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Daniel Baur, emonitor: “digitization is still in its infancy in the real estate industry”

Technology has become the backbone of modern businesses, driving efficiency and competitive advantage.

From revolutionary mobile applications like VPNs, antiviruses, mobile games, and banking apps to disruptive technologies that turn industries on their heads, digitization has taken the world by storm.

Real estate, a sector often associated with traditional practices and lengthy paperwork, is no exception. As the industry grows more competitive, innovation is needed to enhance the renting and selling experience. Enter the game-changer: real estate management software – a solution designed to revolutionize how you handle your property portfolio.

To shed more light on the ins and outs of the real estate industry and how such software brings much-needed change, we sat down with Daniel Baur, CEO & Co-Founder of emonitor – a company that provides digital solutions to streamline real estate management processes.

What is the story behind emonitor? What has your journey been like since your launch in 2014?

Repetitive and administrative processes, combined with a lack of digitization – this is what we learned about the real estate sector during our work with the "Mehr als Wohnen" co-operative. We became aware of the project through Corinna Heye, one of the four co-founders of emonitor, who was looking for a digital solution for the project.

I was able to help them with this project because I already had experience in data analysis as the founder of a web and marketing agency. Through the project, we became aware of the potential for digital transformation in the real estate market. And so it was that emonitor was founded in 2016.

For the first three years after its founding, the company focused primarily on convincing the real estate market of the value of digital solutions to optimize rental processes.

After successful financing rounds, emonitor launched the "melon" product portfolio on the market. At the same time, the team at the locations in St. Gallen, Zurich, and Mostar was expanded with experts and diversified employees.

Can you tell us more about your real estate management software? What are its key features?

Our software "melon" digitizes the customer journey from the first contact with the customer up to the final digital signing of the contract for construction projects, first and re-renting, and real estate sales, as well as for reporting and analysis.

We thus contribute to an efficient process. This reduces the workload for tenants, management, owners, and investors. In addition, we need to create transparency in the real estate industry.

Our software is already in use at various property management agencies in cities, a large number of cooperatives, and companies. Since its foundation, emonitor has been able to process 320,000 applications and rent 60,000 apartments via the software.

Enabling faster and more efficient processing of rental and sales properties is the main feature of our software. This means that information can be accessed centrally, and appointments for apartment viewings, for example, can be made in an uncomplicated manner.

Automating processes reduces costs and allows resources to be redeployed. Our software thus benefits from a high level of data expertise, which creates added value for the real estate market.

How did the recent global events affect your field of work? Did you introduce any new features to emonitor as a result?

The coronavirus pandemic has shaped our everyday lives in many ways and led to significant changes, especially in the way we work. Working from home and using digital applications has become more common.

This positively impacted the use of our software solutions, especially as our software enables centralized storage of documents and contracts. These applications have become even more critical during the pandemic as they allow people to work regardless of location.

In this way, the acceleration of digitalization during the Corona pandemic had a positive impact on our field of activity, as companies relied on adaptations to maintain their position in the market and as an attractive workplace.

What other aspects of our daily lives do you hope to see digitized soon?

Digitization is still in its infancy in the real estate industry. Of course, I hope that the players in the industry will continue to open up to digitization and recognize the benefits in terms of resource savings.

But I do not only hope for this transformation process in the real estate industry but across all industries. A general openness, particularly in administrative and repetitive processes, would be very desirable. From an economic and social perspective, this could result in various advantages.

In this age of ever-evolving technology, what do you think are the key security practices both businesses and individuals should adopt?

Data protection plays a more significant role in our digital world than ever before. Every company and industry is affected by the topic.

From a business perspective, it's crucial to understand that proper protection against cyber-attacks comes at a cost. Companies that want to optimally protect their systems and data must regularly invest in up-to-date technologies and processes to protect themselves against threats.

Such processes can include education, employee training, the distribution of clear access and role concepts, and regular security software and hardware updates.

The individual also has to deal with the issue of data protection and privacy. Deciding what data you want to share and where to share it's essential. This is particularly important when using online services and sharing personal information.

What do you think cities are going to look like in the next few years?

I think that digitalization, in particular, will impact the development of cities in the coming years. Given the limited living space in cities and a growing population, the length of processes will continue to increase.

At this point, the increased use of digital applications would be very valuable. Among other things, our software solutions ensure to build what is needed and thus create the right living space.

However, the effects of digitization will affect not only the housing process but also various aspects of cities, such as infrastructure, mobility, housing construction, and waste disposal.

What tips would you give to someone looking to buy their first property?

Buying a property is a critical step in most people's lives and an exciting experience. Because it's such a big decision, it's essential to take the time to get as well-informed as possible. Careful consideration and not allowing yourself to be pressured is crucial to being satisfied in the long run.

Buying real estate is also a highly individual decision in which personal aspects are fundamental. Some prefer a property with a lot of green space, whereas others want to live in an urban environment. Location, size, amenities, or price are factors that play a significant role in the choice of property.

To find a property that will meet your long-term needs, you should set your priorities, know your needs, and take them into account when buying.

And finally, what’s next for the emonitor?

At the moment, we want to strengthen our position as the market leader in Switzerland and thus further increase the quality of our applications as well as adapt them more to the needs of our customers. In addition, we would like to implement our new product, "melon.sale", as a standard in the DACH region.

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