Investment Management Software Streamlines Processes for Real Estate Investors and Managersby@ishanpandey
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Investment Management Software Streamlines Processes for Real Estate Investors and Managers

by Ishan Pandey7mJanuary 27th, 2023
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Agora Real is an investment management system for real estate investors and managers. The company was founded by Bar Mor, who grew up in a home that was all about real estate. Mor: Agora aims to provide its customers with a complete solution for all their investment management needs.
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Agora: Revolutionizing Real Estate Data Management and Relationship Building

Welcome to "Behind the Startup," where we dive into the stories and inspiration behind some of the most innovative companies in the industry. Today, we are joined by Bar Mor, Co-Founder and CEO of Agora, a cutting-edge investment management software for the real estate industry.

Vested Interest DisclosureThe author is an independent contributor publishing via our brand-as-author program. Be it through direct compensation, media partnerships, or networking, the author has a vested interest in the company/ies mentioned in this story. HackerNoon has reviewed the report for quality, but the claims herein belong to the author. #DYOR

Empowering Businesses and Entrepreneurs in the Real Estate Industry

Ishan Pandey: Hi Bar Mor. Welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the inspiration behind Agora?

Bar Mor: I’m a Co-Founder and the CEO of Agora. I grew up in a home that was all about real estate. My father runs a large public real estate company in Israel, and my mother’s family are well-known developers. That's what we talked about at the dinner table.

The more I got to know the real estate world, the more amazed I was to realize that real estate deals involving hundreds of millions of dollars are being managed by simple excel sheets and other basic tools. Crucial data was spread around different stand-alone lists, sheets, and documents.

I saw the need for greater efficiency and consolidation of data into one source of truth that's more accessible, reliable, and transparent. Another thing I saw was that though relationships and communication are a pillar on which the real estate world stands, the lack of technology made it harder to cater to those needs, especially on a larger scale.

Think of a deal with ten, thirty, or two hundred LPs, all needing information and reports. All of which you need to update regularly. The amount of back-office work, time, and resources it takes to run it is tremendous, and even more problematic, the chances of something falling between the cracks are high. And back then, no one was really trying to tackle this problem.

When I was 18, I was drafted into the military as part of mandatory service. I served in the intelligence corps and became an expert in computing, coding, and data management, and I loved it because I saw how tech could solve challenges that can't be solved in any other way.

When I returned to the civilian world, I decided to bring the two passions together, which is how Agora came to be.

Agora is everything that's been missing in data and relationship management in real estate: We created an investment management system that allows every real estate fund, developer, or investor to have all of the data at the tip of their fingers, communicate and collaborate to close more deals, faster.

Ishan Pandey: Can you describe the primary features of the investment management software offered by Agora? How does the investment management software from Agora streamline processes for real estate investors and managers?

Bar Mor: Agora aims to provide its customers with a complete solution for all their investment management needs. The main features of the platform include the following:

  • An advanced investor CRM to manage all investor relationships.
  • An Investor Portal from which investors can view their investments and portfolios, subscribe to offerings, and communicate with the real estate firm.
  • Fundraising enablement tools that allow to create customized subscription processes.
  • Document management and report generation tools.
  • ACH payments and automated distribution allocation.

But it's not only about the features themselves. It's also about how they work together. They are not standalone features. They are seamless parts of a holistic solution that covers all the bases for firms and investors.

Real estate firms have everything they need inside the platform - from offerings, subscriptions, and money distributions through document management and communication to reports and tax.

Along with automation and customization tools, this streamlines the process on all fronts of the investment process. For example: think of raising capital from investors. It's usually a cumbersome, resource-demanding process.

Agora lets firms manage the entire process with a fraction of the resources and costs usually associated with it: Starting with being able to create customized brochures and data rooms within minutes. Then, the firm can create smart filtering lists of prospective investors who fit your investment, so they don't waste time on filtering or nurturing irrelevant leads.

And the same is true for the process of the investor committing to invest (called the "subscription" process). Agora allows firms to build a personalized, automated subscription flow with a couple of clicks. It's easy to create for the firm, and on the investor's side, the subscription is intuitive, fast, and painless. Both sides save time and money and frustration on what would otherwise be a frustrating, clunky experience.

