When I cofounded the company alongside our CTO, Emre Kazan, it was down to our own personal experiences, which recognised property management could and should be better.
The property business runs in my family and generations before me have been involved in the industry, so after spending time working in finance at global organisations like HSBC and Nomura, moving into property was a step I had previously envisaged taking and in 2013, we launched Plentific.
Tell me about the business – what it is, what it aims to achieve, who you work with, how you reach customers and so on?
Plentific is the world-leading property technology solution that’s powering the real-time revolution in real estate. Our end-to-end solution seamlessly connects landlords, property managers, service providers, and tenants on a single platform, with a clear goal: to make operations simpler, faster and more efficient.
We work with large landlords to reduce their operational costs, unlock revenue and streamline their operations. All of this allows them to focus on other areas such as building new quality homes By streamlining operations, we also allow the relationships between landlords and tenants to prosper and increase overall satisfaction. Areas of our offering, such as compliance, also mean that tenants can be safe in the knowledge that the buildings they occupy are safe to live in.
In the UK, we work with almost all of the G15, which is an organisation made up of the largest housing associations in and around London and the rest of the UK, and in the last couple of years, we’ve expanded into the US and Germany.
How has the business evolved since its launch? When was this?
I cofounded the company in 2013 alongside our CTO, Emre Kazan, and since then we have gone from strength to strength. In the time that’s passed since, we’ve gone from two people around a kitchen table in South London to more than 300 employees, with four international offices in the UK, Germany, Turkey and the USA (and members of the team across 32 countries).
We’ve also launched several key initiatives in the industry since we began, including The Women’s Trade Network. The network is an initiative we founded in 2021 specifically to provide advice, support, mentorship and access to training and job opportunities for women seeking a career as a tradesperson.
In the decade since our launch, we’ve built up a network of 20,000 service providers, helping to serve over a million properties worldwide.
Tell us about the working culture at Plentific
As one of Europe’s fastest growing companies, we are always on the lookout for great talent to join our teams and we want to work with the best people in the UK, US, Germany and remotely.
The three words we’d use to describe our culture are open, empowering and fast paced. Our core values are all about us being human, together, exceptional, pragmatic and client-centric. We value feedback and diversity of thought, encouraging our teams to foster a sense of entrepreneurship to solve problems and help improve lives.
How are you funded?
Through private equity and most recently in 2021 raised $100M in Series C funding. This was led by new investors such as Highland Europe, Brookfield Technology Partners, Mubadala and existing investors, A/O Proptech and Target Global.
In Europe we’re now one of the fastest growing companies, with revenue growth of 1,900% in the past four years.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome this?
Scaling the business to the size it is today has certainly been one of our biggest challenges, and the key to this has been investing in client relationships.
In the UK, we began by running small pilots with housing associations to test our offer and demonstrate how powerful it could be. This led to the benefits of our model vs traditional ways of working being recognised by clients and expanding our portfolio with them.
In this industry, word of mouth travels and news of our offering soon spread from clients, enabling us to continue our growth, both in terms of our offering and client portfolio.
How does Plentific answer an unmet need?
In a world where immediacy is currency, property operations have lagged, with limited visibility and outdated processes causing delays, inaction, and frustration for residents. Plentific addresses these issues and makes real-time property operations a reality by connecting all relevant stakeholders in property operations, from the landlord to the service providers and tenants.
When we founded the company, we identified significant limitations to traditional property management processes and were compelled to create a technology solution to overcome these.
Another need we address is the call to create opportunities in the communities that our clients serve. We do this by matching local trade talent to nearby jobs via our marketplace.
What’s in store for the future?
In 2022 we launched in the US and have big plans to expand rapidly there. This includes continuing to grow our team there to support client acquisition and building out our marketplace of service providers.
Looking further ahead, we have plans to expand into other markets as we continue to establish ourselves as a truly global organisation.
What one piece of advice would you give other founders or future founders?
My one piece of advice would be to invest in the people around you. Emre and I have been lucky enough to work with some of the most talented, dedicated and committed people in markets around the world, and they have been at the heart of making our success possible.
And finally, a more personal question! What’s your daily routine and the rules you’re living by at the moment?
My daily routine includes waking up at 5am and having a shot of ginger and turmeric before jumping on my peloton bike until 6am.
6 – 8am is time to spend with my three children, making them breakfast and helping get them ready before heading off on the school run. Then I head into the office for a busy day but always make sure I leave by 6 so I can be home in time for bedtime stories. I then have dinner with my wife before logging back on to check in with our team in the US.
Driving is time that I use to reflect and using other transport is when I have time to read. My rules to live by are prioritising sleep, a healthy diet and a balance between work and family life.
Cem Savas is the CEO of Plentific.