Some of you heard about the acquisition of Propertybase by Boston Logic earlier this month, a CRM startup we covered way back in 2012 and again in 2013. I know many founders read Geek Estate, many of whom have contemplated a strategic acquisition at one time or another. I thought I’d take some time to have Propertybase co-founder Max-Michael Mayer answer a few questions about the recent acquisition. Without further ado…
1. What is Propertybase? Where did the product/business start, where are you now, and can you tell us about any pivots along the way?
Propertybase is the leading global provider of real estate CRM and Marketing Software-as-a-Service (Saas) used by real estate professionals around the world. Our software solutions and services allow brokerages to manage their entire contact database from lead-to-close, giving brokerages the freedom to manage and close more deals while gaining complete transparency into their business and pipeline.
When we first began, we were the first to add real estate specific features into the Salesforce CRM platform. As market needs evolved with the addition of new clients, we learned that we needed much more than just Salesforce to provide what the real estate industry was really looking for. As such, about five years ago we started to invest in our own proprietary technology platform, while continuing our partnership with Salesforce. While this move could have happened sooner, the first few releases we executed were bootstrapped to Salesforce, and at that time we didn’t have the resources to execute everything concurrently. Since then, we have evolved the product immensely. We have added more than 1,000 clients in over 60 countries, and opened regional offices around the world in Europe, Australia and the U.S to service clients on a global and continuous level.
2. What led to the acquisition by Boston Logic?
Both, Boston Logic and Propertybase, have been acquired by Providence Strategic Growth (PSG), a growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners with USD 40 billion under management. With the acquisitions of Boston Logic and Propertybase, together we can now leverage two very robust and ultra-scalable technology platforms as a starting point for future acquisitions. All this with a goal of creating a true one-stop-shop experience offering all the tools successful real estate companies need to outperform their competition.
From the Propertybase perspective, the acquisition allows us to add more resources to product development, customer support, sales and marketing. Propertybase will benefit from the partnership with Boston Logic and Providence, but will enjoy the ability to continue to provide world-class software solutions and customer support for our client base as we move forward.
3. What strategic advantages are you looking forward to being part of the Boston Logic family?
Propertybase and Boston Logic can now cover the full range of real estate features necessary for running a brokerage of any size. The combination of the two platforms allows us to own one of the most valuable data sets in real estate today, both nationally and globally (giving us insight and understanding around pricing on a global level). The partnership also gives us access to first-hand market data which will be a very unique competitive advantage, allowing us to make our products even smarter and deliver more value to our clients.
Both companies are catering to different segments of the market. As with most SaaS offerings, one size does NOT fit all. While Propertybase is widely adopted by small to medium sized regional brokerages, Boston Logic serves mainly larger, national brands. Through the new partnership, clients of all sizes can now confidently buy into our platform, knowing they are getting the best the industry has to offer. So whatever their growth strategy might be, we will have them covered.
4. What are one or two pieces of advice for real estate tech entrepreneurs who are considering a strategic acquisition offer (or going through due diligence)?
Great question. I’d advise them to make sure they understand exactly why the investor – in our case Providence Equity – is considering the acquisition. Our goal at Propertybase was always to eventually provide a full range of features and services to all sizes of clients. Our goals were perfectly aligned with Providence, who is looking to build leading platforms in every vertical they enter. Add to that a solid product with high client satisfaction and great things will happen.