Proptech Bricks + Agent swoops on rival Maintenance Manager as RACV, IAG join share register

Proptech Bricks + Agent swoops on rival Maintenance Manager as RACV, IAG join share register

Bricks + Agent co-founder Rafael Niesten

Australia’s biggest property maintenance group Bricks + Agent has swooped on its largest rival Maintenance Manager in a buyout that gives RACV and IAG Insurance (ASX: IAG) a position on the company’s share register.

The acquisition makes Bricks + Agent the dominant player in Australia and New Zealand, giving it the clout to grow its foothold in the $21 billion property management market.

Maintenance Manager, a software platform that is hailed as a pioneer in the property management space, has been acquired from Home Trades Hub Australia – a company founded by RACV and IAG almost three years ago.

While financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed, Home Trade Hub Australia (HTHA) has emerged as a shareholder of Bricks + Agent following the deal.

The buyout has also secured Garry Mulvay, the CEO of HTHA, a seat on the Bricks + Agent board.

Bricks + Agent, which has more than 800,000 users and 30,000 tradies on its platform, plans to integrate Maintenance Manager customers from the HTHA platform to its own.

Bricks + Agent’s existing clients include major property players such as JLL, Harry Triguboff’s Meriton group and Paul Little’s Little Real Estate.

“Both platforms are a natural fit for one another and share the ambition to deliver smoother maintenance transactions for all stakeholders,” says Bricks + Agent co-founder Rafael Niesten.

“Our growth aspirations are aligned. We are also both actively targeting the $21 billion property management market. The acquisition creates a singular focus on this goal.”

Niesten says the timing is right for the acquisition after keeping an eye on the competition, including Maintenance Manager, when he established Bricks + Agent six years ago.

“Since then, Bricks + Agent has continued to innovate, and we’ve recorded record growth year on year,” he says.

The company’s growth trajectory led to hipages Group investing in the company at the end of 2021.

“That has assisted us in fuelling the growth of the business,” says Niesten.

HTHA was established by RACV and IAG in August 2020 to offer a full home services solution to the Australian and New Zealand market. The company acquired the Property Safe and Maintenance Manager platforms in March 2021.

Bricks + Agent’s strength lies in its ability to provide insights to enhance decision making by users such as property managers, homeowners, tradies and tenants. The company says the acquisition will ‘widen the data landscape’ for its clients, while also accelerating the rollout of its platform to a bigger market segment.

“We see this as a fast way to deliver our strategy by growing in the real estate and social housing maintenance space while continuing to enhance and grow our established inspections business,” says Mulvay.

“To capture the growth opportunities ahead of us we had to make a significant investment to re-platform Maintenance Manager or seek another group that has the innovative tech and aligns culturally.

“Bricks + Agent has impressive tech, growth and industry impact. They are well known for enabling property managers to give their clients peace of mind and helping tradies access a steady pipeline of work, all while streamlining operations and workflow. This makes them the right choice.”

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