Residential buy-to-let property is a much-favoured South African investment and now a new app provides you with the right tools so you can invest like a professional. The PropertyClan app provides a curated selection of off-market deals, complete with professional-level analysis, based on your personal investor profile. “We wanted to create an application that made investment-grade property investments accessible to anyone, regardless of their skills or experience,” says PropertyClan CEO, Michael Egner. The app was developed by dynamic young entrepreneurs Marnus Weststrate and Michael Egner who have pooled their considerable skills to address two of the biggest hurdles facing would-be property investors: sourcing the right properties and correctly analysing potential property investments.
Westrate is a chief technical officer who was one of the youngest South Africans to complete a doctorate in engineering after completing undergraduate degrees in computer and electronics engineering simultaneously. Egner is an investment analyst by profession and his expertise in deal-making and financial modelling is at the heart of the product’s design. The cofounders are experienced property investors in their own right, having had personal experience of the struggles people face when trying to get into the investing game.
How it works
The platform simplifies the investment process in four ways: it finds suitable properties for you, matches them to your profile, streamlines the entire transaction and, optionally, manages the property for you. Instead of searching for properties online, contacting estate agents and visiting countless properties that don’t meet your requirements or preferences, the PropertyClan app brings pre-analysed deals to you based on your specific investor profile. Your investor profile contains important information about you such as your risk tolerance and specific financial goals. “We need to understand our users to send the opportunities that are appropriate for them,” Egner says. Once you sign up, one of PropertyClan’s Investment Strategists will be in touch to assist you to create your profile through an in-depth discussion of your needs, preferences and risk appetite. The discussion helps to identify your financial aspirations and to determine what type of investment risks you are willing to take. “The risk of most investment products, such as unit trusts, is measured in volatility. Property isn’t so simple. Every property investment comes with multiple nuanced risks which can affect the investor in different ways – all of which we account for in our process,” says Egner. For instance, some investors are cash flow sensitive and will require investments to be profitable from day one, even if that means less capital gains.
Other investors may be more aggressive and willing to accept short-term pain for long-term gain. An important component of property investing is having all the necessary information. PropertyClan collects the data and crunches the numbers, providing you with the calculations you need to make an informed decision. This includes the estimated overall investment return which you can then compare to other investment opportunities you may be considering. The Google Maps integration on the app allows you to explore the area where a property is located. You can also view a 3D walkthrough of the property on the app. “You can participate in some of the country’s best opportunities from the comfort of your couch,” Egner says. Of course, if you prefer physical visits, these can always be arranged. To provide you with a reliable property-buying service, the PropertyClan team has lined up the best professionals in their fields – such as conveyancers, mortgage bond originators, and deal structuring experts – to deliver specialised services all via the platform.
How PropertyClan sources properties
Many of the best assets don’t make it to public platform listing sites because they are snapped up by professional investors before they get there, but now PropertyClan’s users can also have a bite at the cherry, he says. PropertyClan secures off market deals through its professional networks and partnerships. This includes offering properties that are about to be sold off by institutional investors and new developers. “More than 90% of the properties we analyse do not pass the screening criteria that are in place to protect our investors,” Egner says.
“For first-time investors, we usually have lower-risk properties available that are already tenanted. Our number one priority with beginner investors is to get them off to a solid start on their investment journey and grow them steadily into confident professional investors,” Egner explains. PropertyClan will also soon offer fractional investments where you will be able to purchase a portion of a large building with multiple tenants in it. All the founders walk the talk and, as seasoned investors, have personally invested in each of the projects they have made available on the app.
What is costs
Signing up with PropertyClan is free and you are not charged fees to use the app. Investors do not need to pay transfer duties or conveyancing and bond registration costs on most investment offerings. For repeat investors, PropertyClan has a paid membership called PropertyClan Prime. The perks include discounted property management and conveyancing fees and priority access to new deals. Prime membership costs R800 per month.
Signing up on the app
Egner says investors are signing up at a rate of 10 to 20 per day. More than 25% of its subscribed investors are already experienced in property investing. You can sign up by downloading the PropertyClan app on your device’s app store. Once you have gone through the complimentary consultation with an investment strategist to determine your risk tolerance, you start receiving property deals via the app. You can then either evaluate the property opportunities yourself or discuss them with one of PropertyClan’s investment strategists. “Signing up doesn’t commit you to anything. You can explore opportunities and discuss your interests with the team. You’re only committed when you sign the final paperwork on a deal,” Egner says. Go to www.propertyclan.com and sign up today to get onto the wealth creation snowball effect property investing offers.