Carlos Matias, CEO and Managing Director
A few years ago, I (Carlos Matias) was looking to purchase a vacation home in Portugal.
I approached an agent and asked him to show me all the properties that were available in the area. “I have three properties that I can show you,” he said. Surprised, I asked, “Three? Aren’t there more?” The agent swiftly responded, “I can connect you with another agent who has some other properties available, and if you don’t like those, there are more brokers down the street.” As a buyer, this was frustrating and timeconsuming. Every time I met a new agent, I had to explain my requirements over again. Moreover, I never got a sense of how many properties were actually on the market. I needed to go from one agent to another until I finally found something I was content with.
This is not an isolated home buying experience; it’s commonplace outside North America. No wonder people find the home buying process distressing.
But, according to Matias, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Carlos Matias is the Founder of PropTech Solutions Group of Companies, including GryphTech and Phoenix Software. Together, these companies are flipping the status quo in international real estate by offering an uncomplicated and TOP 20 COMPANIES IN EUROPE - 2021 14 November - 2021 PropTech Outlook unified solution. They equip global real estate brands with an all-in-one real estate management platform that is designed to encourage and facilitate greater cooperation between agents, which in turn, provides a better experience for home buyers.
“Our platform enables tens of thousands of agents around the world to add and access property listings on a unified database,” he explains. “If a buyer were to go to an agent equipped using our platform, the agent would be able to show them a plethora of property listings in the area, all at once, rather than juggling through several agents, ensuring a far more streamlined buying experience.”
The Roots of Innovation
Today, PropTech Solutions Group of companies stand at the helm of real estate management innovation. However, their origins were not penned first in the real estate industry. The roots can be traced back to 1995, when Carlos Matias, a computer systems graduate originally from Portugal, was helping various leading organizations from different industries develop and deploy robust software solutions to optimize their workflows. As his client base expanded, he formed his own company in 1997—GryphTech—to enhance the scale of his software development services. During its inceptive years, GryphTech partnered with RE/MAX—an American-based real estate company with now over 6,800 offices and 140,000 agents around the world—as their client. This company sought to facilitate expansion among its growing network of agents across multiple countries through a unified platform that was customizable according to the local nuances (language, currency, regulations, etc.) of the regions where it is operating.
It did not take long for Matias and his company to develop and deploy a unique solution for RE/MAX, which ended up accelerating the growth overseas and contributing to the brand value. Over time, Matias realized that the challenges faced by RE/MAX were common throughout the real estate space—prompting him to pivot GryphTech to focus on the real estate sector.
Our platform enables 10’s of thousands of agents around the world to add and access property listings on a unified platform
“Leveraging GryphTech’s success, we later built The Real Estate Platform (REP) by Phoenix Software. REP is a robust lead-to-close platform simplifying and streamlining the global operations of international real estate companies while maintaining their localized touch at the regional level,” says Matias. “There was no looking back after that.” Balancing Standardization and Localization Today, many real estate companies that have been historically localized are starting to expand their presence on a global level. Typically, when companies expand into new countries, they prefer selecting a local real estate management solution that matches the needs and ethos of the market. But problems start to arise when the company opens numerous regions across the globe and is tasked to operate those using disparate and disconnected local solutions. Integrating data (including property listing inventories) from different software for overall organizational coordination and collaboration on a global level becomes next to impossible. This leads to not only operational silos but also incoherent workflow, derailing the company from implementing a unified growth strategy. How can that be fixed? Some may look to a standardized global solution. However, even they have their challenges. The global-scale solutions lack localization and customization, which often ends up impeding the workflow of agents and their ability to deliver a seamless buying experience to customers.
PropTech Solutions’ clients, however, are finding the perfect middle ground between ‘standardization’ and ‘localization’ by offering a balanced real estate management portfolio. The portfolio not only facilitates standardized and seamless exchange of data throughout their organization but also enables customization at the regional levels based on the requirements of agents and their customers.
Next-Generation Real Estate Management Solution
At the core of GryphTech’s robust real estate management solution is iConnect—an intranet platform connecting the various software modules used by a real estate company. By offering a unified home base, the platform enables agents and brokers to access all the data, tools, and resources they need to enhance the buyer experience and grow their business. Notably, iConnect is cloud-based, multicurrency, mobile-friendly, and multilingual supporting over 40 languages.
Simply put, agents and brokers from different countries can utilize the platform to collaborate, access information, add, manage, and promote listings from one holistic system. The same database can be used by any of the agents to show all the listed properties to relevant buyers. And when they close the sale, both the agent who listed the property on the platform as well as the agent who made the sale can collaborate and share the commission. What’s more? “Besides making the collaboration simple for agents,
we are also bringing a new level of ease for buyers through iConnect,” notes Matias.
“For instance, when potential buyers are registered by their agents onto the iConnect platform, they can be automatically matched with the best properties based on their specifications—price range, locality, unit type—facilitating a smoother buying experience.”
Similarly, Phoenix Software’s bespoke white-label solution—The Real Estate Platform (REP)—is a proven growth booster. Since the solution can be re-configured and re-labelled as per the requirements of any real estate company, they can make it their own and use it to track the important workflow of agents and brokers from regions across the world. Essentially, REP becomes a digital hub through which all agents from the network can collaborate, share listings and buyer details, and ultimately, enhance their business opportunities.
Paving the Path for Customer Success
Owing to Matias’s foresight, thousands of offices, agents, and property buyers in over 60 countries worldwide are witnessing ease and simplicity in meeting their needs. A case in point is a recent instance when GryphTech helped a region in Southeastern Europe enhance its lead generation capability. Initially, agents were leveraging local software—without CRM or reporting functionalities—to manage their property listings. Since the agents could not utilize the software to connect with buyers, it was impeding their lead generation ability. When they decided to partner with GryphTech, they immediately gained access to a robust real estate management tool, including a CRM. In no time, the region was able to promote greater collaboration between agents, connect seamlessly with buyers, and enhance their website with SEO—all resulting in increased lead generation. Even now, owing to the platform’s accurate property and lead tracking capability, the agents can get better commissions for their sales.
This is but one of the many customer success stories that PropTech Solutions Group of Companies has celebrated over the years. According to Matias, this success streak is not just the result of their cutting-edge solution. Equally compelling is the dedication of the company’s experienced workforce. “We travel to various events in the industry and meet with our clients to understand their needs,” mentions Matias. “The feedback and insights gathered become a crucial part of the company’s roadmap, as the product developers use it as a compass when developing new features or upgrading the existing solution portfolio.”
This collaborative nature between the company and its customer base is the reason why it has been able to retain market-leading clients for over 20 years. “Even former customers who had turned to explore new, low-cost solutions are now reimplementing our solution due to its effectiveness and integrated modules,” says Matias. “If I relate it to cars, it is not really about how it appears on paper, but more about its actual performance. The car has to be reliable enough to get you from one point to the other safely and quickly without breaking down. We are that reliable, performing automobile for driving your growth.”
To date, the solutions offered by GryphTech and Phoenix Software have done precisely that—offered unparalleled performance without hassle, by keeping customer success at the forefront of all decision making. To conclude, Matias refers to one of Bill Gates’ famous quotes, “I believe in innovation and that the way you get innovation is you fund research and you learn the basic facts.” This is exactly what GryphTech does and will continue to do.