Major supplier opens its platform to entire market in ‘game changer’ for industry

Software supplier Reapit is to launch a new platform-as-a-service which will work like Apple’s App Store.

A new partnership programme, Reapit says this is a game changer for the industry.

Anyone, including external developers, will be able to develop their own apps and, once vetted and approved, put them on the Reapit platform.

Reapit customers will then be able to pick and choose third party solutions that have already been tried and tested, and have been integrated into the cloud-based platform.

In addition, estate and letting agents will be able to put their own apps on the platform, developed and available just for their own staff’s use.

Such apps could, for example, include repairs reporting, inventory, electronic signature and viewings services.

Reapit’s core customer relationship management and property management software will not be changing.

However its new platform-as-a-service, called Foundations, is intended to push the boundaries.

Reapit chief executive Gary Barker said: “We are the first to be doing this and the potential is massive. We have been working on it for 12 to 15 months, and plan to go live with it before the end of the year.

“By opening up our platform as a service and making it easy to develop new tools, we can significantly speed up global innovation in the property software market, and give our customers an unlimited choice of tools for their business growth.

“In October we’ll be launching it in a roadshow with some of our partners – proptech firms and also some of our larger customers, including Savills, Countrywide and LSL, who are keen to integrate their own apps, created for their own staff.

“CRM systems are usually closed shops, but this is going to be very different.

“Third party providers of AML, floorplans, tenancy referencing etc, could all find a place on our platform, with a ready-made audience of 40,000 users.”

Barker said that the exercise started with the feeling that the bigger proptech companies should be helping the smaller players, and make integration easier.

It is an approach that could be fraught with danger – hence the vetting process: “We need to make sure that the suppliers are verifiable and trustworthy,” said Barker.

He said: “We believe there is a big opportunity to drive an entire ecosystem of innovation and to standardise customer data, giving customers more choice and simplified IT management.

“The vision therefore was the development of a platform that would allow Reapit and our partners to work together earlier, from the point of feature development, to accelerate the innovation of solutions that will enhance the entire customer journey.

“The really exciting part is how it not only helps proptech companies come together and innovate, but how it empowers our customers to also develop on the platform, creating unique apps and workflow solutions that give their businesses the competitive edge they are looking for software to deliver.

“We see this as a game changer for the industry and ultimately will replace any need for property agencies to develop their own CRM system or software.”

It has been a momentous couple of years for Reapit, where there was a management shake-up last year in which long-standing ‘face’ of the company Simon Whale left. Two years ago, Barker and Whale helped lead a £50m management buy-out, backed by US equity firm Accel-KKR.

Since that deal, Barker says Reapit has grown both by size and revenue, taking on 57 people in its offices in the UK and Australia, and growing revenue by 67% in the last year.

The firm now employs 247 staff in the UK offices, in London, Solihull, Milton Keynes and Leeds.

In the past year, says Barker, Reapit signed up more estate agency customers than ever before, and now provides the software behind 30% of all transactions in the UK.

Anyone interested in the October launch event can sign up at: www.reapit.com/paaslaunch

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42 Comments

  1. MillicentBystander

    Hardly a ‘game changer’ when other CRM’s have had the same functionality for years.

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    1. iainwhite87

      No other supplier in the UK CRM space has anything remotely similar to this ?

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      1. MillicentBystander

        Why limit your options to UK suppliers when others can easily be adapted for UK (or any other market for that matter) and offer significantly superior customisations and integrations. I also assume you are limiting your options to real estate specific CRM when other more general CRMs can be easily adapted too.

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        1. propTechSpecialist82

          I would agree that generic CRM can be used, but can a generic CRM handle sales, lettings, property management and very importantly client accounting along with digital solutions. I believe McGrath invested significant amounts of money in Australia with salesforce and have subsequently moved to a dedicated real estate platform. However, what generic CRMs have done is to push real estate CRMs to think much bigger and provide the same level of enterprise functions. I have been fortunate to have reviewed the technical aspects of this platform and being able to develop web apps through a SAAS platform is going to offer something  new and exciting to developers and customers

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          1. MillicentBystander

            We have utilised  zapier to facilitate all our property management, client accounts, design team workflows etc within our CRM. 

