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RealtyNXT sat down with TheHouseMonk’s Founder and MD Balaji Varadharajan for an exclusive conversation

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When Bengaluru-based TheHouseMonk entered the market, it aimed to streamline the highly disorganised property and asset management industry.  What started in India struck a chord with millions and now has reached across more than 10 countries across the globe. Through its revolutionary PropTech fuelled approach along with excellent expertise, the company provides solutions to more than 10 million sq. ft. of properties. 

RealtyNXT brings to you excerpts from an exclusive chat with TheHouseMonk’s Founder and MD Balaji Varadharajan.

TheHouseMonk’s Founder and MD Balaji Varadharajan

1. How did TheHouseMonk come into inception and what is the USP that you wanted to build this brand upon?

TheHouseMonk has been in the real estate technology space for about 5 years now. We started by building products and services in the brokerage market, but since then, we have expanded the scope of what we do to enable real estate asset management throughout the spectrum of sub-verticals in the real estate space.

2. What services does TheHouseMonk offer to its customers? What is the target market?

We enable real estate businesses to serve their customers better through our technology. Our customers include real estate developers, coliving and student housing companies, co-working companies, office and building management teams, owners associations, management companies, property managers, security teams and many more. Our products not only cater to the management teams of the same but also to every employee and every customer of this interlinked web, thereby creating highly connected communities.
Launched in India, we are now live in 8 more countries across the globe!

3. TheHouseMonk is also into Rental Management. How do you manage properties on rent? Are there any hurdles that you face while managing rented properties?

On a services model, we directly manage a fairly large portfolio of rental properties and coliving buildings. Our tech-first platform led approach has helped us bring together all the stakeholders in owning, managing and renting properties through seamless integrations with almost no loss in data.While streamlining operations and being hands-on in property management is a challenge in a price-sensitive market such as ours, we feel that it helps us understand the market better, and has allowed us to continuously develop superior technology based on new learnings every day.

4. TheHouseMonk had earlier raised funding in the year 2017. Is the company planning to raise a second round of funding as well? If yes, when?

The focus for our company has largely been to ensure that we find a market opportunity globally and solve that through technology. Given that real estate and asset management aren’t new concepts in the world and have been managed by large albeit partially efficient teams with intense labour and offline data management practices, our team is fairly confident that the size of the market is extensive.We have managed to establish a product-market fit in all relevant markets and have turned profitable as well. We will be raising a good round of funding in early 2020 to scale our offering across the globe.

5. What is the company’s current business model? What are the main sources of revenue for TheHouseMonk?

We are a B2B company and our customers pay us a monthly subscription fee for using our technology. The pricing varies with the size of the portfolio they manage through our platform. We have other revenue streams through service offerings for customers as well. 

6. What can we expect from TheHouseMonk in the next 5 years?

Our vision is to help real estate businesses by giving a great experience to their customers. Over the next 5 years, you will see us innovating on the product front – adding new capabilities while also scaling the offering globally by entering new geographies. We always aim to be “better than the best” in terms of technology and value for money. In the coming years, we certainly hope TheHouseMonk and the products offered by the company resonate well in the hands of our capable customers and hope to be the next mobile-first platform for their customers worldwide. We want our tech to be in the hands of millions of customers, making it easy to live a far more enriched life at home within communities and at their respective workspaces without any hassles. Everything that you need to “live and not survive “ should be available at the click of a button.

7. What are the latest technologies that the company has adopted to streamline the work and make it more user-friendly? Are you planning to adopt any new technology in the coming time?

Good question. We have inculcated advanced Machine Learning capabilities into our offering, which can help our clients streamline their operations and bring efficiency. Let me give you an example – 
For our rental management customers, we have an algorithm that studies the behaviour of tenants and predicts if they will pay their rent on time! This helps their finance team understand if they are going to be having a cash flow problem. 
We have also come up with IoT capabilities wherein we convert buildings into interconnected spaces.
You will see us innovating on the product front with more such integrations.

8. What do you think about the future of PropTech in India? Where do you think TheHouseMonk would stand in the future?

India is at a very interesting stage with respect to the adoption of technology for 2 reasons:

1) As the market has slowed down significantly, real estate businesses are looking at technology solutions to streamline their operations

2) Millennial customers are demanding that all businesses give them a great experience, and real estate companies can’t ignore this for too long and need to adapt quickly.

Overall, we see real estate businesses adopting more technology and evolving into ‘Tech First, People Next’ organizations in the next decade. TheHouseMonk hopes to be the market leader in not only helping with this transformation but also bringing about root-level changes on community- building, connecting with vendors and offers around the community and monetizing, maintaining and managing from the same!

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