Property software fills market gap

Nomos One founder Jonny Mirkin (centre) with staff members Marina Conway and Gareth Bedford....
Nomos One founder Jonny Mirkin (centre) with staff members Marina Conway and Gareth Bedford. Photo by Christine O'Connor.

Dunedin last night celebrated the success of another locally-owned technology company when Nomos One launched its new Deed of Trust at a function attended by about 60 people.

Founded by Jonny Mirkin when he was working as a lawyer at Wilkinson Adams, Nomos grew from a concept of creating software for lawyers to better track commercial lease agreements for their clients.

Mr Mirkin told the Otago Daily Times yesterday that when he looked at the industry, he found many opportunities that were not being met anywhere.

He wanted a cloud solution to help all stakeholders in the property industry. These included lawyers, bankers, tenants, landlords, infrastructure companies, insurers and retailers.

The product would be available in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom but Mr Mirkin was determined to remain in Dunedin. He had secured initial funding from family and friends and now local stakeholders were getting on board.

''When I started developing the product, if felt like we had landed on an island. But when I looked further, it was an iceberg. We had found a massive problem we could fix.''

An example of the new Nomos One deed was a Dunedin property owner using the system. The property owner managed all the leases in one central database. User accounts had been created for the bankers, lawyers and property manager. When things needed to happen, those people did their part through their access points, Mr Mirkin said.

Nomos had a diverse range of clients, from retailers such as Barkers and Night'n Day to infrastructure companies such as Kordia New Zealand and government-owned agencies such as Public Trust.

Retailers might not own the buildings in which they operated but as they expanded their store network, they needed a property manager for their leases. Likewise, an infrastructure company had to deal with leases. One government agency had told Nomos a task that used to take an hour was now completed in less than a minute. A brewery company had saved up to 70% of its administration costs by managing its property through the Nomos One software.

''We have had some compelling testimonials from customers and stakeholders.''

Nomos aimed to lead the world market in three to five years, but that did not mean having to redesign the product for different markets. Nomos One had been designed for an international market, Mr Mirkin said.

In New Zealand, the traditional leasing model had been overtaken by events, particularly the earthquakes in Christchurch.

It became obvious to Mr Mirkin the entire property industry was fragmented. With less than 10% of the global market using software in the property industry, a large opportunity presented itself.

From 2011-14, hundreds of property industry stakeholders were interviewed about how they worked, the systems they used and the gaps in their workflows.

Extensive research and development went into three pilot versions of online software that law-firm customers around New Zealand tested. The focus during that period was to build a ''highly disruptive'' product that could become a world leader.

A disruptive technology was one that displaced an established technology and shook up the industry, or a ground-breaking product that created a completely new industry. A panel was assembled to draw up hundreds of versions before the final deed was finalised.

''We are making waves in the industry as we become known as an easy-to-use disruptive property system that is affordable and has a beautiful user interface while allowing users to work from anywhere and with anyone in a safe and secure environment.''

Ten staff now worked for Nomos.

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