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            1. anders83

              I think the point is that there is a whole sector that creates business operating systems specifically for residential estate agency (including Property Management and Client Accounts) and Reapit are the first to make theirs open and flexible like this. To ask a company like Salesforce to modify their platform to deliver all the things RPS delivers, you would be paying a major (potentially 7 figure) project fee upfront and then there would be no guarantees (a) that your monthly licensing fees would be less than if you used RPS or (b) that they would be upgrading the core offering every few weeks with enhancements specific to residential estate agency thought up by the collective insight of circa half of the industry. We’ll have to see what it is when it is launched but, as described, it does sound like a game changer.

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              1. MillicentBystander

                My point is that our real estate specific CRM enables us to use zapier to integrate 3rd party apps. Has done for about 4years.

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      2. barryscott

        Isn’t this in normal terms (and less American) called an Open API – which a lot of the suppliers actually do (Rezi/Agent OS for example)? My question is – what are the costings of this because as a supplier who has tried for an integration before, they wanted a hideous amount to integrate even though a lot of their clients wanted our product – its always been a closed door as they had their favourites

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        1. propTechSpecialist82

          A PAAS is certainly not an API. An api only allows data to be shared. A PAAS allows applications to be written inside/outside  Reapit software and to use the reapit infrastructure and services to build native applications. It’s akin to developing using the Apple SDK or salesforce lightning. Sounds like the event will be worth signing up for 

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          1. AgencyInsider

            Thank you propTechSpecialist82. I literallly have no idea what any of that means. 🙂

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      3. iainwhite87

        If their are options currently on offer from overseas that are UK ready of course compare and decide

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    2. Bless You

      By the time you realise it is , your game will be over.

       

      I will change to reapit if what they say works.  Open source, API technology has taken far to long to hit our industry.

      The other CRM’s should take note and quickly.  Holding our data and controlling our WEbsite designers shoudl be illegal.

      Did you realise EXPERT AGENT just let 100’s of websites expire with google maps not working.

      They also have many websites with out SSL status ( which costs £35) …..  using an excuse that 2 year old websites are now defunct.

      Time to get at our data and produce real products that actually do something.

       

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  2. Jrsteeve

    Great, but what if you don’t want Reapit?

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    1. iainwhite87

      If you don’t want Reapit but do want a CRM with the new capabilities in the article source one that does what you want. Reapit can’t be held responsible for other CRMs policies. 

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  3. RBMDR

    Based on the Apple Store, just does not work on an Apple Mac!

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    1. mousey999

      Brilliant!

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  4. watchdog13

    The CRMs need to evolve and treat their customers as customers not prisoners. This seems like Reapit are looking to offer a better experience.

    On the whole the CRMs offer appalling customer service to the extent that you can’t even call some of them anymore and need to fill in web forms to which they may or may not respond.

     

     

     

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    1. BenNorthEast62

      I have only had to use one CRM, I find them very useful. Whenever I have a problem they answer and regardless of how simple an explanation it requires they are always polite and efficient

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    2. iainwhite87

      I agree what is not to like about this giant step forward by a popular CRM 

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  5. Andy Halstead

    Well done Gary and the Reapit team. This is a tough market and agents need all the support they can get. Collaboration is key, it is very difficult for agents to wade through all of the Proptech on offer.

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    1. Lil Bandit

      Could be a threat to your business in the future Andy!

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      1. Andy Halstead

         
        Hi Lil Bandit (love your nickname by the way) I guess you are right, however we face threats from competitors every day. The name of the game is being much better than the rest. For us customer service is everything and so far so good, we are keeping the predators away from our door. It’s only going to get more difficult in our market, having said that, lot’s of the so called ‘PropTech Disruptors’ who are dependent on investors to survive, will disappear. How long can firms like the ones we all know of, carry on burning cash each month?  Their days numbered. A good strategy is to pick partners that can be trusted and go all out to delight customers every minute of every day.
         

