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Technology adoption is key to transforming real estate

It is not enough that clients be interested in a technological solution, the product must make their lives and their work easier and at times, enjoyable

The real estate sector, as with most progressive sectors of any economy, is fast embracing and adopting new technological tools to enhance efficiency, increase output and maximise profits. Real estate developers, property owners, suppliers, real estate agents and consumers of real estate products have in the past relied on scattered, non- integrated cumbersome ways of interacting and doing business. Through the use of technology, this is increasingly changing.

Technology that offers solutions to real estate agents or to home owners or to tenants or to individuals looking for hotel accommodation have one thing in common: They have to solve a problem for the end user. At the end of 2016, SOSTEC Inc, a company that has been offering ICT solutions in Somalia since 2006, introduced a new product called Deegaan. Deegaan is a property management solution platform. It was created with the hope of offering solutions to any person in property management. Individuals charged with managing hotels, restaurants, apartments, guesthouses and the like can do their job using the platform.

At its core, Deegaan was created to solve three main problems; back-end issues that deal with finance and accounting, online bookings and reservations, and the need for a centralised system for easy management of data and all property management related activities. Deegaan is an online platform where the owners of the property can log in and check the status and manage their property regardless of what part of the world they are in.

Zahara Ibrahim, the founder and CEO of SOSTEC Inc, the company that offers Deegaan, says that Deegaan can be broadly categorised into three: Deegaan R that offers solutions for hotels and restaurants specifically. This deals with issues like takeaways, deliveries, cash management, kitchen order shop, meal management etc.

“The client should not only find value in the product; they must be empowered by it, be knowledgeable enough about it to be confident to use it, and more importantly, the product must make their lives and work easier.”

Zahara Ibrahim, CEO and Founder of SOSTEC Inc.

Then there is Deegaan Bro, which is Deegaan property management solutions for all and handles bookings, reservations, accommodations, property listings etc. This can also work for hotels and restaurants too.

And finally, Deegaan-this works for property management only- for apartments, residential housing estates, commercial enterprises etc.

Her clients see sense in the solutions that she provides. Over time, the company has moved from exclusively seeking out clients, to receiving interested clients who seek them out on their own. Yet this, however good, is still not enough. The property managers, property owners, hotel managers and apartment seekers should not only find value in her product, they must be empowered by it, be knowledgeable enough about it to be confident to use it, and more importantly, the product must make their lives and their work easier.

In some ways, she is winning on this front. Her platform offers practical solutions to everyday business related problems. Take the case of her back-end solutions. Before she came into the picture, business owners had a tough time tracking payments and balancing their books in cases where accountability and transparency was not instilled in the workers, especially those workers that handle cash or the financial aspects of the business.

Today, any accounting, payments and balance sheet statements can be monitored and tracked by the businessman through her integrated system.

With a team of 20 committed and able workers, they focus on the clients, collaborating with them and involving them in the product development as much as possible, asking for feedback and re-tweaking the product on and off, because with technological solutions, the only way everyone goes home satisfied and happy with the product is if everyone is involved in its creation.

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