About the project
For most people, thinking about The Netherlands conjures images of brightly-coloured tulips, towering windmills and bicycle-filled streets. But for Jasper Nederlof and Stefan Janssen, those ideas are for tourists – to them, their home country is where the idea for their burgeoning and innovative property inspection business was born.
"In 2015, I was a professional field hockey coach, and Stefan was working for a big company," Jasper explains. "I had started architecture long ago, at university, using AutoCAD to make 2D, then 3D renderings, and I developed a passion for property and real estate."
"Through this passion, I learned about photogrammetry, and started to think how cool it would be to digitise real estate in 3D."
Precision Reality Twins (PRT), Data Acquisition, Reporting and Project Management
Under 1 hour
Versus the traditional capture time of weeks
High res model output
Versus the traditional output of photos and report
Versus the traditional high risk manual rope inspection
I thought it would be so useful to property owners to see the photo-real condition of the building, cost-effectively. It would be great to see all its textures, and everything they need to know, simply, on the screen of a computer… and that’s where the crazy idea of supRmen – a name that means ‘straight up air men’ – first got started.
supRmen finds its wings
When searching the internet for technology solutions that could bring his vision to life, Jasper stumbled across an innovative Australian company – Trendspek – that extracts data from drone capture to deliver highly-detailed Precision Reality Twins.
“After starting out as a drone capture specialist, we found Trendspek, and around two and a half years ago, we decided to make it our focus to provide interactive, on-screen asset models to the real estate industry, and most specifically to property managers and inspectors,” Stefan said.
Jasper and Stefan built their business by drawing on their knowledge of The Netherlands’ unique regulations and practices for housing corporations, which require cyclical inspections. “For our customers, the property managers and inspectors, this was a big thing. Usually, they have stand-alone versions of software, so it made it difficult for them to share property images with their stakeholders or maintenance contractors.”
“When we started, they were just looking to have roofs inspected, and buildings with more than two stories presented a lot of issues. The accuracy of the inspection is important, as it’s what their clients use to inform their budgets for the next few years.”
With housing corporation properties clustered together, Stefan and Jasper quickly saw an opportunity to increase their service, and started conducting ‘flying days’, to deliver an even better price to their clients, for capture and modelling of roofs and facades of properties.
The company takes off
When starting a business, there are always challenges – first ensuring there is a gap in the market that needs to be filled, and secondly, creating the product, or in this case, technology, that will best fill it. “Trendspek created this product – and we built our business by actually creating the market for the existing product, in a way that no one else has.”
For Trendspek, the concept presented by supRmen was also new – though more recently it has released a white label version to make it even easier for people to build their businesses on the company’s technology. The Australian team viewed the supRmen concept not only as a unique opportunity to see Trendspek in action in a completely new way, but also to help other people start businesses of their own, with reliable technology.
“One of the things I like is we have a very good relationship with the Trendspek team. Any time we need anything, we can call them and get it sorted out. If we have an idea of something we’d like in the platform in the future, we just call them up and let them know,” Jasper said.
“Our relationship is special because we were the first client who then also became a partner – we wanted to cooperate in some way, and Trendspek was really open to it.”
“Trendspek helped us provide a solution to our customers – it is cloud-based and that made it easier for them to see their assets.”
“The cool thing about this whole concept is we aren’t creating the product or this innovation, but we are creating the market. It’s cool to see the client response. They have never heard of this and we tell them the possibility and they are amazed.”
A hero for inspectors
Traditionally, inspecting properties in The Netherlands (and right around the world) has taken a lot of effort, to produce only limited accuracy. Inspectors would physically visit a property, fill in an excel sheet with what they observed and take some pictures to accompany the report.
“If there were things they couldn’t see, they just had to trust it,” Stefan said. “The clients get an excel sheet, but they have no idea what the condition of their property looks like. Now, they can actually see that broken roofing tile and make a more-informed decision. It’s a digital discussion piece – trust is a good thing, but control is even better.
supRmen isn’t an inspection company, but they do provide models already marked up with measurements and damage highlighted, creating a report for their users. They can also share the interactive 3D model so the inspector can see the property without ever leaving their desk.
How did the Trendspek process compare?
The supRmen team is truly invested in positive outcomes for their clients, and in addition to providing them the reports, and support, they also empower them with the simple training they need to use the models.
“We just want to make their jobs easier for them. There’s a huge shortage of inspectors here, too few to do the work, so we help them do more, in less time.”
supRmen stands for the future!
With their market clearly carved out and a growing volume of supportive clients, supRmen is building traction, and intends to expand first into Germany, and then across Europe.
“The ball is really starting to drop, we have a lot of jobs in the pipeline, and we’re already discussing, with the Trendspek team, being able to do more with the platform. I don’t know where we’ll be in a couple of years, but a lot will happen!”
“We know, if we want to be scalable, we need to invest in technology. Overall though, we’re changing thinking, behaviour and practice, and that’s quite cool to be a part of.”
Better. From every angle.
At Trendspek, we understand the importance of assets, because to us, our clients are our most valuable assets. We have worked in
close partnership with some of the world’s biggest asset management companies, delivering our service, their way.