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        1. Lil Bandit

          Hi Andy, I couldn’t agree more. However, sometimes the predator changes its dietary habits and starts eating new prey outside of its initial food-web. That is when we need to really start worrying!

          Until then I agree with you good customer service and high end products can keep the wolves at bay, but can it stop the sharks?

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  6. Steve Dawkins Gazeal

    It’s a brilliant move and hats off to Gary and the team. Anything that enables collaboration and increases efficiency should be championed. We are delighted to be part of the Innovation Collaboration Group of PropTech and service providers who will form part of the inaugural group to link in.

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  7. smile please

    I guess they need to do something to justify their ludicrous pricing and delay to onboarding.

    Cant really see this as a game changer, probably nice for the suppliers being put in a shop window but that’s about it.

    How about next step making it Mac compatible, just a thought.

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  8. EmperorsNewClothes

    Too little too late, I’ve been with them for ages and it genuinely was a great company to deal with, George was harsh but fair. However it’s steadily and markedly going down hill in the last few years.

    Support which was never an issue is now abysmal with no one on the desk appearing to have even seen Reapit.

    On the various Facebook groups that many will be aware on here the groups are ablaze with stories from agents of terminally delayed or failed projects. Project managers telling agents that they don’t have the staff to roll out.

    And then again we know hear of more and more agents who are moving away.

    as for the actual story the strong feedback we get is that contrary to what’s been said sales have been flat and so like everything now at Reapit there’ll be a charge I saw no reference above as it seems to indicate it’s free . I bet it will be a massive fee for Agents and suppliers alike.

    Either way they’ve had their time and they are just the best of a bad bunch now and I’ll be reviewing what’s out there in the run up to Xmas. I guarantee they won’t be the only one with open Api’s As to mind LetMc and Dez Res already do.

     

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    1. mousey999

      Its not even an Open API

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  9. Property Poke In The Eye

    Sounds a bit confusing for me on this Tuesday morning. 😉

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  10. dave_d

    Absolutely stupid idea. Having third party suppliers creates serious long term issues. What happens when those suppliers stop updating their software, what happens if they discontinue it. When the software doesn’t work due to updates do you complain to Reapit or do you have to phone a third party supplier who has no customer service and a team of 3 who work from a coffee shop in Brixton…  – building my business around an “add-on” to a CRM system? I think not. 
     

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    1. anders83

      If an add-on is a good idea, there’ll either be more than one company making it or the one making it won’t discontinue. Building a business around automating menial tasks and focusing on your core competencies is worth looking at, and this move facilitates it.

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    2. iainwhite87

      It’s what everyone has wanted for a long time. If the add Ons don’t survive they were either not needed or replaced by a better solution of which you can switch to simply easily and with integration already gsurahteed ? 

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  11. ReapitMarketing

    For more information on the announcement of Reapit’s Foundations PaaS, please visit the Q&A with our CEO Gary Barker, available on the Reapit website, in the Resources | Latest News section.

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  12. Roadrunner65

    Well done Reapit, exciting times.  Collaboration is key and Viewber are delighted to be part of the Innovation Collaboration Group of PropTech and service providers who will form part of the inaugural group to link in.

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  13. Yomdel

    An excellent initiative from Reapit. Opportunity resides in integrating systems and data and the ability to potentially create a single view of the client is hugely beneficial. All too often I’m speaking with businesses (both in property and other sectors) where people are scratching their heads dealing with conflicting data and this acts as a real brake on business. As is mentioned further up this chain, integration and collaboration can combine to multiply opportunities for all involved.

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  14. RadPropertyDude

    isn’t all this already available in Jupix?

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  15. smile please

    Interesting reading the above comments.

    Lots of third party providers thinkig its wonderful, actual agents not too bothered. Kind of sums up the ‘proptech’ industry.

