The Adventures of a Software Man in Property Management

Time really does fly. I started as the Director of Software Product Management at Granlund in the beginning of June and to be honest, I didn’t know which end is up. I knew practically nothing about Granlund and I especially did not know that such interesting property management software are being developed here.

I have a background in the world of software products and IT services. I have worked in product management as a business leader of mobile platforms and basic IT services for almost 20 years.

Joining Granlund was scary because even though Granlund is a leading operator in Finland, this is a completely new industry for me and I’m a complete layman in property matters. I’m familiar with the industry mostly form the point of view of a detached house resident. By the way, the first thing I did was to join Omakotitaloliitto, a union of detached house residents, in order to get Granlund Manager for free to manage my own house.

However, my discussions with Granlund’s folks got me excited. For the first time in my career I can apply technology and systems within the frames of a certain application – to truly have an influence on what technology can do.

Our products Granlund Manager and Designer are used by a wide group of customers in Finland. Multiple notable private and public operators trust our software in property management. By listening to their demands, I have got a concentrated dose of knowledge on the real estate world in a couple of months. Highly detailed current demands exist among those demands, but at the same time I also try to look a bit further into the future. There are great possibilities in the digitalisation of the real estate industry and I feel like we have a unique opportunity to lead the way in this development.

Granlund Manager is primarily a software for property management. I see great potential in Granlund Manager for comprehensive property management by utilising new technologies and integrations. Huge amounts of different data on property automation, from different IoT sensors and from other external sources can be obtained through integrations. From this mass of data, visualisation and the Business Intelligence type of analysis can be produced for property management. The first demonstration of this is Virtual Property, which we launched this summer.

To get here, we will bring AI into the picture in stages to find new kinds of things from the data. A lot of operators are in this equation in Finland already, not to mention the whole world, which means it will require management of integrations, APIs and partnerships.

As I mentioned before, I’m a layman when it comes to property matters, but luckily that does not matter. I have noted multiple times that we have a very interesting combination of expertise in both software and the property industry. Many of my colleagues are real estate economics engineers and building services engineers. I think that this highlights our strengths in a larger scale – and not least from the point of view of property management. I have wondered if such strong industry knowledge can be found anywhere else and especially side by side with software development.

This matter brings motivation to my day-to-day life. Personally, I try to bring forth two aspects: expertise in both software and products. Traditionally, Granlund has been a consulting house but I am trying to lead our software more into being a product that is produced as a continuous service. I think that our powerful goal of internationalisation demands that. It is also necessary to have a strong product strategy, to focus on user experience and usability and to have a clear model of integration with other systems.

Along with the combination of software development and industry knowledge, I am extremely excited about the fact that we have a great software development team. Just the right combination of youth and experience. Software and industry joining together in an interesting way. Our software department is small enough for maintaining an active attitude, but big enough for us to do remarkable things. I don’t think I have ever been this motivated before during my career.

Written by
Kimmo Mattila
Kimmo is a Director of Product Management at Granlund.