Thailand’s FazWaz is strapping for agent tools, machine learning in driving the future of property tech

Prisca Akhaya
Thailand’s FazWaz is strapping for agent tools, machine learning in driving the future of property tech

e27 revisited the conversation we had in 2015 with Paul Trayman, the man behind FazWaz, about how far the platform has grown within the last three years

Last time we spoke to FazWaz, they had just launched the platform and had only been live for one week. At that time, the team at FazWaz were attempting to get ahead of its competitions by ensuring all the listings on their platform were fully updated and accurate.

Now, three years later, e27 gets a chance to talk to the same Paul Trayman, with FazWaz being readied to get automated to better serve its eight countries-based visitors.

Trip down the memory lane

In its first feature, FazWaz branded itself as a data-driven, comparison platform that place listings side-by-side, while particularly highlighting the fees and overall purchasing and running costs.  Its aim is to help users make better-informed purchasing decisions, as well as a valuation pricing tool for sellers and free property listing for developers.

But to get to that point, it was a challenging quest.

“There are real limitations in accessing accurate property and market information particularly here in Thailand and similar emerging markets. We actually had to reach out, meet, and develop relationships with all key stakeholders involved in the property business. This is ranging from private sellers based locally in Thailand and those also based overseas, we have developed a deep network among local real estate developers, real estate agencies, and then with more established publicly listed property companies. This takes time and involves a large team to gather and add the information onto our platform, as unlike the US or other more established markets, there is no MLS (multiple listing service),” explains Trayman.

When they were ready to launch, finding local manpower to join the team became another challenge. “People here are simply more drawn to multinational companies,” says Trayman. But now, they have managed to grow from 15 to 20 people to 70 people spread across offices in Thailand.

On aggressive market distribution

Trayman, who is holding the position of COO in the company, uses the term “aggressive” to explain the marketing strategy the company has accumulated. “Right now, our website is available in six languages, and we have soft-launched in over eight countries across Southeast Asia and also in the UAE,” he says.

FazWaz originally started in Phuket and has quickly expanded its agent network to cover all major markets across Thailand with a particular focus on Pattaya, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok. “We are aiming to empower our agents through technology, training and agents tools, to allow them to fully service their client’s needs and beat the competition.”

“By operating across all markets in Thailand and capturing the consumer behaviour and data, we understand what consumers really want and what consumers are actually buying. This allows us to strategically advise real estate developers across Thailand, on exactly what products they need to build. Following this consultation, we offer developers a full sales and marketing service –aiming at letting developers do what they do best which is building great products, and letting us leverage our technology, online reach and sales team to what we do best, more property sales.”

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With FazWazGroup, the company’s move also includes neighbouring countries within their online listing. It implements a user experience that is expected to be seamless, straightforward, and catered to main options in property, which would be buy, sell, and rent.

Another interesting point to note is the marketing strategy the FazWaz team has implemented in 2018. “We exclusively power some of Thailand ‘s leading online media companies with our unique and bespoke front-end technology (mainly our website), with the likes of Baanthai, The Thaiger, Thaivisa, National Multimedia, and Bangkok Biz News, coupling this with a national network of local sales agents. This is a unique partnership, that allows high-traffic media portals to monetise their visitors and traffic. It also secures us as the go-to property platform and technology-enabled brokerage business here in Thailand,” explains Trayman.

The future of property tech is automated

By the end of the year, FazWaz is implementing a suit of advanced agent tools and also implementing machine learning and AI technologies into these too. This is all to help serve our customer better, give them the information faster, and more accurately than ever before and ultimately streamline the home-buying or renting process for consumers.

“We don’t want just a chatbot that’s robotic and answers our customer’s inquiries with a templated answer – especially taken into account the complexity of buying a property. The purpose of having the chatbot is to reduce the time and difficulties customers typically go through finding the right property. We aim to empower our users through smart technology, using AI and Machine learning chatbots, that can totally qualify our customers online, from anywhere in the world, at anytime, and in all six languages, then we can take this information and accurately match them with the best property recommendations without the heavy reliance on using a human or in our case a real estate agents. The chatbot we are building will be a virtual property agent that can understand and fully assist the users and our own agents, not just an order taker,” said Trayman.

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The chatbots will not only be used for the consumers who reach our online platforms. FazWaz is building out smart chatbots that will ultimately empower and assist their sales agents, customer support teams, and all operation staffs so they become more efficient and effective at doing their day-to-day jobs. The aim is to turn relatively new agents into local property experts in a very short space of time.

As they are now stepping onto something transformational for both their company and –indirectly– the property tech scene, FazWaz, which started off with bootstrap funding, is now in talk with venture capitalists interested to invest on their growth.

“FazWaz is aiming at truly re-defining the way the real estate market works in Thailand and Southeast Asia. We are investing heavily in our agent tools, improving the overall buying and selling process, and focusing on our front-end property portal. We are aiming to build an end-to-end platform that makes the home buying process a smooth and unforgettable one for all,” Trayman closes.

Image Credit: Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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