How can tech disrupt the property rental and buying market? Source: Shutterstock

How can tech disrupt the property rental and buying market? Source: Shutterstock

Property platforms need to go beyond “search” says rentDAX CEO

MILLENNIALS find it hard to rent or buy property because of the cash they need to put down as a deposit or a downpayment.

Contrary to popular belief, the property market in Malaysia and the rest of the Asia Pacific isn’t overpriced — there are pockets of affordable and value for money apartments everywhere that can help young professionals establish themselves.

In the present environment, there are two challenges: Finding the right property is hard because searching on different property platforms doesn’t yield the right results, and when millennials do find the right apartment or condo, financing it is a challenge.

“We understand this, and we wake up every day to try to solve this problem,” DAXVENTURE Founder and CEO Timothy Hor told Tech Wire Asia.

DAXVENTURE, which runs the property platform rentDAX, simplifies the renting process for everyday Malaysians looking to rent a home by helping them avoid putting down a deposit that can sometimes be as high as US$2000.

However, rentDAX is just part of the solution. According to Hor, the company is working on building an ecosystem where customers won’t have to search for a property online at all.

Instead, in the near future, they’ll be answer a few questions on Hor’s online platform to understand whether they’re eligible for a loan to buy a house.

If they are, the platform matches them with secondary (and maybe primary) homeowners looking to sell based on what they can afford and where they’d like to stay. If not, they’re directed to the renting application where they can rent for a certain sum that suits their budget, without paying a deposit, at a location of their choosing.

“Our platform marries an element of fintech with proptech to create a solution that handholds young customers throughout their property renting and buying journey.”

Obviously, DAXVENTURE is working on building the partnerships and collaborations it needs in order to bring its vision to life.

However, the interesting thing about Hor’s gameplan is that he intends to make searching for a property obsolete.

“What’s the point of search when we have big data? We speak of technology these days, and yet confine ourselves to gleaning through classifieds in the newspaper or online when we need to buy or rent a house.

“Why do we do this to ourselves in an age where customer’s data can be analyzed securely and matched — to properties they can buy if they qualify for an appropriate loan — or rental suites if that suits them better.”

Hor’s Co-Founder at DAXVENTURE is Soft Space ex-CEO Chang Chew Soon. Chang insists on building a tech-savvy, digital-first business but emphasizes on the fact that everything must be built with the customer in mind.

“We’re not a tech-driven company. We’re a consumer-driven company with tech capabilities,” Hor concurred.

Looking closely into the inner workings of the company, the platform leverages technology in many interesting ways.

The call center, for example, records every customer interaction to find opportunities to improve efficiencies and better engage with the customer.

On the portal, the company captures data on clicks, hovers, and scrolls to better understand how customers interpret their interface and adapt accordingly to provide a better experience.

When customers upload snapshots of their national ID, the company uses OCR (optical character recognition) to capture details and digitize the record.

There are umpteen examples proving that the company Soon and Hor are creating is incredibly reliant on technology, but it all seems to be built with one goal in mind — making search irrelevant so customers can be served with property options that best suit their situation and needs.

“We’re very focused on the customer. We want to deliver a great experience — that’s where our tech-focus lies,” explained Chang.

Their focus on the customer is what drove the company to join hands with Tune Protect, insuring rental properties against unintended damage caused by tenants on rentDAX. They’re constantly looking for little ways to delight their customers, be it via conventional or innovative offerings.

Born in the digital age, DAXVENTURE is looking to transform (slowly and quietly) the property space without disrupting it.

If they continue to focus on the customer while still using technology to simplify things, they might just succeed. Only time will tell.