The Upcoming Disruption In Online Property

A storm is brewing...

It has now been a full year since I started GoodPlace.my, and if I’m going to summarize my startup experience so far, it’s this – property is a funny business.

It’s possibly the single largest purchase that most Malaysians make in a lifetime, and yet agents are now struggling more than ever to earn their commissions.

Agents come to my office frequently, and I therefore get to hear about the challenges that they face on multiple fronts – the sellers, the buyers, and their competitors.

Property is no longer a “relationship” business. Indeed, building long-term relationships with clients seems to be offer little (short term) reward (if any) compared to hustling for the lucrative one-off transaction. And as such, agents tell me that they feel crowded out by bad hats who would resort to deception and downright fraudulent tactics to close the deal.

I want to help the good guys win. That’s GoodPlace.my’s raison d’être.

Through the DealMatcher (where I match home buyers with agents), I want to create a property buying environment which is anchored in transparency and trust.

So here’s a summary of how the DealMatcher works. First, I would qualify the buyers to ensure that they are serious and genuine. Then, depending on the buyer requirements, I would do some research and share pricing data if I have got them. Finally, at  the buyer’s request, I would make the connection to a suitable agent (which I recruit via GoodLeads.my). And as buyers and agents provide feedback to me directly, I am able to make instant amendments if necessary (read: blacklisting errant buyers and kicking out bad agents).

What makes the DealMatcher platform different is that the information is curated, the buyers sufficiently qualified, and the agents carefully vetted. These are the essential ingredients for successful deals, and when a home buyer gets to buy the property of choice, everybody wins.

The DealMatcher platform is gaining good initial traction

The DealMatcher platform is gaining amazing traction

These are early days, but feedback from home buyers have been encouraging. Do this – click here and scroll all the way to be bottom. Reading these comments make me all warm and fuzzy inside. 🙂

My plans for the DealMatcher are big, hairy… and fairly audacious. The next version of the platform will come with rich, real time listings data as well as an exchange where professionals can share and find co-broking opportunities. Membership of this platform will be restricted to agencies which I will personally vet for quality.

And of course, these ideas are not new.

A few months back I had the opportunity to meet up with Guy Major, the head of residential sales and lettings at Savills, Rahim & Co. (One of Guy’s negotiators, Amanda Andrew, is a long time reader of GoodPlace.my, and I have been providing her with home buyer leads on an irregular basis).

It was Guy who introduced me to Lonres.com, a portal used by property professionals in London to access real time data and find commission sharing opportunities (thanks for the pointer, Guy). Many of the DealMatcher’s features in the development pipeline are modeled after Lonres’ own (albeit with a Malaysian twist to suit the local market).

But the bells and whistles aside, the core of the DealMatcher remains unchanged:- we match good buyers with good agents, and we can only do this with a large dollop of good old-fashioned trust underpinning the platform.

Trusted Curation Is The Future

I am an avid fan of Shark Tank. It’s the only “TV” show that I watch (with religious fervour I might add). Last night, I torrented (yes, I did that) eight episodes and watched them all at one go, until 5 in the morning.

Mark Cuban rocks GoodPlace

In one of the episodes, Mark Cuban (incidentally my favourite Shark) said something which completely resonated with me:

Trusted curation is the future.
Mark Cuban

In this age of mass advertising (spam?), volume seems to be the only metric that matters for the regular Joe Negotiator. Can’t get leads? Why, I’ll double down and post even more ads! Don’t get enough calls from my listings? I’ll post an ad with a fake price which is 10% cheaper than everyone else. I’ll do anything to get the sale… just about anything.

Indeed, given how things work now, it’s one huge Charlie Foxtrot of a race to the bottom of the barrel. But it really doesn’t have to be this way, and I’m going to tell you why (and how) next.

2015: The Year Of Trusted Platforms

I‘ll take the cue from Mr Cuban and apply the “Trusted Curation” model to online property:-

  • Curated listings with original photos, legitimate asking price and other value added data like historical transactions
  • Qualified buyers with complete requirements list, personal profile and record of previous investments
  • Verified agents with feedback ratings, stock information and transaction records
  • Platform to facilitate commission sharing / co-broking opportunities
  • Exchange to act as a leads clearing house between lead providers and agencies (or between agencies)
  • Impartial property reviews database with wiki-like crowdsourcing and public editing facility

 A tall order? Hardly, because as I am writing this, a prototype is already being built by my engineering team on top of the existing DealMatcher platform. The future is nearer than we think, and I am pretty excited about it!

So you’ve read it here first, folks. The property industry is set to be disrupted by “trusted platforms”, and it could happen in Malaysia in as early as 2015. Mark my words. 🙂

About Khai Yin

When I am not writing for GoodPlace.my and helping my readers find properties though the DealMatcher service, I spend time doting on my three kids: Wenyi, Qinyi and Eian. My personal stuff, some published essays and contact details can be found at khaiyin.com

Comments

  1. Hi Khai Yin,

    I will be seriously and excited waiting for your “trusted platform”. It is something that I am looking for, but so far none available.

    Will you be putting all historical transaction data in this platform for all properties or just those transactions closed by you and your partners? And will you open the platform for public?

    Thanks.

  2. I am excited to see this new platform happen and congrats on the progress!

    It was daunting to shift through all those ads to find the right one. The duplicates are a headache. So now I have just drop the shit and go straight up calling up agents around the corners to try my luck at finding my dream house.

  3. Finally.. i see a new future for malaysia property scene.

  4. looking forward to it

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