Marcel Zeier, director at Comcorp (middle), with Andrew Kumm (left) and Deon Basson (right), both directors at RED-i, at the Comcorp offices.
Comcorp Mortgage Software, the specialists in bond origination and tracking software, and RED-i (Real Estate Development Interactive) have integrated systems from each company to revolutionise property development sales management, bond application and approvals, and transaction tracking processes, by creating a “platform of convenience to push and pull critical information to each system in order to allow for the seamless communication of real-time information,” say the directors of the two companies, Marcel Zeier of Comcorp and Andrew Kumm of RED-i.
In the year 2000, Comcorp revolutionised the mortgage bond application process in South Africa by introducing the first electronic home loan application system for banks and bond originators. The Comcorp Switch is a middleware software application that interfaces with all major South African Banks, i.e. ABSA, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank as well as FNB Housing Finance, Housing Investment Partners (HiP) and SA Homeloans. BondTrak is their front end data application which is used by bond originators and developers to submit validated loan applications to multiple banks. The software also allows users to track the status of loans, receive decisions and view management reports. SmartDoc is their imaging front end which allows the user to submit documents electronically, thereby eliminating lost and unclear documents.
RED-i (who have been developing software for the property development industry since 2002) have, too, changed the way property developers can manage the sales in their developments through SiMS (Sales Information Management System), which currently allows industry professionals and stakeholders access to their marketing leads (CRM) and to monitoring and updating their relevant key milestones in property sales transactions. RED-i’s goal, however, was never to re-invent the wheel in recreating specialist functionality already found in other market leading industry systems, but rather to get the various systems to work together and “talk to each other”, says Kumm.
Zeier said that they found the two companies have many of the same clients, which meant two sets of data were being created, and in order to avoid the duplication of work, the two companies decided to collaborate and work out a way for all the pertinent information to be stored in one place.
In the past, a sale would take place and the estate agent would then contact the bond originator to get the bond application process started. Now with the integration process, the bond originator is automatically notified once a unit is listed as sold on the SiMS system and all the relevant unit and client information is sent through electronically to Bondtrak. The agent no longer has to manually send this to their bond originator but can now rely on the originator picking it up automatically on their mortgage software front end. The lead will be accepted by the originator and will automatically send a message back to SiMS. All subsequent status updates are then automatically sent to SiMS and the agent is notified accordingly.
“This speeds up the whole process and streamlines the transaction by not having to manually pull files or waiting for status updates,” said Zeier.
Affordable housing is a major focus for both RED-i and Comcorp, where the margins are extremely tight and it is important for these developers’ projects to run efficiently. Their business model works on volume, and time delays and errors therefore need to be removed or minimised if they are to be successful, said Kumm.
The system benefits property developers in their reporting accuracy as all the information is up to date and current and they can rely fully on all the information being available from one source, to save time and energy in collating the necessary information when needed to report to their financiers. The benefits, all in all, said Kumm, are that there is:
- Automated deal tracking;
- Real time reporting;
- No more duplication of information;
- Information flow is immediate, with less reliance on admin teams having to chase each other for information;
- Cost saving and productivity improvements; and
- A competitive advantage for clients by creating a more responsive/agile businesses environment.
Valumax, the developers who specialise in the development of integrated housing projects, and e-Homeloans were the pilot. Zeier says that with the upsurge in the developer market, the timing is right to release something as innovative and efficient as this integrated system.
“Ultimately, with all development sales,” said Kumm, “the developer needs to see the units being sold, he needs to know that the finance will be there and that there is consistency and speed in the way things are handled. We are offering systems that do what they need, when they need it.”