DomaCom to soft launch property platform

03-Oct-2013

By Krystine Lumanta

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DomaCom will soft launch its property platform next month in order to allow time to build and refine the new offering.

Chief executive Arthur Naoumidis said while the platform had been designed with a high standard in mind, the reality was that until it was being used, there was no guarantee of how it would be received.

“The strategy is to have a soft launch in November for quite a few financial planning and accounting groups already signed up as foundation partners and also to another couple hundred advisers that have approached us directly,” Naoumidis told financialobserver.

“We’ll have a formal launch probably in early March, where we’ll have a national roadshow and present to thousands of advisers so they can actually have a look at it.

“The idea is by the time we do the formal launch, we would have already had several months of the systems and everything else bedded down, but also how we pitch, sell, describe and explain it so that people will understand it well – that needs refinement.”

DomaCom is currently still awaiting regulatory approval from ASIC after experiencing a slight delay.

“It’s been a bit of a journey getting the regulatory approval, but we haven’t got it yet because it’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen, so it’s not unreasonable that they’re going to take some care,” Naoumidis said.

“We’ve received some feedback that it looks very good and in terms of dealing with ASIC, it’s the first time we’ve done this but it’s been quite an involved process – they’re very thorough.

“We should in the next couple of weeks get the release, which is the approval for our product design, and we’ll be live in about six weeks.”

He said as soon as the company received ASIC approval it would start the process of describing the platform.

During the soft launch period any teething problems were expected to be ironed out and the business already had a client service team in place, he said.

He said the property platform’s launch was timely, in light of the recent focus on property spruikers and whether or not it was necessary for further regulation or licensing in the space.

“The problem at the moment is that real estate is licensed at the state level and all the other licensing is at the federal level, so I don’t think you’re going to see normal real estate being licensed any time soon,” he said.

“However, one of the advantages we believe we have with our platform is that it moves real estate investing into the managed investment scheme regulated world, which means you must have an Australian financial services licence.

“That way spruikers would have no role; they can’t play.”

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