South Africa

PayProp enters new period of focused growth & client service with Michelle Dickens as Deputy CEO

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PayProp is excited to announce the appointment of industry innovator and livewire media presence Michelle Dickens as Deputy CEO to the equally formidable Jan Davel.

Johannes van Eeden, co-founder and Group CEO of the market-leading rental payment platform, explains the decision: 

“To keep growing market share and enhance our clients’ user experience while navigating complex new regulatory and trading dynamics, Jan and the board seized the opportunity to avail ourselves of the incredible market knowledge, energy and influence of Michelle, who will report to Jan and work alongside his capable leadership to ensure PayProp remains the leading name in this space.”

Building on 18 years of market leadership

PayProp, founded in 2004 by brothers Johannes and Jaco van Eeden, created a market in straight-through payment processing for residential rental agents – automating entire property portfolios’ rent collection, reconciliation and distribution in a couple of clicks.

Saving property practitioners time and admin resources to channel into more important things like business growth, client service or just taking a break now and then, PayProp quickly became a market leader in South Africa before expanding in the UK, Canada and US.

But more work lies ahead as the SA subsidiary of this international group of companies looks to increase its market share in certain regions, expand its range of platform and ancillary services, and penetrate new business segments to keep growing. 

Jan Davel, PayProp CEO since January 2019 and an active participant in the legal, franchise, property, and property finance sectors since 2000, says Dickens is the perfect candidate for the job.

Separation of duties

“Michelle embodies a strong and respected presence in the property space and she is an exemplary leader and communicator,” Davel says. 

“As the face and voice of PayProp and a noted voice in the industry, she will be working alongside me to keep upping our game in the aforementioned ways. In so doing I believe we have the chess pieces in place to lead a great new era in residential rental payments in South Africa."

As the public spokesperson for PayProp in SA, Dickens will oversee brand, marketing and media opportunities and represent PayProp at industry, company and media events – in addition to her role of overseeing sales, business development and business intelligence. Meanwhile, with Davel continuing at the helm of the local subsidiary, not only will its administration, legal and compliance be taken care of at exco level, but also PayProp’s key relationships with the regulators and industry bodies, as well as key relationships with enterprise clients and real estate franchisors. His remaining focus areas, in collaboration with Dickens, include operations, finance, client services, PayProp’s integrated trust environment, PayProp Capital, and IT.

‘Extraordinarily unique tool in the property rental market’

Dickens says with the full endorsement of the founders and board, she’s confident PayProp can continue on the trail of success that it blazed over 18 years as the first and best name in property rental payments.

“PayProp is an extraordinarily unique tool in the property rental market. No-one else offers the ability to transact in the banking environment, or the trust that this brings to the agent, landlord and tenant, knowing their funds are safe and secure. 

“This is the type of service and offering that every single estate agent should have in their back pocket. Property rental is a growth market and PayProp will be looking to support that in the way only PayProp can, as it adds new services, more integrations and participation in a variety of business segments.” 

Enhancing client service capacity

At the same time as setting out on a growth path, PayProp is also adding proven new and differentiated capacity to its client services team. 

After 10 years of exemplary service in the PayProp sales team – the last 5 as Head of Sales – Sarah Whitehead accepted Davel’s challenge to take the already superb PayProp client services team to the next level.  

“Sarah’s enthusiasm, attention to detail, product knowledge, exceptional work ethic and caring personality have not gone unnoticed, and although she has been very successful in a sales management role, her exceptional attributes make her the perfect candidate to head up one of PayProp’s fundamentally important teams,” Davel says.   

Whitehead will oversee a client services team of 16 with competencies across three areas of excellence – onboarding, support and customer success. Coinciding with the recent announcements, the following team members have risen in the client services ranks:

  • Johan Burger has accepted the role of Senior Client Success Manager
  • Angelo Lawrence, Leonor Klassen and Salomé de Freitas have all been promoted to Team Leaders of the various competencies in Whitehead’s department

“I have no doubt that PayProp is in extremely capable hands in this new era of growth, service and leadership,” says Van Eeden. “We can’t wait to surprise and delight our clients with continued platform and service excellence and innovation.”

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