The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced a strategic partnership with :Different, which aims to digitally streamline the property management process for both investors and tenants.
CBA Group Executive of Retail Banking Services Angus Sullivan suggested the new technology provided by :Different would mitigate a “pain point” for many investors who are trying to manage multiple properties.
“[:Different is] revolutionising and digitalising the experience, not only for investors but also for tenants,” Mr Sullivan said.
“I think it’s an amazing proposition with our lenders and investors, as this is a substantial pain point in the investment space when you have two, three or more properties.”
:Different‘s co-founders Mina Radhakrishnan and Ruwin Perera believe digitising parts of property management will remove and reduce “pain points”, such as paperwork, administrative duties and manual tasks faced by property owners, investors and renters.
They aim to create an end-to-end management environment, but suggested they were still interested in working alongside the established industry.
“We want to help as many Aussies as possible find homes,” Mr Perera explained.
“Finance and homes are inextricably linked. We are a trusted partner in the home, and with CBA at our side, we will deliver value through reimagined products and services as the basis of a home platform, designed to service the needs of homes and the people who live in them.”
They also announced :Different has raised $25 million for its future plans, as it sets sights on expanding nationally with CBA’s 15 million customer base.
“We started :Different to look after the homes and the people who live in them. Our mission is to be the all-encompassing assistant to the home, and partnering with CBA brings us one step closer to achieving this,” Ms Radhakrishnan said.
“We are both aligned on the importance of providing great experiences and value to our customers, and this partnership means together, we’ll help millions of Australians access an end-to-end digital home buying solution.”
They hope to achieve these by streamlining the process to report, quote and manage maintenance requests through the :Different app, starting from when a tenant is just looking for a new property.
“It’s the entire journey from when you’re looking for a property, to moving in and moving out,” Ms Radhakrishnan said.
“What you want is that transparency and the feeling that somebody actually cares.”
She also suggested it would cut out wait-times, including “not having to travel an hour-and-a-half to a real estate agent”.
:Different has previously implemented services for managing rent rolls for agencies. According to their research, many rent rolls with under 150 properties under management struggle to maintain profitability.
Over time, :Different will be made available to CBA customers through the CommBank app, to support property investors with guidance throughout the entire home buying and owning journey.
Managing director of CBA’s venture-scaling entity x15ventures, Toby Norton-Smith, said they were aiming for a launch by the end of this year.
“The property sector is clearly a space where we feel we can develop the next generation of high quality digital services for home buyers, property investors and property managers,” Mr Norton-Smith said.