicity to practitioner’s lives

PropTech pioneers, The Virtual Agent (TVA), has ramped up its operation to produce more interpretive, enriched information to a growing group of subscribing property practitioners.

TVA has broadened its subscriber base to service large corporate real estate agencies as well as smaller independents. Agents rely heavily on their enriched data. The company develops its own property technology to generate useful insights and dashboards based on their search and customer relationship management (CRM) offerings.

“Clients are appreciating our technical ability to customise and adapt the complex software we’ve developed over the past seven years into something that’s 100% relevant to their needs and easy-to-use,” says TVA CEO, Terence Sewraj.

The company was formed in 2015 when it identified a gap for digital technology in the real estate market.

“We saw that practitioners had access to loads of data from different sources, but what they needed was meaningful information. Something they could use without spending too much time or having technical skills to access,” says Sewraj.

“So, together with our team of developers and data scientists, we started working with agencies around the country to get an in-depth understanding of what they needed. We began tweaking things to provide better accuracy and relevance to the industry.

“Property practitioners were soon asking us for a CRM component, which led us to develop one based on their needs,” he says.

The scope and direction of what the company offers are guided by the maxim – ‘legacy industries need seamless simplicity.’

“Our ambition is to be a one-stop service provider for property practitioners, making their lives easier through the entire process of acquiring stock, canvassing, syndicating their listings, managing sales, and nurturing relationships. We want them to be able to do it all in one place, at The Virtual Agent. And, because of our agile approach to software development, if there are things we can change to make it easier, we can and we do,” he says.

Based in SA, TVA’s offering is suited to local conventions. What is more, in-house developers can customise their packages to suit their agencies’ unique situations.

“We can white label our products and integrate the software into existing programs,” says Sewraj.

Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) compliance

“It was a challenge for the industry to adjust to POPIA,” says Sewraj. “Agents were telling us that they relied on TVA for accurate, up-to-date info from a single service provider. We called in our impressive data suppliers, and tech team, and together, we adapted and developed an elegant, compliant solution.”

The result is the POPIA module which assists agents in stringently following protocols laid out by the Act. The new functionality still delivers rich, actionable information. What is different is that there are processes users must follow to access previously freely available details.

“We are here for the long-term and have chosen the ‘stringent’ route and gone the extra mile to make it easy for practitioners to comply with POPIA, and to educate them on what can and cannot be done,” says Sewraj.

Subscription and access to the system

TVA can be accessed on any device – a laptop, cell phone, or tablet – which makes it ideal for agents on-the-go and in the field.

Property practitioners need to have current, accreditation to the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) to sign up for the service. When they log in, they will need to provide their Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) number which is verified by cross-referencing it with the PPRA. Only once the agent has been validated will they gain access to the platform.

Access is via subscription which can be prepaid, or on a contract with flexible terms. More comprehensive packages include CRM capabilities, customisation, and additional reports. When an agent signs up for the first time, they activate a 30-day free trial.

“Effective digital tools are a step-change in this industry. For example, a client told us she achieved 10 new listings in just three days using TVA. We will soon speed up and simplify other processes. Agents are going to love the DealTracker module which is currently being tested,” concludes Sewraj.

TVA has broadened its subscriber base to service large corporate real estate agencies as well as smaller independents. Agents rely heavily on their enriched data. The company develops its own property technology to generate useful insights and dashboards based on their search and customer relationship management (CRM) offerings.

“Clients are appreciating our technical ability to customise and adapt the complex software we’ve developed over the past seven years into something that’s 100% relevant to their needs and easy-to-use,” says TVA CEO, Terence Sewraj.

The company was formed in 2015 when it identified a gap for digital technology in the real estate market.

“We saw that practitioners had access to loads of data from different sources, but what they needed was meaningful information. Something they could use without spending too much time or having technical skills to access,” says Sewraj.

“So, together with our team of developers and data scientists, we started working with agencies around the country to get an in-depth understanding of what they needed. We began tweaking things to provide better accuracy and relevance to the industry.

“Property practitioners were soon asking us for a CRM component, which led us to develop one based on their needs,” he says.

The scope and direction of what the company offers are guided by the maxim – ‘legacy industries need seamless simplicity.’

“Our ambition is to be a one-stop service provider for property practitioners, making their lives easier through the entire process of acquiring stock, canvassing, syndicating their listings, managing sales, and nurturing relationships. We want them to be able to do it all in one place, at The Virtual Agent. And, because of our agile approach to software development, if there are things we can change to make it easier, we can and we do,” he says.

Based in SA, TVA’s offering is suited to local conventions. What is more, in-house developers can customise their packages to suit their agencies’ unique situations.

“We can white label our products and integrate the software into existing programs,” says Sewraj.

Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) compliance

“It was a challenge for the industry to adjust to POPIA,” says Sewraj. “Agents were telling us that they relied on TVA for accurate, up-to-date info from a single service provider. We called in our impressive data suppliers, and tech team, and together, we adapted and developed an elegant, compliant solution.”

The result is the POPIA module which assists agents in stringently following protocols laid out by the Act. The new functionality still delivers rich, actionable information. What is different is that there are processes users must follow to access previously freely available details.

“We are here for the long-term and have chosen the ‘stringent’ route and gone the extra mile to make it easy for practitioners to comply with POPIA, and to educate them on what can and cannot be done,” says Sewraj.

Subscription and access to the system

TVA can be accessed on any device – a laptop, cell phone, or tablet – which makes it ideal for agents on-the-go and in the field.

Property practitioners need to have current, accreditation to the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) to sign up for the service. When they log in, they will need to provide their Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) number which is verified by cross-referencing it with the PPRA. Only once the agent has been validated will they gain access to the platform.

Access is via subscription which can be prepaid, or on a contract with flexible terms. More comprehensive packages include CRM capabilities, customisation, and additional reports. When an agent signs up for the first time, they activate a 30-day free trial.

“Effective digital tools are a step-change in this industry. For example, a client told us she achieved 10 new listings in just three days using TVA. We will soon speed up and simplify other processes. Agents are going to love the DealTracker module which is currently being tested,” concludes Sewraj.

Start your free trial today

Start your free trial today

Start typing and press Enter to search