Hello investors! Today I will be featuring a portal that features Singapore’s latest new launches. I have used many websites to find my new place of residence and with investing in mind, going for new launch condos is the best way to go. New Launch Portal (https://www.newlaunchportal.com.sg) is an online property portal launched on 2013, providing a centralised platform for investors and home seekers to search for new condos.
New Launch Portal, a new mobile app from Singapore entrepreneur Keaven lee, lets homeowners, proprietors and estate agents post properties for rent or sale. Users can create and manage property “profiles” and store information such as value and investment performance – all available in the app. There is also a live chat feature that allows users to talk to potential buyers, owners, agents or tenants in real-time.
There are many opportunities for the online community in this area. Sites like PropertyGuru, for example, only allow private agents to post their properties for a price. OrangeTee launched a website last year that provides home listings and event histories, and “ratings” for agents. Favourite e-marketplace app Carousell has a property listings segment that homeowners and agencies can use for free, but the listings aren’t as extensive or detailed.
Mr Lee said New Launch Portal has the edge over sites such as PropertyGuru because it can allow properties that are not yet ready to be sold on the market. This is, for instance, for homeowners who want to test the need to assess interest but are not yet prepared to commit to a deal.
“Websites like PropertyGuru have achieved a great deal in Singapore to transform the print classifieds trade toward an online classifieds industry, and apps similar to Carousell are performing well to benefit from this trend. However, we feel that the method of only offering “current listings” is an outdated model as it only considers properties “on the market” and ignores all other potential estate deals out there,” Lui said.
“New Launch Portal’s platform can bring many more features online, whether they’re trading, renting or just involved in the market, giving more choice to buyers and tenants looking for their ideal property.”
In response, real estate agents interviewed said they concentrate on their strengths and give homeowners, such as their professional knowledge of different communities in Singapore, and pointed out that listings online or on apps typically only provide the basic facts.
Mr Jeff Foo, president of the Institute of Estate Agents, said, “Estate agents are facing the use of such portals. PropertyGuru imposes too much, and this app enables homeowners to bypass agents.”
He added: “From an estate agent’s point of view, it’s about individual service. Technology can be a great tool, but it can solely do so much. These portals … Can’t tell you certain things about the property and the area that agents can contribute through their experience.”
Mr Foo also warned homeowners not to be “intelligent and silly” when dealing with listings through such programs.
Mr Eugene Lim, executive of ERA Realty Network, thinks most people do not possess the time to handle the whole process themselves without an agent. “(That’s why) you pay agencies to help you sell your house for the highest possible price in the most concise possible time,” he emphasised.
Analysts maintained such portals, with their capacities, could provide greater competition for house agents. Real estate analyst Colin Tan of Suntec Real Estate, for example, said a portal like New Launch Portal offers more opportunity for homeowners to easily search the new launches they are looking for.
“I guess, like LinkedIn, you say I’m not actively searching for a job, but if there are openings, reach out to me and tell me about it, I’ll consider it and let you know if I’m interested in seeking it,” he said New Launch Portal will be the equivalent of real estate.”
The downside, he said, denotes that users “may be overwhelmed with more and extra ‘noise’ from agents rather than real buyers.”
The disruption generated by digital technology and DIY transactions has prompted several agents and estate agencies to get out of the game. As of 1st jan of this year, there were 1,287 licensed real estate agents and 28,398 registered real estate brokers, according to statistics from the Council for Estate Agencies. This is down from 2015 when there were 1,368 agencies and 30,831 agents.
Last week, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) started a new portal to cut the execution time for resale HDB flats by half as more buyers transact without an agent. While only 12 per cent of buyers and sellers administered their transactions themselves in 2010, the proportion of buyers and sellers using an agency has increased.