While it is now widely agreed that disruptive innovation is key to effective property funding structures and solutions, the imperative for providers of property finance to think out of the box extends beyond funding propositions; they also have a key role to play in helping to shape the future of the property sector as a whole.
That’s the view of Ken Reynolds, Divisional Executive: Nedbank CIB Property Finance, who contends that, as is the case for all areas of financial services, commercial property finance roleplayers must embrace and capitalise on disruptive technology as the foundation on which to build a long-term strategy for sustainable success.
Speaking on the backdrop of the 2018 South Africa Property Owners Association (SAPOA) Convention that took place last week in Durban, which this year had the theme ‘The future we create’, Reynolds emphasised the vital role that the South African property sector has to play in positively shaping the socio-economic future of the country, but that it can only be effective in this role, if it commits to thinking and acting differently.
“Disruption has quite rightly become something of a buzzword in most industries today, and none more so than financial services,” Reynolds explains, “but many organisations are still making the mistake of seeing disruption as something they need to respond to, when the reality is that it is something they need to lead at if they are to remain competitive and, more importantly, deliver the positive impact on society that they must.”
Reynolds argues that, when it comes to the disruption imperative, the property sector has as much of a responsibility, if not more so, to be leveraging future-focused technology and systems in order to deliver sustainable, positive, people-focused outcomes.
“Nedbank CIB Property Finance became the leading provider of innovative funding solutions to the SA property sector through our sustainability-driven, client-centric business approach, and that won’t change,” he explains, “but we also understand that retaining this leadership position, and remaining consistent in our delivery to our clients, require that we proactively leverage disruption as a strategic enabler.”
He points to a recent example of how Nedbank CIB is leveraging disruptive technology to go beyond merely partnering with clients financially, but also expanding the positive and transformative impact it is having on the SA property sector as a whole.
This includes the organisation’s implementation of the Infinity CRM System, which it has integrated into its SAP infrastructure with a view to ensuring highly effective client engagement and business management. The system not only enables seamless, web-based client onboarding and efficient relationship- and information management, it also provides a comprehensive 360 degree view of the client and all transactions.
“For us, one of the key objectives of technological innovation must be to enhance our ability to delight our clients,” Reynolds says, “and the Infinity system achieves this by enabling effective collaboration between all areas of Property Finance and Nedbank CIB thereby facilitating enhanced client experiences and excellent service levels.”
Reynolds concludes: “While disruption is vital for the future positive impact of the entire property sector, the real value of disruption as a strategic enabler of the future can only be fully achieved if the approach by sector participants goes beyond disruption merely for disruption’s sake.
“Property finance organisations, and indeed all roleplayers in property, must position themselves squarely at the intersection between finance, technology, innovation and service if they want to harness disruption to help shape their businesses, industries, the property sector and, most importantly, the South African economy.”