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VM creates solution for bigger slice of residential property management market

VM Property Services Limited, VMPS, is going after a bigger slice of the residential property management market with the launch of a digital solution called Propman, a product that establishes the company as an early mover in the rollout of a fully digital property management solution locally.

Propman, which was developed by sister Fintech company VM Innovations, is the first branded product for VMPS, whose offerings were more focused on services including real estate sales and rentals, property valuations, property management and project management services.

It’s launch propels VM Property Services into a space where companies such as Buildium, DoorLoop and ManageCasa offer services internationally, but no local player is known to operate. Locally, VM Property Services competes with Sagicor Property Services and JN Property Management Limited for business, but neither of the two companies is known to offer a comprehensive digital property management service.

VMPS’ all-in-one property management system comes loaded with features to assist property management companies and individual property owners with security management, resolving maintenance issues, handling payments, monitoring community expenses, community communication and mailroom package management.

“Propman is not going to be your typical property management solution. There are others out there that exist, but we are placing special emphasis on community management, community organisation, safety, and security. All the services will come with the required security, audit, and login features,” said CEO of VM Innovations Maurice Barnes.

One of Propman’s security features includes control of visitor access.

“If you have visitors coming, you can log that person on the platform. The security personnel will have access to that information. A QR code is then generated, which is submitted to the visitor and which the security will scan on their arrival. Once access is granted, the homeowner will get an alert to say your visitor has arrived,” he said.

Propman is going after business from property management companies and landlords who own two or more properties. The property managers in turn are expected to provide access to the services to individual residents through community and homeownership associations.

VM Property signed an agreement with its first client, the Phoenix Park Village Association, last week, but is targeting 300 clients within the first year of operation. Its entry strategy includes discounted packages.

The pricing of Propman is tiered, but the cost on average is about $350 per month, Barnes told the Financial Gleaner.

In its current form, the system has three portals – one for the property management team, one for owners and another for security personnel. As the users grow, VMPS wants to add portals for commercial property landlords and tenants. Through the solution, commercial property owners will be able to vet applications from potential tenants, manage maintenance requests, and collect payments, among other usages.

The Propman platform is currently only accessible via its Website, but next month VM Property plans to roll out a mobile app with enhanced features that will facilitate Propman’s integration with smart home devices and partnerships with emergency services for faster response to medical and emergency requests within communities.

The cost associated with the buildout of the digital platform was not disclosed.

VM Innovations has a team of roughly seven individuals working on “market disrupting” projects, but the team also works with outside specialists on project execution.

A specific area Barnes wants to tackle in the property services arena is how long it takes to acquire a property in Jamaica, as well as to minimise the bureaucratic delays in the property acquisition process. He said the pandemic has basically doubled the time it takes for a homebuyer to take possession of their property, from 60 to 120 days on average.

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