MRI Software (“MRI”), a global leader in real estate software solutions, announces the acquisition of Engage Property Technology, a leading UK-based provider of self-service online portals used by property organisations of all sizes. The acquisition strengthens MRI’s end-to-end offering for the residential sector and furthers its aim of delivering the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible range of real estate technology solutions.
Online resident portals are at the core of Engage’s offering, which includes applications for concierge, community, leaseholder, landlord and lettings requirements. Engage is an established partner of MRI, first integrating with the company’s Qube Property Management solution more than two years ago, and joint clients include several leading UK residential players. The acquisition enables MRI to bolster existing integrations between its back-office solutions and Engage’s online portals and provide more holistic support for owners and agents servicing residents in Build-to-Rent developments and other largescale properties.
“Residents today expect the highest levels of service and to be treated less like mere renters and more like community members,” says Dermot Briody, MRI’s Executive Managing Director, Europe. “Engage’s portals are designed with consumers in mind – vital in a rental market moving away from a lease focus to a customer-centric approach that puts resident relationships at the heart of each landlord’s business. This acquisition enhances our offering to UK clients and brings additional expertise in user experience and consumer-facing apps that will benefit MRI globally.”
Mitesh Patel, Engage’s Chief Executive, adds: “It will now be even easier for residential landlords and housing associations to deploy Engage portals integrated with MRI’s property management and accounting solutions, linking data from both ends and delivering more effective customer service to residents. Our user-friendly approach adds tangible value, as residents keep returning to the portal instead of making phone calls to busy property management teams – helping reduce staffing needs and drive down costs, while enabling landlords to boost customer engagement.”
London-based Engage addresses the unique needs of the UK residential sector where Build-to-Rent properties are emerging as an asset class with a new level of professionalised property management. A December 2018 MRI survey of top executives and managers across the UK property industry showed that 82% see more growth in Build-to-Rent development beyond the next 12-18 months. The trend to more professionalised property management is also being driven on the consumer end by ‘Generation Rent’, young renters priced out of the home purchase market. The research revealed that four out of five property professionals believe Generation Rent in the UK is here to stay and raising rental expectations.
With Engage, MRI is giving developers, landlords and agents the digital tools they need to meet the growing demand for better properties and services that Generation Rent is driving. Engage resident portals act as a layer on top of MRI’s back-end systems, allowing landlords to access data and display important residential information to users while automating business processes – from managing payments and simple enquiries, to handling amenity bookings and ensuring maintenance requests are fulfilled.
“The nature of the UK rental market is changing, and landlords and property managers need to be able to evolve with it,” Briodynotes. “What most need today is a scalable solution that meets the needs of both those just entering the Build-to-Rent market and those that already own and manage extensive multi-unit rental holdings – allowing them to build stronger relationships with tech-savvy Generation Rent, more of whom are looking to live, work and play within their communities.”
The Engage acquisition reinforces MRI’s established reputation in the UK residential space and follows the launch of MRI Agency Solutions in March, which brought together the company’s sales and lettings technology brands in the UK into one combined offering, following a series of key acquisitions.
MRI champions an open and connected ecosystem enabled by its extensive and growing global partner network. It remains committed to offering choice in terms of integrating both Engage portals with other property management software applications and other resident portals with MRI’s own range of real estate solutions.