In a first for South Africa, the property industry now has an online offer to purchase (OTP) generator that automates the process and produces a customised digital document that fulfils all legal requirements. The automated OTP was developed by Meridian Realty over the past six months and forms part of the larger Meridian Connect CRM System.

“Now agents can sit with their buyers when preparing an OTP,” says Antonie Goosen, principal and founder of Meridian Realty. “Through the completion of a number of questions, all relevant particulars relating to the offer the buyer wants to make are captured in the system. Once all the required steps have been completed, the Meridian Connect System automatically generates a customised Offer to Purchase. Only relevant clauses are included, and the Offer to Purchase will only be as long, or short, as required.”

Goosen is not aware of any other system out there that is able to provide the same level of customisation. “Gone are the days of completing OTPs by hand and striking out unnecessary clauses. With Meridian’s customer centric approach, clients are provided with a clean, perfectly drafted OTP as fulfilling their requirements.”

Meridian Realty spent the last three years developing and refining its larger CRM system to better serve its customers. Meridian provides the platform to all its affiliated Property Practitioners, called iAgents.

“By using Meridian Connect, Meridian’s iAgent’s are better equipped to serve their buyers and sellers.Meridian Connect can create property wish lists for our buyer, and then match the buyer requirements with all suitable properties within the Meridian network. We also communicate, share, and interact with our buyers and sellers directly from the platform. The system also prompts the agent when a new property gets listed that matches their buyer’s requirements,” says Goosen.

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Goosen explains that the automated online OTP is part of the larger trend in the property industry to use property technology to empower estate agents. “Research recently conducted by World Wide Worx, titled the ‘Digital Corporation in SA 2021’, points out that while digital transformation may have slowed, there is clear spend on ICT to lay the foundation for digital corporations of the future. The real estate industry needs to keep pace with the rest of corporate South Africa and to digitally transform the way they do business. One way is to adopt technology to streamline businesses using property portals, social media, CRM systems and automated processes like the OTP generator Meridian Realty have now developed.”

The Meridian Connect CRM System is a good example of using tech to nurture relationships with potential buyers and sellers, and connect all data from sales leads and customers in one place. “CRM systems contain contact information, purchase history, enquiries, sales opportunities, and even marketing campaigns. A CRM system can increase real estate sales with end-to-end sales execution introducing new efficiencies into the real estate industry. This is vastly different from paper notes, files and excel spreadsheets that many agents may be accustomed to.

“We saw a need in the industry for a custom-built CRM system that also enables marketing automation and automated document creation. Agents set up a potential buyer on the system with all the necessary and approved details as well as the potential buyer’s requirements. From there the system automates Covid-19 screenings for in-person viewings and shares details of safety protocol in advance of an in-person viewing. The system also boasts a seller portal where sellers can get automated feedback on viewings recorded by the agent. Finally, from an admin point of view, the system helps to generate and store important documentation like the OTP, FICA documents as well any other documents produced and required during the transfer process,” says Goosen.

He says automated processes not only ensure agents are working in a disciplined way, but also ensure that they follow the correct processes. “In this way they dedicate more time to what matters, providing exceptional service to clients and potential buyers,” concludes Goosen.

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