5.10.21

A European PropTech View, Yannick Bontinckx, CEO & Co-Founder Ziggu

Welcome back to 'A European PropTech View, by Dilan Omari-Clark' our Q&A focused on European PropTech's.

5.10.21

Our Q&A series is an opportunity for our European team, headed up by Dilan Omari-Clark to discuss all things PropTech, Start-ups, and Career with different founders from across the continent. Each week we get to know our guests better, finding out about their career path and quiz them about their product. We hope you find it insightful and enjoy getting to know the founders.  

This week we speak to Yannick Bontinckx, CEO & Co-Founder Ziggu which was founded in Ghent, Belgium in 2017.

Ziggu offers a cloud solution for Real Estate Developers operating in residential markets to manage sales, construction and customers. Ziggu is the gold standard for streamlining your homebuyer journey in residential projects. They help your business scale by saving time, increasing margins and boosting customer satisfaction. 

How did you find yourself working in PropTech?

It’s the logical culmination of my childhood upbringing I think. I have always been fond of technology and architecture. My dad works in IT and brought home one of the first available pc’s. It’s been a love story ever since. I learned how to code at a young age and have been following the tech scene closely over the years. My mom always brought home lego sets and most of our family holidays were spent by visiting musea and local historical sites. It was no surprise that I went on to study architecture where I combined my passion for technology and the built environment. After graduating I worked as a property developer and discovered that the real estate industry was in dire need of solid tech solutions.

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Why is now the time for your company/ product to exist? 

We help property developers deliver homes 10x more efficiently by offering a suite of tools to help them navigate the complete customer journey from initial contact with prospective buyers up until the final completion and delivery of the property. Ziggu is at the forefront of three big shifts in the real estate industry.

  1. Firstly, customer experience is becoming the key brand differentiator over price and product. When we just started Ziggu we launched a survey to homebuyers asking them what went well and what could be improved. One of the respondents said the following: Why is it that I’m able to track my pizza of 15 euros via Ubereats or Deliveroo better than my apartment of 350.000 euros? Of course it’s unfair to compare buying a pizza to buying a piece of property. But homebuyers are used to having awesome customer experiences in their daily lives. When they make the biggest purchase in their lifetime, they expect the same level and quality of service.
  2. Second shift is the rapid digital transformation of the real estate industry. Buying a home is an increasingly digital experience, and the current health crisis we all experienced has sped up that transition even faster. At the same time a lot of property developers are still using a plethora of excel sheets, fax machines and inefficient tools to manage day to day customer follow up and interactions. They are losing precious time and resources.
  3. And the third big shift we saw was the fact that margins are under pressure and decreasing because of increased competition and increased land and asset values.

Where do you think your growth will be next year 

We have ambitious goals for the future and 2022 will definitely be an exciting year. On the one hand, we’re scaling up in new markets: the UK, the Netherlands, France, among others. On the other hand, we’ve got exciting product updates on our roadmap that will make sure Ziggu covers the complete homebuyer journey from initial contact with a prospective buyer, to aftercare and after sale services.

What is a frequently asked question you get about your product? 

"If we share more info with our homebuyers, won’t they ask more questions, take up more of our time?”

We completely understand where this comes from. Some property developers are afraid to open Pandora’s Box and therefore have been sharing as little information with their customers as possible, for example about delays creeping in on the construction site. However, talking to our users - and we see it in the data as well- the opposite is true! Because homebuyers feel more involved in the construction process, because they receive regular updates and because everything they need to know and do is easily accessible, they make decisions more quickly, pay invoices more efficiently and find answers to their questions themselves.

What is Ziggu’s biggest accomplishment?

One out of three newly built homes In Belgium are being serviced through Ziggu. Along the way we’ve helped property developers become 10x more efficient at delivering homes at scale and increased their margins at the same time. Last but not least, we’ve also seen an increase in customer satisfaction rates of 46% on average. That’s not even mentioning side effects like increased employee happiness, less construction makes or gains in brand recognition. Recently, one of our customers reached out to us and told us that she can’t even understand how she managed to do things before Ziggu was implemented in the company. Seeing the impact we have on people’s daily work lives makes me incredibly proud of our team and what we already accomplished. We want to bring that same experience to new markets across Europe.

 

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