We caught up with Gary Barker at the Reapit HQ in Farringdon to find out more about the exciting launch of Reapit’s Foundations Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that was announced this week.
Q) There is a lot of buzz about the Foundations PaaS, but what is it?
A) It’s certainly one of our most exciting projects in the pipeline. The Foundations Platform-as-a-Service is intended to accelerate global PropTech innovation by enabling PropTech companies and agencies to build upon and integrate with Reapit’s award-winning platform. We see this as a game changer in the PropTech market, speeding up innovation and unleashing unlimited choices for our customers to extend their customer journey management. We are very pleased to be the first property CRM in the UK to open its platform and customer database to external developers.
Q) Why did Reapit choose to open their platform to external developers?
A) We are seeing increasing demand from PropTech companies to integrate with Reapit’s CRM, as well as increasing demand from our customers for wider integration opportunities to customise their software. We believe that there is a big opportunity to drive an entire ecosystem of innovation, and it gives us the chance to collaborate with other industry leaders on universal data standards for the PropTech sector. By opening up our platform as a service and making it easy to develop new tools using the Reapit cloud database, scalable infrastructure and CRM software, we can significantly expedite global innovation in the property industry, and offer an unlimited choice of tools to help our customers with their business growth.
Q) Reapit Foundations sounds great! What benefits does it offer to developers?
A) Reapit’s CRM solution is a natural platform for innovation as it sits at the heart of property agencies’ customer journeys; from marketing properties, building new prospect databases, and tracking sales and tenancy progression, to managing landlord and tenancy relationships. Allowing third-party PropTech companies and agency developers to create new apps and solutions that extend Reapit’s Agency Cloud and Property Cloud software, and distributing them to our customer database, will significantly speed up customer innovation for agencies, simplify IT management and create a global standard for customer data sharing and management across the PropTech industry.
The Foundations platform will offer a self-service developer portal with registration, documentation sandbox and analytics will be available for third-party PropTech companies and agency developers to create new apps and solutions that extend Reapit’s Agency Cloud and Property Cloud software, and can be distributed securely within an organisation or published to the Reapit marketplace, providing full access to Reapit’s customer database of over 40,000 global users.
Q) Do these benefits extend to Reapit customers as well?
A) Even more so. The real exciting part about Foundations is that it empowers our customers to also develop on the platform. They can create unique apps and workflow solutions tailored to their unique business requirements to give their business a competitive edge. Reapit customers will also have access to a curated app marketplace that will allow them to quickly and easily choose third-party solutions that have been fully tested, certified and integrated into the Reapit platform. We view this as a huge game changer for the industry that will ultimately make it unnecessary for property agencies to develop their own CRM or software.
Q) Will our competitors also be able to build on the platform?
A) Reapit is committed to ensuring that we continue to innovate our software to maintain the trust of our customers as their vendor of choice. We also believe that a healthy ecosystem drives competition for greater consumer options. If a third party creates a tool or feature that solves a problem better than our own software, we welcome having it on our platform and available to our customers. But we know our customers want a fully integrated workflow and streamlined processes – that’s why they chose the Reapit platform after all – and we’re confident there will be demand from our customers for any features developed externally through the PaaS to be accessible through the Reapit software User Experience environment to simplify workflow, training and office productivity for their businesses.
Q) We recently rebranded our core software offering and introduced Agency Cloud and Property Cloud; is this platform a part of that?
A) Agency Cloud and Property Cloud were rebranded to headline our story of innovation; offering two unique and powerful software solutions for both back-office productivity and front-end consumer engagement. We want to give our customers the best CRM on the market that is easy to use and consistently drives new growth, requiring us to constantly innovate to stay on top of the market and to deliver the products agencies can use to drive new growth. Opening the Reapit platform up to external developers encourages early collaboration to accelerate the innovation process which will enhance the entire customer journey. For us the Foundations PaaS is a logical continuation of our innovation story.
Q) Will there be a charge for this service?
A) The commercial details of the Foundations PaaS are still being finalised so I can’t comment on that just yet. However, there will be a usage charge for any developer wishing to deploy their products on the PaaS. But there won’t be a development fee and we won’t be asking for any commission from our partner sales. Our aim is to increase our user base, hence our focus on usage fees. Ultimately, we believe this will be more cost efficient for our partners and help accelerate innovation and the adoption of data standards.
Q) Would that also apply to existing customers of Reapit software?
A) Reapit customers also won’t be charged any development fees for the Foundations PaaS. And any property agencies who are licensed to use Reapit’s Agency Cloud and Property Cloud solutions can develop and deploy in their own environments on the PaaS as part of their licence agreements at no extra cost. But there will be a usage fee if an agency wants to publish and sell their products or features through the Reapit marketplace app store.
Q) When does the service go live?
A) The PaaS portal will be available for developers to register and start to test development by the end of this year, with a full launch taking place during January-February 2020. We already talking with our partners in the ICG (Innovation Collaboration Group) to help beta test the service and demonstrate the platform at our ISV Partner Program launch event in November. Any PropTech company interested in getting more information on the PaaS and coming to our partner launch can register for the November event today on the Reapit website.
Q) Will you make the PaaS available globally?
A) We are initially launching in the UK, but many of our customers have agency branches in other countries so we’re certain that global access will follow quickly.
Q) Reapit recently purchased the market-leading CRM in Australia, Agentbox. Will Agentbox be part of Foundations PaaS?
A) Yes, but not immediately. We are starting with the Reapit Agency Cloud platform in the UK. And we’re currently hard at work integrating the Agentbox CRM software with Reapit’s property management and trust accounting software. But the PaaS will eventually include Agentbox cloud software.
Q) Can you share any future plans beyond the launch for the PaaS?
A) Our long-term vision and roadmap for the Foundations Platform will be unveiled and demonstrated at our ISV Partner event in November. And this is only the beginning of the journey. What’s really exciting to me is the potential of where this technology roadmap will take the PropTech market. Single customer data standards and global software solutions for property CRMs don’t exist yet, so we’re at this frontier opportunity to not only be the first in both areas, but to deliver the gold standard for industry expectations. And I see our technology vision leading innovation across the entire CRM software market, not just PropTech.