14 OCT 2018
Ahead of his DIY property transaction presentation at our Property Technology Conference, we spoke to Lead Android Developer at Ohmyhome Kevin Wong about the growing digital real estate market and the SG$850 million worth of transactions Ohmyhome have already facilitated.
Ohmyhome is a do-it-yourself (DIY) portal that allows users to list or search for properties that match their requirements. Interactive search helps users narrow down available options according to their preferences (price, location, size) and interact with sellers directly to find the best fit for them. Financial calculators can also help users plan their financials as well as their mortgage.
We are pleased to say that we’ve seen great traction and acceptance in Singapore. We have already facilitated over 2,000 transactions for our users, which are worth over SG$850 million. We’ve been able to do this by simplifying the property buying, selling and renting process. Ultimately, users want a smarter way of doing everything, one that saves them time while achieving better results. We’ve put a lot of time and energy into making the search for a new home as simple, fast and affordable as possible.
We have a feature called ‘ShoutOut’ that reverses the search process; it allows homeowners to reach out to home-seekers directly based on their requirements.
The key to automating the home-buying process is to understand that transformation takes time and that you cannot 100% ignore how important “staying human” is.
Ohmyhome gives users the choice between traditional agents or a self-service route. Users that opt for the former are guided through the home-buying process by a fixed-fee agent, which incorporates many of the traditional methods, albeit with the help of technology to expedite a transaction. This model ensures that we remain an inclusive housing solution, even for those that aren’t overly familiar with digital technology.
And this is important, because the benefits to users can be significant. You save time by not having to pour over websites or call several agents to ascertain what units are worthwhile. Ohmyhome only hosts genuine, non-duplicated, listed by real home-owners or our in-house agents, which means response times are faster and searches are more efficient.
Users save a lot of time and money when processes are reduced to just a few clicks. Our statistics show that buyers save several hours when using our DIY portal and that, on average, sellers’ listings are on our portal less than the market rate of 33 days.
Initially, the property market was resistant to change but as property-technology players like Ohmyhome have entered the market and demonstrated simpler, smarter and more affordable ways of doing things, we have begun to see a wave of change. I think it’s important to remember that these changes don’t just benefit consumers, but all stakeholders in the marketplace — this transformation should be welcomed.
An alternative opinion: RICS International Data Standards Director Andrew Knight urges disruptors to collaborate with the industry to ensure a deeper and more beneficial understanding of the work surveyors do and the impact their disruption will cause.