With the deal, VaultrRE’s CRM product will have 34% market share. Image – Canva.
  • Harcourts have 600 real estate offices in Australia and New Zealand
  • They will endorse and migrate all offices over to PTG's VaultRE CRM system
  • The deal will make VaultRE the clear market leader, with 34% market share

After acquiring Brisbane-based Website Blue design company last month, ASX-listed PropTech Group (ASX: PTG) has signed a letter of intent with the Harcourts real estate group, endorsing its client relationship management system (CRM) VaultRE.

This means that the largest real estate group in New Zealand, one of the big three franchise groups in Australia, will now be using PropTech’s VaultRE as their CRM product.

VaultRE is already used by the other two largest real estate franchise groups in Australia, Ray White and Raine & Horne.

This is a nice tie-up for the listed company, and its shares duly rose to a three year high of 50 cents, capitalising PTG at more than $50 million.

“It is a great honour to be given the opportunity to partner with Harcourts. The PropTech Group’s mission is to streamline inefficient workflows in high-performing real estate agencies by investing in product improvement, rapid innovation, and AI solutions.

“We look forward to bringing our market-leading tools to the Harcourts’ network to migrate their 600 plus offices in New Zealand and Australia to the VaultRE platform.”

Joe Hanna, CEO and MD of PropTech Group

Harcourts and CRM

Harcourts was established way back in 1888, and has 900 offices in nine countries, including 600 across Australia and New Zealand. They also have a strong presence in South Africa, China, Indonesia, the USA and Canada.

In 1998, Harcourts launched their own platform (‘H1’) which included elements of a CRM. In the announced deal, the PropTech Group will take ownership of H1, will receive all associated revenues and provide support. In return, Harcourts will receive PTG shares and some pricing incentives.

“The proposed partnership with PropTech Group to replace H1 CRM components with VaultRE continues Harcourts’ long-standing commitment to industry-leading innovation and best of breed technologies.”

Steve Caradoc-Davies, Harcourts International CEO

Together, the two companies will work to migrate the 600 Australian and New Zealand offices over to VaultRE.

If this all goes through, then it will put VaultRE at around 34% share of the Aus-NZ market, making it the clear market leader.

The same playbook

If you think you’ve seen this before, you have. Back in 2003, CEO of Simon Baker acquired close property portal rival

Once that deal was done – a mix of $9M in shares and script – became the clear market leader. It marched onto a valuation of $1 billion by the time Mr Baker left in 2008, and today is valued at $17.7 billion.

Mr Baker went on to invest and help run various property portals around the world, including the iProperty Group, which was ASX-listed but run out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. iProperty became the prevailing dominant property portal in South East Asia, and was then acquired by the REA Group (who run in November 2015, at a reported valuation of $751 million.

Simon Baker is the Chair of Proptech Group.

VaultRE is run by the same team that pioneered real estate CRMs with MyDesktop in the early 2000s, led Scott Wulff. My Desktop was acquired by Fairfax, and last year Mr Wulff joined Mr Baker at the Proptech Group.

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