Interviewing Michael Goldberg, Phicap’s Managing Director

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What is the story behind Phicap and how has it grown since then? And how would you summarize Phicap’s value proposition?

Eight years ago, in 2013, the idea was to create an entity that meets the full range of real estate property, project and fund management needs. So basically, I realized the market lacked a company as a “one-stop-shop” in real estate services. Therefore, Phicap was born to provide qualitative real estate management services in all asset classes and for corporates, public institutions and family offices with three different services propositions working closely together: Property, Project and Capital (business lines). 

One of Phicap’s biggest value propositions is being a “one-stop-shop”. As an example, while the Project team of a building redevelops the building for a client, the Capital team supports the whole real estate investment trajectory from sourcing the property to managing the transaction structure and finally the acquisition of the building while the Property team manages the real estate asset.   

Another strength of Phicap is being proactive. Phicap has digitized most of its services which allows them to have real time data and deliver monthly activity reports.

We provide our teams with mini tablets allowing them to take pictures, send requests and write follow-up reports directly into the ERP system. 

What are the pain points you try to solve?

Our industry is networking-based. Even though there are platforms to exchange with prospects and stakeholders, it is challenging to have access to new clients as you need to meet new people. Social media helps to gain visibility, yet it stays crucial in our industry to meet and exchange. 

Who are your target customers and how do you engage with them?

As we are a business-to-business (B2B) and a business-to-government (B2G) company, we work with corporates, public institutions and family offices. We are getting known through networking events, online platforms and conferences where we share our expertise. Our current clients also introduce us to new potential clients through word of mouth. Another important engagement tool is through public tenders where we also monitor the requests for proposals.

Phicap is a one-stop shop for innovative ways of providing management services to property, project and capital. Where do you think the technologies differ and where do they overlap? 

Phicap has two technological dimensions: the company management and the services provided to the clients.

The first dimension is developed through a tailor-made cloud-based ERP system where the property and project managers have their tasks recorded. As a result, they send pro-actively monthly reports to our clients. This system is also linked to our invoicing platform and the management uses the system as their dashboard for their internal follow-up meetings. 

The second dimension concerns the digitization process.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Phicap was in the process of digitizing the accounting. The business processes and cloud-based services were before-hand ready to any unforeseen circumstances. It has been made through a few programs: Dropbox, Airtable, Netika, Isabel 6,….

How do you compare Phicap five years ago to the present day?

Five years ago, Phicap was represented with a team of eight people, less digitalized and not cloud-base – it was more Excel-based with already strong processes.

Now with the integration of multiple software formats to its platforms, Phicap has digitized many of its services and is working to transform the rest of them. 

Digitization over the last 5 years has been extremely important.

What about the ESG and WELL Certifications? 

ESG and WELL Certifications are crucial on two levels: on the building and project itself and on the company.

On the building and project level, we train our staff to be aware of certifications and market trends to propose to our clients to implement those. 

On company level, since before the ESGs and already from its incorporation, Phicap has always put as a priority the well-being of its employees.

Phicap has continued its efforts in this direction by moving to larger offices where attention has been paid to ergonomics and flexible spaces, as well as work-life balance. In terms of customer relations, Phicap insists on good cooperation and mutual respect.

Nicolas Hawa
Nicolas HAWA
Project Manager