BREAKING PROPERTY NEWS – 30/03/2022
Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.
Meet Parker launches mortgage website plugin to help brokers
As many people know, I am a great advocate for proptech and fintech companies. I even get behind those who are not my clients, but are doing something to really help the property industry.
One of my favourite non-clients businesses is Meet Parker, specifically Freddie Savundra, their founder and CTO. Meet Parker supports mortgage brokers by enhancing their website lead generation and customer engagement with AI.
Meet Parker has just launched multiple website plug-ins specifically designed to level-up mortgage intermediaries and support their drive to rid the industry of mortgage ‘best buy’ tables. This latest innovation to the Parker AI product lineup will offer two brand new lead generation and customer-facing plug-ins.
As explained to me, it will provide a brand-new and exciting way for brokers to engage with customers, capture leads, provide indicative borrowing amounts, book appointments and champion the broker’s brand. Both the new Web and Chat Apps will come with various branding, colour and lead flow options. Built specifically for advisers, brokers and agents and providing a fast, affordable and engaging way to turn your website into a digital mortgage offering.
Managing Director, Phil Bailey said: “The mortgage industry is littered with dull, boring and often pointless web pages, product lists and enquiry forms. Here at Meet Parker, we have taken the step to offer intermediaries an extremely affordable way to instantly enhance their website, customer interaction and lead handling.
“The digital and robo-advisers of the past few years did wonders to showcase ‘how’ customers may wish to engage via your website. Digital offerings like this should not only be limited to those with the deepest pockets or biggest funding rounds.
“Our goal is to offer a similar website & lead handling proposition, one that will enhance any mortgage broker, from digital to traditional in a matter of minutes.
“With the pace and cost at which lenders and the wider Financial Services industry is embracing technology, especially though UX design, I believe it’s time to support those existing intermediaries with the right tools to complement their businesses, without the price tag or mediocre tech offering usually associated with some of the typical mortgage website plugins.”
The Web App plug-in provides a graphical form with more use of buttons and clicks, while the Chat App offering resembles a conversational chat flow to capture information and provide indicative borrowing amounts. Both plug-ins will capture lead details, contact information, borrowing amounts, book appointments/calls and notify the brokerage of their new lead.
And if this is not enough, the team is working on further solutions with both Property and Insurance versions also nearing completion, expected to follow the initial launch in a matter of weeks.
BetterHome Group invests in Fine & Country South Africa License
Global premium estate agency brand Fine & Country has announced today that it has sold the regional licensing rights in South Africa to the BetterHome Group, formerly BetterLife Group, through its subsidiary PA Real Estate Investments, which will invest in Fine & Country South Africa through a preference share transaction.
BetterHome Group partners with and invests in businesses that specialise in the home journey. This journey includes renting, buying, financing, and value-added services to real estate agents and buyers and sellers of homes.
Speaking about the deal, Global CEO of Fine & Country, Simon Leadbetter, said: “BetterHome Group has been a valued partner of Fine & Country SA for 16 years, through its subsidiary, BetterBond, that assists real estate professionals in facilitating mortgages for homebuyers in South Africa. I am genuinely delighted to have secured this relationship as it brings the capabilities of a world-class business to the benefit of a world-class brand.”
Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterHome Group, says, “We have had a long-standing relationship with both the licensees and agents of Fine & Country over the years, and we truly believe in this great brand. We also believe the new collaboration positions Fine & Country SA well for future growth, to benefit its customers, agents, and licensees.”
Ryno Visagie, Head of Real Estate Services for BetterHome Group, is pleased to announce the appointment of John Herbst as the new CEO of Fine & Country SA, adding, “We are confident that John will lead Fine & Country SA with distinction. Under his leadership, we know that the brand will continue to go from strength to strength.”
John is an experienced and well-respected industry leader who previously held senior positions with two well-known real estate brands in South Africa. John will take over from Stephen de Stadler, who has led the business over the past 18 months and has now decided to shift his focus to building his Fine & Country licensee business along the Whale Coast (Hermanus). Stephen will be handing over at the end of May, with John involved from March to ensure a smooth transition. John will be building on the solid foundations of both Stephen and founder member and former CEO Linda Erasmus.
Linda welcomed and congratulated the new partners. “I have worked with BetterHome Group for most of my career. Both sides always looked for favourable circumstances allowing for expansion. The timing of this latest deal is perfect and results in another landmark deal for Fine & Country South Africa. I thank the people who backed and supported me when I first introduced the brand to South Africa. What we achieved in the past 16 years will remain a strong foundation and I also acknowledge our core licensees who will remain the backbone of the company.”
Fine & Country SA represents an excellent fit for PA Real Estate Investments with its mission to enable real estate agents to make more home dreams come true. “We look forward to welcoming Fine & Country SA into our Group. We have a good track record of partnering successfully with quality brands through preference share structures,” Rudi adds.
“We look forward to collaborating with John and Fine & Country SA licensees and agents. Through our home industry specialist businesses, we will continue to provide innovative solutions and services to empower real estate professionals to sell more homes and to enhance the homebuying journey. John will share more detail as our work together gains momentum. In line with our vision, we want to inspire and empower Fine & Country SA property professionals to fulfil more home dreams,” Ryno concludes.
Fine & Country specialises in the sale and rental of prime residential properties. The company has offices in 300 locations worldwide, including Hong Kong, South Africa, and Australia. Fine & Country has won Best Estate Agency Marketing and Best International Estate Agency Marketing seven times in the past ten years at the International Property Awards.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.