Ishan Pandey: How does Agora support small businesses and entrepreneurs in the real estate industry?

Bar Mor: Our pricing model takes into account our customers' EUM (Equity Under Management) on the platform, so it's perfect for small and medium firms because the pricing matches what they can afford at their current scope of business.  And for that affordable pricing, they're getting a plush software and service that serves them technically, reinforces their brand, and helps them scale.

Think of a company that's just starting out and can already present its leads with a branded investor portal, brochures, and data rooms that look and feel sharp and professional for a fraction of the cost it usually takes. It's a tremendous tool for SMBs.

Ishan Pandey: How does Agora protect the personal information of its users?

Bar Mor: In real estate, keeping the information privacy and security of both GPs and LPs is very important. We're talking about the most sensitive financial information, and Agora treats it accordingly as a top priority.

First, the platform is secure according to the most advanced security standards. We're ISO/IEC 27001-compliant, and are using AWS cloud security, bank-level protocols and 2-factor verification to ensure data integrity and safety.

Using a secure management platform for data storage and communication is a necessary step in data safety for real estate firms. Email accounts are prone to phishing attacks and are less safe for transferring documents and information.

Ishan Pandey: How does Agora's technology help real estate firms to digitally transform their operations and improve efficiency?

Bar Mor: The main issue with real estate investment firms and developers in terms of efficiency is that they’re used to doing things manually. Even if they use technological solutions (like investor portals, CRMs, and data management systems), these solutions are usually either stand-alone, aren’t tailor-made for the real estate market, or both.

So firms and investors waste valuable time and resources on communicating, getting information on investments and offerings, working through the subscription process, sending out payments, and more.

As a result, everything moves slower in a market where agility is key. That’s where Agora comes in — we give our customers the agility they need by providing them with one solution created specifically for real estate, covering all the services and features that firms need to manage their investment operations.

**Ishan Pandey: Can you discuss the target demographic or market that Agora is catering to?How does Agora support local communities and independent agents?

Bar Mor:  Our industry is, by its nature, connected to local communities. Real estate can build new and support existing communities, whether a business center or a multifamily complex, by giving our customers the tools to build, develop and renovate.

We have a podcast series called "The DealMakers," where we interview entrepreneurs. The one thing that comes up in almost every episode is that they always talk about real estate's impact on the community. When they build a multifamily complex, the playgrounds and common areas are where people get together and form connections, how small businesses and mom-and-pop stores can prosper in commercial centers. It's never just about the money. Our customers care about the impact their projects make on peoples' lives, and we're also 100% committed to that cause. Not only that, we're helping them achieve these goals by assisting them with their fundraising process and the investment management aspects of their projects.

Ishan Pandey: Can you discuss any specific features or capabilities of Agora's platform that sets it apart from other real estate technology solutions on the market?

Rather than talking about features and capabilities (which I addressed in prior questions), I want to focus on the bottom line for our customers because it's not about this or that one feature. It's about how it affects our customers' workload, saves them money, gets them more deals, and makes things easier. Because this is what really sets Agora apart from the competition.

Our customers' experience with Agora, especially those who migrated from other platforms, is that we have an in-depth understanding of the ins and outs of the real estate industry, which translates directly into the software itself and their user experience with it.

Everything is tailor-made for real estate firms' day-to-day operations, from the onboarding stage through everyday use to our customer success team. And it makes a world of difference. I'll give you just one example - everything is easily and fully customizable: The branding of the Investor Portal, investor reports, the fundraising process, and the forms investors need to sign. It's because we know that firms need this flexibility. No two firms are alike, no two investments are alike, and no two investors are alike.

Ishan Pandey: Can you discuss any plans for expansion or growth for Agora in the future? How does Agora stay current and adapt to changes in the real estate market and technology?

Bar Mor:  In general, Agora's "ace in the hole" is that we're deeply rooted in the real estate community. We're not providing a service “from the outside”. We come from and understand real estate, and that's the feedback we're getting from our customers: they feel that they're talking with experts in their field who understand how the industry works, and it's something they're not getting with other services. So we're inherently tuned to grow and change with the trends.

Additionally, our close relationship and dialogue with our customers allow us to stay current,  provide them with solutions and be highly responsive to their changing needs.

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