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  16. KByfield04

    Personally thought this would have been met with much more positivity than it has. Firstly, the opening up of integrations to enable Reapit clients to choose from a much broader range of 3rd party offerings whilst benefitting from comprehensive integration surely must be a good thing? Yes, there are CRMs ahead of the curve on this such as AgentOS/DezRez/Qube who facilitate fast, broad integrations- but the two biggest players Reapit & PSG/ZPG have always been criticised for taking a more ‘closed shop’ approach. This news should surely be music to the ears of agents wanting to develop a tech stack that delivers the services they want and need to execute their business strategy going ahead- make no mistake, if you are not at least thinking about this already you are at risk of being the next blockbuster. Then add on top of this the ability for agents to develop their own apps, fully integrated and customised to their own offerings and service ideal and this is huge. Personally, if I was a large agent on Reapit right now I would be hiring a dev team to develop/hack/break/fail and then ultimately fix things using a unique and bespoke blend of 3rdb part & in-house offerings/tools.

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    1. smile please

      How many true large agents are there in the UK? most are single offices or maybe a max of 4 offices turning over between 150 – 250k per annum per office (outside of London).
       
      There is some truely awful prop tech out there, Very few really good bits of kit that makes life better for both the agent and the client. 
       
      The Blockbuster anology is so tired when it comes to estate agency. One thing the onliners have taught us is its a people business, you cannot automate the industry, just does not work.
       
      What would be better is maybe Reapit invest in the products and developed them themselves. Give agents a reason to sign up to Reapit as they are forward thinking and adding more value to clients on an ongoing basis.
       
      I have had a number of demos from Reapit over the years, i still do not see why the average agent would pay such a massive amount for a system they probably use less than 50% of the features which is cheaper elsewhere.
       
      Its like a an 80 year old buying the latest AMG or M3 – Will never use it to its potential but likes to say they have it. And kind of sums up 90% of proptech, shiney, new, has lots of features but most will never use them as its not relevant to them. 
       
      Why dont third party suppliers sit down with normal agent and ask what they want?

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      1. htsnom79

        This.

        Why dont third party suppliers sit down with normal agent and ask what they want?

        Alto should be taken out and shot, I must make 5x the mouse clicks to do something estatecraft did effortlessly and intuitively, you can’t even say ok, this person wants to view that one that one and that one they all have to be done individually. click a viewing on the diary? Where’s the print particulars button? Oh no find the single line link click on that, over to the right of the screen and open property blah blah blah, whoever built that has never worked in an agents head, thing is I might be wrong and you can configure it to do these things but as part of a daily work flow you just get on with it rather than posting a ticket to support.

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  17. mousey999

    Can’t believe Property Industry Eye report the news as if this is new to the industry very lazy journalism.

    It is not even an open API very limited.

    Just because they have a good relationship with the Marketing team @Reapit.

     

    Agents go and educate yourselves there is software out there which you can integrate with, without the software dictating to you.

    Rezi and LetMC are much more advanced in this field.

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    1. propTechSpecialist82

      PaaS (Platform as a Service), as the name suggests, provides you computing platforms which typically includes operating system, programming language execution environment, API’s, database, web server etc. Examples: AWS Elastic Windows AzureHerokuForce.comGoogle App EngineApache Stratos. A lot more than just an API….

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  18. r29woolf

    Think this is a very logical move by Reapit and will help future proof them and retain clients – if executed well. And for me, it’s a big IF at the moment.

    The service and support has gone steadily down hill. Existing integrations with suppliers such as Moneypenny and Active Pipe break – seemingly because Reapit have changed stuff backend and not notified us leaving us for weeks without fixes. If they can’t get it right with companies they have decent relationships with now, I fail to see how they will successfully role this out.

    Or maybe as a small single office firm they no longer give a **** about moi which increasingly feels the case. Which really is a shame as I really like the software and until the last 6 months feel the service has been decent.

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