Who knows a property better than the owner? Averspace wants to give them control over selling the real estate
Moving apartments, or selling a home, is one of those ‘life moments’ that is both exciting while simultaneously feeling like a chore. Sure, it is fun to imagine living closer to the beach, or having a facility pool for the first time.
But, the process can be a pain, and the quality of the property agent can be hit-or-miss. Many agents are great at their job, but some are clearly in it for the commission, and it is difficult to know before walking into the shop.
The result has been a growing proliferation of websites designed circumvent real estate agencies. One example is that in Singapore, Facebook has popped up as one of the best sources to find a room.
Now, a Singaporean P2P real estate startup named Averspace has arrived to fix this problem by putting the property owner in charge.
“I had an experience when I was selling off my property and that was something which kind of sparked off this whole, ‘I wanna look at how we can actually improve the real estate industry’. And also at the same time, when I was doing my research, I realised it was already a proven model in the US and Europe,” Ivan Lim, the Founder of Averspace, told e27.
“So I set on this mission, and in Singapore back when Averspace was in ideation, I realised there wasn’t really a very serious P2P site for real estate,” he added.
What Averspace has done is design a service to fit the entire process — from discovery to document signing — on a smartphone.
The tech team has built a crazy smooth UX which allows users go step-by-step through the negotiation process without leaving the app. Details like monthly rent, lease length, if its a fixed-price agreement and even a landlord/tenant e-signature are all done through Averspace.
Once both sides have signed the app, it generates a PDF document that looks like a traditional real estate agreement. At that point, most people would print out the paperwork and store it for reference.
“[Our main goal] is to simplify real estate so that it is not cumbersome because real estate tends to be heavy in terms of documentation and a lot of people are worried about that,” said Lim.
“So, if you are able to put into a simple interface, everything can be transacted through your mobile phone. It can be inputted, information can be pooled, it can be edited.”
Lim is not anti-real estate agent, as good ones can make life much easier, but the ex-banker has a theory that nobody knows a property better than the owner.
When someone lives in an apartment, they know about the neighbourhood, not just the property. How is the food? Will an new MRT station be built near me? Is the local park good for kids? Or does it get too crowded on weekends?
“I think the main thing that we are trying to do for Averspace is we are focussed on making sure that our customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of our product. It is about making transactions simple, secure and easy to use. And fast as well, right?” said Lim.
To beef up the security of the e-contracts, Averspace has inked a partnership with the blockchain smart contract company Attores.
“I think what is going to be interesting is that, because of what [Attores Co-founder David Moskowitz] is doing with blockchain on the Attores side, we will be looking at digital signing and formalising it on blockchain for agreements,” said Lim.
Attores is Co-founded by David Moskowitz, who recently has made another deal with Averspace.
Making an acquisition
Moskowitz also has a history in real estate disruption. He started No Agent Fee Singapore! years ago and kept it as a side project while focussing on more intensive startups.
Averspace has bought the website for an undisclosed amount and hopes to leverage the site’s decent user statistics to boost its own customer base. The Facebook page has 7,771 likes at the moment and Moskowitz says the site’s paid listing feature was generating some revenue.
“Here’s a guy who is doing something interesting. It might be a good home for the [website] and I am always happy to have someone build on top of something I have already put some effort into,” Moskowitz told e27.
Lim is hoping to migrate the user base of No Agent Fee Singapore! into Averspace and hopefully attract some of the site’s old fans to this new platform.
Looking ahead, cooking in the kitchen are tools to help homeowners better sell their properties.
Because Averspace is a DIY platform, it wants to help homeowners reach out to other users that have shown interest in the property — possibly by offering sellers statistics about how many people are clicking on the property, if they are spending a decent amount of time on the listing and how to contact them to move a potential deal forward.
As digitalisation continues to take over Singapore’s economy, there is no reason to think real estate would be an exception, and Averspace highlights how digitalised real estate could look moving forward.
The post P2P hits the real estate sector in Singapore with the Averspace mobile app appeared first on e27.