There is perhaps no one more passionate about real estate investment than Ranime El Skaff. At an early age, her father – a real estate developer in Lebanon – emphasised the value of investing in property and it was this piece of advice that would eventually lead her to create one of the most innovative real estate investment tools: Prop-AI.
The company recently launched under the helm of Ranime and her Co-Founder, Christian Kunz, with the idea to simplify the taxing and daunting process of real estate investment. The idea is simple: search for your real estate investment from an extensive global database using Prop-AI’s AI powered co-pilot, understand the financials, and then make a decision with the help of Prop-AI on where to invest.
OVERCOMING THE DAUNTING TASK OF INVESTING IN PROPERTY
“I wanted to purchase property but I didn’t really know how the market worked and so I started to do my own research looking at where in the world would be ideal to invest and get the best returns and I got incredibly overwhelmed, there was so much information, I just didn’t know where to start. It was while talking to a former colleague – who is now my Co-Founder - that I realised we both had the same problem and after doing some investigating we discovered that this seemed to resonate with a lot of people, they all had this this challenge that when it came to searching out properties globally and making informed decisions it seemed like a difficult and exhausting task,” she said.
It was this realisation led her and her Co-Founder to see how they could address this gap in the market for would-be investors. “Once we started looking at solutions, I started to get really excited about the potential of this new technology to really change the investment game. We were both doing it as part-time jobs but in 2022 when we set up everything, I decided to fully invest all my time in it.”
DISRUPTING THE REAL ESTATE GAME
Prop-AI today enables investors to fill in a comprehensive profile to establish where they want to invest using AI. “We need to understand why they want to invest, is it to get a second-income now, is it for a future home, we then need to understand their risk profile. After we gather the data, we run it through an algorithm with more than 200 cities and 140 countries based on their preference and then we break down the financials from property tax, interest rates and mortgage, property management maintenance and then based on all of this information you get to pick the country that best matches where you would like to invest,” she explained.
“We also have future indicators that help our clients assess how the market will move in the future, from GDP, the country’s economy and employment rates, just so we can give our clients the ability to make an informed decision.”
For Ranime, disrupting the real estate investment market was essential to make way for a cross-section of investors who were being neglected by brokers. “There is a significant chunk of the population who want to invest but just don’t have the time or resources to do the research and these people were neglected in the past but now things are changing.”
MY EXPOSURE TO REAL ESTATE STARTED EARLY
Prior to starting Prop-AI, Ranime was an analyst for consultant McKinsey where she worked with the real estate and infrastructure team looking at economic development and city infrastructure on a project basis, where it built a passion for real estate and property development. But she quickly points out that her real estate exposure started much earlier on in Lebanon.
“My dad was in real estate development in my hometown, I remember going onsite with him and working on projects as a teenager, which I enjoyed. Real estate was very present in our life growing up. My dad was passionate about real estate investment and real estate and coming from a country that is volatile he always told us that real estate investment goes a long way,” she said.
It’s one of the reasons why she wanted to make real estate investment accessible to many people who were struggling with knowing how to start from a sea of information. While the world of property technology is new to Ranime, she has surrounded herself with an advisory board and has also been passionate about seeing women progress and have more opportunities in proptech. “I do believe that in proptech, we do have an opportunity to see and create change so we can start to see more women enter the field as founders and leaders.”
WORK LIFE BALANCE & THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A HOBBY
With a demanding schedule, Ranime admits that works life balance and maintaining a healthy mental state is vitally important to her.
“I believe in carving time for my wellbeing and this includes spending time with my husband, family and friends and I believe in the importance of having a hobby outside of work. I recently picked up ballroom dancing, and I love it. I’ve wanted to dance for a while and I’ve realised how happy it makes me. I meet new people and have light conversation, and you get to really be present and not think about anything else, except how to move your foot is moving and how your head is positioned,” she adds.