Turning housing issues into a smart experience
Swedes love their homes but there is one thing that they would avoid at any cost – to be on the board of the tenant-owner association.
When you buy an apartment in Sweden you become a member of the tenant-owner association, which formally owns the building. The housing association manages things like maintenance, the building’s finances and other issues that might arise. It appoints a board of directors, which are notorious for their debates on everything from building renovations to finding out who forgot to clean the dryer in the common laundry room.
Most of us in the MVI team know, from experience, how time and energy draining it can be. There has to be a smarter way. What if it could be automated and delegated?
Out of curiosity, some years ago, we started to follow this fragmented market. It turned out to be largely driven by demographic changes, with younger people ready to outsource property services to a larger extent. Another driver was the large number of new-built flats and conversions of buildings from leasing or renting to tenant ownership.
For sure, people definitely want to save time, reduce costs and improve the value by having a full-service provider that they could trust to manage the property. After all, for most of us, buying a home is the biggest financial commitment we will ever make.
In the spring of 2018, we got in touch with several real estate management companies to understand the market dynamics better. We were convinced that we had identified a great potential to digitalize this service. It reminded us of our Nox Finans venture, where we had successfully introduced software to manage important day-to-day business activities.
The coming spring, we invested in FF Fastighetsservice, a family-owned real estate management firm in Norrköping. They were completely aligned with our idea to digitalize property management and provide a full-service offering. The first thing we did was to start developing an IT platform with our team of system and software specialists. We call it Realnode; a digital, user-friendly interface that also streamlines internal processes and reduces costs. By, for example, installing sensors and help manage house issues on distance, we can optimize the heating and CO2 emissions, and much more. We are so excited about making this come true and creating real value.
We have named the company group Flow Fastighetsvärden (prev. Hemma Bäst). So far, we have joined forces with a few companies that share our goal; to grow into Sweden’s most digital property manager. Quite recently with Part and Driftia, our bridgeheads into the beautiful southern part Sweden and Stockholm.
Our number one priority is to develop Realnode further, while growing through acquisitions. These are important steps to fulfill our mission – a carefree and value-boosting housing experience. Exciting times!
In July 2021, Flow was acquired by the PHM Group (a Norvestor portfolio company), which will continue to develop the group and its strong digital presence in the Nordic setting through Realnode.