Following an oversubscribed capital raising in April, AssetOwl (ASX: AO1) is making good on its plans to roll-out its inspector360 cloud-based software for the real estate sector.
AssetOwl describes its inspector360 as a “new-generation photo-centric” property management platform.
It is offered as software as a service and is designed for residential real estate to provide a complete photographic record of a property’s condition throughout a tenancy.
AssetOwl says its inspector360 technology solves a significant real estate industry “pain point” – rental inspections, with existing solutions described as “unsatisfactory” and “ripe for disruption”.
According to the company, its technology meets the real estate industry’s need and provides a “sustainable competitive advantage”.
Without inspector360, prior to an inspection, a property manager would need to review previous reports and prepare the inspection document – usually taking about 20 minutes.
A physical on-site inspection would then take about two hours and requires numerous photos, and condition data – often carried out with a pen and paper.
Following this, a property manager sifts through photos, collates information for a report including transcribing comments. It is estimated this process takes about 70 minutes.
The final step includes printing the report, sending it to the tenant for them to complete with possible additional photos. Feedback is then amalgamated and shared with the owner via email.
AssetOwl estimates this entire process is about five hours.
In comparison, AssetOwl’s inspector360 cuts this time by up to 75%.
It generates a photo-centric and comprehensive inspection report, streamlines the property examination, and enables tenants to review, comment and sign digitally.
Western Australia-based AssetOwl’s initial strategy is to roll-out the platform across the state before expanding nationally and then internationally.
The company’s client Thorp Realty in Esperance recently provided positive feedback on the technology saying it was “impressed” with the personal service and increased productivity.
Thorp Realty noted since implementing inspector360 it had achieved “significant productivity gains”, including time savings up to 75% just from entry inspections compared to the company’s previous tool.
During the March 2021 quarter, Thorp Realty took about 1,400 panoramic photos during routine and entry inspections – capturing a further 600 in April alone.
In April, AssetOwl onboarded Attree Real Estate which has adopted inspector360 under the company’s standard SaaS pricing model.
Attree will use the software for entry, exit and routine inspections as well as the new feature – the Owners Portal.
The inspector360 was successfully integrated with Attree’s PropertyTree trust platform.
Recurring revenue is dependent on the number of properties Attree has using inspector360 with about 650 initially using the technology.
During the March quarter, AssetOwl’s development team added a new feature to inspector360 – the Owner’s Portal.
“A major challenge for the industry has been that landlords get little opportunity to monitor the condition of their investment once a property is tenanted,” AssetOwl explained.
“The inability of landlords to access their tenanted properties can cause conflict and undermine the relationship between property owners and their managing agents.”
AssetOwl says its Owner’s Portal addresses this industry challenge by enabling real estate agents to upload images and video during a routine inspection. Via the portal owners can then have “up-to-date panoramic virtual tours” of their properties.
This enables owners to monitor the physical state of their properties and provides confidence it is being “well managed”.
AssetOwl added this also gives real estate principals a “valuable tool” for engaging owners and providing assurance their client’s property is in good condition.
It also reduces the risk of disputes, while ensuring all data is stored securely.
Further enhancements have been planned for 2021 including integrating video into the capture page interface before the end of June.
The second refinement target is developing a new capability that enables inspector360 to log maintenance issues into agent data platforms by July.
By October, AssetOwl plans to make panoramas interactive and develop capability to intervene and assist property managers in report generation.
When offering inspector360, AssetOwl manages all data migration, training and initial use of the insta-360 camera.
Data security is “paramount” with AssetOwl storing it across multiple locations and complying with ISO 27001 standards.
The company describes its pricing structure as “simplified” and “compelling value for money”.
It can also be integrated with one of Australia’s “leading property management” software providers PropertyMe.
Untapped market opportunity
As well as commercial real estate, AssetOwl is also targeting the owner-manager residential market, saying it is “untapped”.
The company estimates there are more than 800,000 properties under direct owner management across Australia.
In this segment record keeping can be challenging with a focus on value for money and low-cost services.
AssetOwl says an owner-managed version of its technology would meet this market’s needs.
National roll-out strategy
AssetOwl has already onboarded its first paying customers in Western Australia with a marketing launch scheduled for the upcoming September quarter.
Also scheduled for the upcoming quarter are trials of AssetOwl’s technology in Victoria.
The company has established a relationship with the Real Estate Institute of Victoria to facilitate this.
During the latter half of the year, AssetOwl also plans to roll-out inspector360 across Queensland and New South Wales, while entering the owner-management segment will follow shortly after.