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Malaysian proptech start-up launches new platform features

A local property technology (proptech) start-up, has released new features and services on its platform, Malaysia’s first online business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for primary residential properties to address social distancing norms.

It said this includes showcasing virtual viewing of developer projects and virtual training sessions for agents who sign up, allowing over 25,000 registered real estate agents (REAs) and negotiators (RENs) to brief customers easily.

Available on website and mobile application versions, the platform would help property developers, real estate agents and negotiators to drive the property sales of curated units at projects that are under construction or close to completion.

The Chief Technology Officer of the firm, in a statement, noted that as an online platform that helps developers and the real estate fraternity, it was important to accelerate the evolution of the platform to allow for seamless access and transactions between registered estate agents and negotiators with their customers.

The platform has a more user-friendly feature where agents could now access live price charts, make bookings in real-time, access a fresh supply of projects and manage their client’s progress.

REAs and RENs managed to close about RM45 million in gross development value (GDV) worth in units during the MCO but expected the property market to continue its sluggish growth in the immediate period post-COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the company also launched its inaugural Didian Preferred Partner programme recently that allows high performing real estate agencies to leverage additional benefits such as access to selected developer properties, higher commissions and even higher-value marketplace rewards.

At the moment the total value of properties currently on the system is valued at close to RM1.2 billion in GDV with over 2,000 units listed.

Participants include several high-level property firms.

Proptech in Malaysia

One of Southeast Asia’s leading property technology company released a report on the property prospects for 2020, laying out the glimmers of opportunity amid a trying market.

There’ve been targeted measures introduced in Budget 2020 to address specific issues in Malaysia’s property landscape, along with scattered feel-good factors for the market, such as a positive interest rate environment.

While mixed internal and external economic indicators have hindered growth prospects moving forward, Malaysia has come a long way since the 1990s. And with Budget 2020’s focus on digital transformation, experts were confident the nation would go even further.

Crowdfunding, rent-to-own (RTO) schemes, and financial eligibility tools are solutions and alternative platforms introduced to address homeownership challenges faced by Malaysians.

In particular, Budget 2020 emphasised RTO, with the financial backing of RM10 billion, including an RM3 billion guarantee by the government.

The RTO approach, in which purchasers can occupy a unit immediately with rental in lieu of a down-payment, is favoured by some industry analysts as it addresses the prohibitive upfront costs of homeownership for many home seekers. Others note that RTO schemes can incur significantly higher total costs compared to conventional mortgages.

Other alternative housing strategies in Malaysia include micro-housing and co-ownership. There is no single definition of micro-housing; however, it generally includes compact living spaces and communal living elements. Meanwhile, co-ownership is the practice of combining income to jointly purchase property and is seeing popularity as a solution due to affordability concerns.

One expert noted that moving forward, they anticipate proptech and fintech to play larger roles as international trends find their way to local shores and industry stakeholders seek to differentiate themselves in a heated market. Deloitte, for example, has reported in its 2020 Commercial Real Estate Outlook that it’s no longer about ‘location, location, location,’ but ‘location, experience and analytics.

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