Andrei Duță, Country Manager Romania at Realpad spoke to Property Forum about the openness of local residential developers to digitization solutions, but also about the company's expansion into other cities in Romania. Realpad will add digital solutions for the commercial and rental sector as part of an ambitious growth plan in the region.
This interview was first published in Property Forum’s annual listing of "The 50 most influential people on Romania’s real estate market”.
What are your expectations from the Romanian real estate market this year and are you planning to expand your local portfolio?
The Romanian real estate market has been in a period of instability since the beginning of the year, due to the situation generated by COVID-19, aggravated by the events at the northern border of our country. These crises have caused several problems related to the stocks of building materials and delays in their delivery deadlines. The upward trend in prices is continuing, mainly due to the rising costs of building materials, and developers have also moved to increase the prices of residential units for end customers.
As far as Romania is concerned, I focus on the country’s main cities. In Timișoara, we have seen openness to our solution so we have got our first customer in this city. At the moment, we are only offering services for residential developers in Romania, but we will bring our solutions to the commercial and rental sectors.
How open are residential developers in Romania to adopting digital tools that can streamline their operations?
Romanian developers are very open when it comes to digitisation, as they understand very well that it can improve both the way the whole business works and the satisfaction and work of team members. Many developers are actively looking for solutions to digitise as many departments as possible, some of them even frequently check the solutions available on the market, even if they already have similar solutions in place.
How competitive is the Romanian real estate market compared to other countries where you operate?
If I were to compare Romania with the Czech Republic, the company’s home country, I would say that Romania is a more competitive market, as many developers already use a solution similar to Realpad, but are not dedicated to the residential sector. Not all developers understand at first the importance of using the right tool for their needs, but when they do, the discussion changes considerably.
How can digitisation translate into profits for a real estate developer?
Digitisation is best translated by minimising human error, eliminating repetitive tasks, and taking full control of data and reports. We can say that human error can cause losses from a few euros to tens of thousands of euros and avoiding this potential risk can mean a lot for a company’s revenue and reputation.
At the same time, repetitive tasks can be performed by an automated system, during which time employees can better focus on the really important things that make the company profitable. Control over data and reports seems to me the most important thing in any company, as this is the main driver of growth. Once we have control of the information, we can see where improvements can be made.
What is the main goal for this year in terms of increasing Realpad’s footprint in the region?
Both myself and the whole team are focused on accelerated growth, with our goal for 2022 being to double the number of customers and the turnover. The strong presence we have in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania puts us in the position of market leader and Bulgaria is catching up with the first customers registered on the platform. We have recently entered Hungary and Serbia, with the main objective of strengthening our presence in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.
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