The New Buzzword

PropertyGuru embraces PropTech in its business

By Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager of PropertyGuru Malaysia

There’s no denying that technology has caught up with the property industry, and those who are not on the bandwagon will soon be left out.

According to the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC), there are 43.9 million cellular subscribers in Malaysia, 28 million mobile broadband subscriptions with a 77.9% household broadband penetration and 90% 3G-population coverage.

This represents a high number of Internet and mobile adoption rate considering the Malaysia population is estimated at 30.97 million and 7.57 million households (based on census 2010).

At PropertyGuru, it’s all about embracing technology, changes and enabling consumers to make property decisions, fast, easy and accessible.

A 360 Online Platform

Designed with the end-user in mind, PropertyGuru features real-time access to multi-media rich content, covering property and home-related products, services, news, advice, guides, tools and a rapidly growing online property database in Malaysia.

We work closely with prominent real estate developers, housing agents and home-related firms in Malaysia and overseas. There are already more than 16 million property buyers viewing over 11 million property pages and generating more than 500,000 enquiries across the region, just by using the PropertyGuru Group platform.

Similarly, the PropertyGuru mobile app launched in 2012 has since garnered three million downloads from all four markets consisting of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Malaysia’s downloads alone stand at 700,000 and counting.

The app alone has made property hunting much easier as consumers can easily search for properties on-the-go, sync and shortlist properties on all devices, and visit or find out more about new launches.

Derived from Real Time Data

As a leader in the real estate market in Malaysia, PropertyGuru Malaysia processes a vast amount of real estate data daily, providing the necessary data to crunch and deliver in-depth insights to all Malaysian home seekers.

We look at the property market across Malaysia in different locations and over different types to provide a comprehensive, insightful overview of home pricing across the archipelago.

Most recently, PropertyGuru launched its PropertyGuru Market Index (PMI), which reveals a comprehensive and insightful quarterly overview of home pricing trends at a nationwide level, as well as key property markets.

Additionally, data journalism is a powerful strategy to create and amplify more impactful content. It also allows companies to uncover exciting new insights and stories from an ingredient – data – that they already have available.

PropertyGuru has roughly 16 million people on our sites across the region every month, and we use search results and supply listings to create actionable insights for visitors.

We create 600 pieces of content a month, ranging from news to market sentiment surveys. We have a newspaper in Singapore, we run online news, eDMs and a magazine, Property Report, which is published in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

VR and AR technologies allow for the “what if” – the exploration of different possibilities and approaches, say for interior design or even for homeowners to “imagine” or conceptualise the different options available. Rather than building several show units, you can use VR to show these units at a fraction of the cost.

PropertyGuru recently launched its Virtual Reality Showroom in Singapore, enabling consumers to view condo showflats while property agents were on hand to provide consultations, all through a mobile truck outfitted with VR goggles.

VR showrooms can be effective when a project’s showflat has been demolished and the developer still has unsold units. Other advantages of VR technology include its more immersive experience than virtual tours or 2D photos.

Drone Videos for Panoramic and Aerial Views of Communities and Localities

Just last year in 2016, PropertyGuru employed drones to shoot views from upper floors of a prominent residential project in Malaysia.

Drone videos allow for buyers to get a better perspective of the location and an aerial view of the communities surrounding the project. Not only do prospective buyers enjoy a bird’s eye view, they get a better perspective of the actual physical location and the overall surrounding area. This would include being able to see key lifestyle make or break factors such as traffic conditions, any potential attractive or detractive features, and much more.

Coupled with this tool, 3D tours also allow consumers on the PropertyGuru site to virtually take down walls and give them a sense of place.

 

This story first appeared in the Business Today magazine (August 2017 issue)

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