After years of resistance, software solutions are finally being adopted by more and more real estate players – thanks in no small measure to Covid-19. We caught up with Philippe Raynaud, CEO of Progetis, and Caroline Basecqz, CEO of Smartbeam, to discuss the current state of affairs.
Progetis: Two Decades Of Innovation
Progetis, formerly easySolutions, has been part and parcel of Luxembourg’s real estate sector for nearly two decades. Led by CEO Philippe Raynaud, Progetis is known for being one Luxembourg’s leading providers of real estate software solutions.
Their solutions specifically aim to simplify all tasks related to property management. They include CRM software (Easy2Pilot), project management software (Optimis Projects), as well as different types of rental management software (Progestion and Prosyndic).
For the largest part of the past two decades, the digitalisation of Luxembourg’s real estate sector has progressed at a very slow pace. A closed market, high margins and low barriers of entry have kept the incentives for digitalisation low. The pandemic put an end to this and seems to have given the sector the push it needed.
“When Covid-19 happened, a lot of people quickly understood that they had to change their outdated workflows and digitize their solutions. So Covid-19 was good for us because suddenly many clients planned to go digital,” says Philippe.
Whereas Covid-19 was generally speaking a pretty bad time for business, Progetis and many other PropTech actors benefitted from the consequences.
“For us it was a very good time, because two years ago we created an entirely new range of software with updated technology. So just before Covid-19 arrived we had updated everything and had new software that was all interconnected,” explains Paul Raynaud.
With software solutions more in demand than ever, Progetis is constantly working on updating its solutions to stay competitive and give their clients the tools they need to become more efficient and cost-effective.
“There is a big demand for accounting software. In Luxembourg, it is very hard to find accountants because they are all working for the Big Four or they are very expensive. That is why we developed our solution called Prosyndic,” says Philippe.
“We are building the first platform that gives instantaneity, reliability and visibility to construction budgets.”
Smartbeam: Budget Management Made Easy
Formerly a project engineer in the field and a financial manager of a construction company, Smartbeam’s co-founders Caroline Basecqz and Florent Coninck were frustrated by the lack of collaborative solutions focussing on the financial side of their work.
The entrepreneurial spirit caught hold of them and they decided to found Smartbeam, a financial management platform which helps construction professionals keep a firm grasp on their budgets by automating and streamlining budget-related tasks.
“With Smartbeam we are building the first platform that gives instantaneity, reliability and visibility to construction budgets,” says Caroline. “Teams can collaborate more efficiently on one single platform to track work progress and expenses against budget in real-time and get a clear overview on the financial situation without having to go through Excel sheets or emails.”
Creating “True Partnerships”
Often organised in closed silos, the construction sector’s many stakeholders have a tendency to run into communication problems.
“Siloed communication patterns have always promoted the refuge in contracts that transferred the risk to the other party. Collaborative solutions have helped both sides achieving more transparency and true partnerships focusing on what’s best for the project,” says Caroline.
Looking forward, Smartbeam is already working on synchronising budget information with Building Information Modeling (BIM). In the future, Caroline expects BIM, along with 5D solutions and augmented reality solutions to lead to significant improvements along the construction sector’s entire value chain.
This article was first published in Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Get your copy.