Category Advice

REAL estate agents in South Africa are benefitting big-time from MyCe, an innovative, online tracing portal which some have rated as the best thing since sliced bread, among them Owen Dormehl, who heads the Dormehl Phalane Property Group with Tau Phalane.

Dormehl points out that he discovered MyCe seven months or so ago, and now some 280 of the company’s agents countrywide are already reaping the rewards of the online service.

MyCe was developed by the Johannesburg-based Dracore, a company specialising in data solutions and software development, and providing solutions to a multitude of industries.

Chantelle Fraser, the chief executive officer and founder of Dracore, who works with a highly innovative team to take to market game-changing solutions, points out that, in a nutshell, MyCe is a customer engagement platform.

“MyCe is our abbreviation for My Customer Engagement. The platform is focused on enabling South African estate agents to build rapport with homeowners in the suburbs they work in”, she explains, adding that it includes a number of essential modules that an estate agent would use.

One of the many benefits of using MyCe, explains Owen Dormehl, is that agents are constantly taking strangers out to property viewings but have no idea who they are dealing with. MyCe is a big help there, he says.

“MyCe gives the agent the ability to do a basic ‘Know Your Customer (KYC)’ check before placing themselves in a potentially tragic situation,” explains Fraser.

“The Dormehl Phalane Property Group have embraced the MyCe solution to protect their agents and also to enable the agent to understand who the consumers are that arrive at show days, to give their sellers peace of mind.”

One of the most important modules in MyCe is the CRM module, which stands for Customer Relationship Management, says Fraser.

“MyCe has been created to assist estate agents to record and maintain important information about their contacts, so they never miss a chance to deliver great service to a homeowner in their suburb.

“To put this into perspective… if we assume that one suburb in South Africa has 5 000 homes in it and there are 10 000 people who own these homes, it is impossible to build personal relationships if you do not record and maintain information after each engagement you have with a homeowner.”

MyCe, Fraser explains, gives an agent the ability to, firstly, ask the homeowner if they would like the agent to stay in communication with them. Should the homeowner reply positively, this is recorded as an opt-in, also known as consent.

MyCe enables estate agents to have access to a Rolls Royce solution at a rate that is not a barrier to entry, she adds.

The platform provides a complete list of properties registered with the deeds office; contact details for current property owners linked to these properties; and information on how long an owner has owned the property

Why was MyCe developed? The answer to this is quite simple, says Fraser.

“There are some phenomenal solutions available in the market today that can help estate agents streamline and manage their businesses, but none that has been built with the South African estate agent in mind – and with a price tag that makes it all possible,” says Fraser.

“There are many estate agents that deliver excellent service to clients, but because they are commission earners we need to understand that every day they are focusing on finding new business so they can earn a living.

“Over and above this, the past clients to whom they delivered excellent service gradually lose touch and simply forget who the estate agent is. As a result the percentage of repeat business that estate agents get in South Africa is dismal to say the least.

“Some 82% of homeowners say they would be happy to work with their estate agent again but, in fact, only 12% ever do. Consumers can own a home for many years and if an estate agent does not have a solution that can support them in a position that maintains contact with past clients, this will never change.

“So we created to MyCe to help estate agents continue delivering excellent service through high-impact content communication that happens at the right time.”

Adds Fraser: “Our clients that have chosen to deploy MyCe into their businesses, as a solution to manage their businesses, are inputting business-critical data into their MyCe profiles.

“An example of this would be our MyCe subscribers that capture sales deals and use MyCe to create all their commission splits.

“Our customer security is our highest priority and, thus, our choice to deploy Comodo security. This means that any data that is submitted to MyCe over the https connection is securely encrypted with the strongest available algorithms.”

Fraser maintains that estate agents, whether they want to hear it or not, will find POPI (Protection of Private Information) to be the biggest disrupter in the real estate industry in 2018.
She elaborates: “As the Information Regulator continues educating consumers on their rights when it comes to personal information, estate agents are going to be on the back foot if they do not have a plan… and, more so, a practical way to demonstrate they are taking every step to ensure compliance.

“Some agents are of the opinion they will just deal with POPI when it happens, but the Dormehl Phalane Property Group has deployed a POPI compliance strategy throughout their organisation to ensure their agents are on the front foot, and that they can demonstrate to their clients that they take their clients’ rights to privacy seriously,” says Fraser.

Repeat and referral business are very important revenue streams for an agent, she points out.

“If they do not find a solution to maintain contact with past clients they will not put themselves in a position to increase the repeat business rate of 12%. It is not possible to manage this or get this right by simply making notes in a black book.

“The Dormehl Phalane Property Group has embraced technology and support, and encourages its estate agents to learn and master MyCe for the overall group’s success.”

Asked to comment on an issue in which Dracore was accused of data leakage last year, Fraser replied: “In October 2017, a blogger by the name of Tefo Mohapi published a blog titled ‘Is Dracore Data Sciences responsible for South Africa’s biggest data leak?’

“Dracore’s public relations and legal teams immediately provided confirmation that this leak had nothing to do with Dracore, and advised all the media houses that the data mentioned in the blog belonged to another company.

“Dracore was cleared in the media within four hours but because people seem to read what they want to read, many of Dracore’s competitors still talk about, ‘Dracore’s Data Leak’.

“Dracore has gone through stringent audits by regulatory bodies and independent security companies to demonstrate at all times that Dracore runs a business with the highest security for its clients in mind.

“Dracore is not going anywhere and continues to grow from strength to strength,” she adds.

Fraser has spent 18 years in the financial services sector. During this time, she was regional manager for both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal regions, looking after Home Loans portfolios for FNB and Nedbank.

During her career in the banking sector, she was “privileged” to have been mentored by Philip Hourquebie, the CEO of Ernest & Young.

Fraser relocated to Gauteng in 2007, and has been involved in Greenfield operations, which included setting up Asili Risk Management, a debt-collections business that had tremendous success.

She founded Dracore in 2013 and has dedicated herself to building a successful business that delivers unsurpassed solutions to its clients. With a big vision, she has surrounded herself with highly skilled individuals to ensure the business grows steadily.

Discussing MyCe further, Owen Dormehl remarked that the platform also worked well for real estate management.
“It also allows management to hold agents accountable and provides a means for clients to get detailed feedback should they request it,” he says.

Another plus is that, were agents to perhaps get into dispute, say regarding commission, info available could help in any legal ramifications, says Dormehl.

Author: Billy Suter

Submitted 22 Feb 18 / Views 548