PropertyClan, a South African startup, is making professional-grade property investment opportunities to real people who might not otherwise have the insights to make the best investment decisions.
PropertyClan was founded by three experienced South African-born entrepreneurs in the United States (US) in 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred just as the app was about to go live, trapping two of the founders in South Africa. As a result, the company was founded in South Africa, with the country’s booming property market assisting in its early success.
The app enables users to invest in property investment like a pro by taking care of finding deals and analyzing them.
“In other words, PropertyClan provides ordinary people with the information they need to make smart property investment decisions even though they may not have the expertise. We help make real wealth-building property investments accessible to those who otherwise would not be able to access this lucrative investment class,” said co-founder Michael Egner.
“The PropertyClan app, and our team of investment strategists, help users to formulate an investment strategy and then delivers these deals directly to the user on a personalized basis, through the app. All the deals are pre-screened and analyzed by PropertyClan so that users don’t have to spend the time or have the skill to perform these analyses themselves.”
The app is suitable for seasoned investors as well as people who have always wanted to invest in real estate but had the knowledge or courage to do so on their own. Its four-step method involves finding suitable properties for you, matching them to your profile, facilitating the transaction, and managing the property for you. Users can sign up for free, or take advantage of a paid-for Prime membership that comes with a variety of discounts and perks.
So far, uptake has been impressive, with Egner saying that it is 400% ahead of the business plan.
“The company signs on between 100 and 200 new users every month,” he said. “The challenge has been to meet the demand with enough investment opportunities.”
The startup is meeting that challenge through partnerships, and is already in talks with potential offshore partners about making opportunities available in their countries to the PropertyClan user base.
Egner puts the high demand down to the significant gap PropertyClan is filling within the local real estate investment market.
“There was no tech solution for people wanting to enter the property investing space as hands-on investors. One can invest indirectly through REITs, share investing platforms and the like. But many people want to own directly, make their own portfolio decisions, and experience the full wealth-creating power of bank leverage,” he said.
“The biggest hurdle many of these potential investors face is a lack of knowledge when it comes to property investments which is where our app comes in.”
PropertyClan has thus far been funded by the co-founders’ own capital, and has managed to break even on all costs to date. Yet it does plan on raising funding in the near future.
“The company’s scale-up journey lies ahead and we will be looking to raise external venture capital within the coming months. This will assist in building out the South African operations as well as assist us in launching our offshore investment opportunities and opening the platform to users abroad,” said Egner.