Functioning like the Coffee Meets Bagel of real estate, Bumbung aims to turn the normal house hunting process on its head by helping to match the potential buyer with agents.
Currently, most of property scene in Malaysia relies heavily on advertising, and what this translates to is saturation.
This, on top of the absolute hassle of trawling the internet’s seemingly endless listings can drive anyone crazy.
And it’s not easy on the agent’s side as well.
“Meeting owners, dealing with other agents and having to deal with relevant parties is already taxing enough, but the sheer amount of platforms that they have to sign up with just to advertise was staggering,” said Gadiy, co-founder of Bumbung.
Bumbung’s innovation to the scene is this: buyers or renters can key in their desired real estate details into the website, and wait for the listings to come to them.
Once the users have filled out their details, the following process takes place:
Bumbung can be used for anyone looking to sell or let out their properties too.
Back when Claire, co-founder of Bumbung, first moved to Malaysia in 2014 she found herself overwhelmed by the process, from sleazy agents to low-quality pictures of the listings and even being offered more alternative listings that didn’t suit her requirements or budgets.
Gadiy also found himself confronted with the industry’s problems in 2012, when he became a real estate negotiator.
“I didn’t realise that it was so expensive and ineffective. I had to stand out from the other agents, and the only way back then was to have marketing money to spend so that your properties stand out. As all agents were doing this, no one really benefited except these property portals itself. It’s really silly if you look at it from an outsider point of view,” he said.
So he teamed up with Claire to try and solve such issues through Bumbung.
More Quality Matches
The service aims to pick up the bulk of the work. It only involves both agents and buyers once the buyer is keen on looking at a property. From there, both buyers and sellers are left to their own devices on whether the sale is closed or not.
But to add one more layer of security, Bumbung implemented a rating system for buyers post-match, to better weed out the unscrupulous agents.
Claire explained, “We are from this generation where people believe in a comment left by a stranger, almost as if it was a friend’s recommendation. If your friend recommends the services of an agent, chances are you’re going to go with him the next time you look for a place.”
“The reverse is true. I would have felt better if I could have warn everyone about the bad behaviour of my previous agent. And I wouldn’t have called him in the first place if I had access to this information before.”
Meanwhile for agents, since they’re charged a matching fee, they naturally have some concerns about how these prospects are filtered.
Gadiy explained, “Once we make it known to them that the results are not only better but also at a less expensive rate rather than just blindly advertising, they start to understand our value proposition.”
“They feel they can work better knowing that these prospects have already been filtered and prequalified, so they’re willing to get a package with us.”
Keeping Things Simple And Efficient
Currently sporting a 10-man team, Bumbung has to consider their business decisions very carefully, especially as self-described “disruptors” of the scene.
Many app or website-based service believes in constant innovation as the key to longevity, especially in this currently trending “disrupt or die” Silicon Valley mentality. But Bumbung is more strategic in their approach.
“Given the very limited resources that we have, sometimes a quick and easy approach is good enough. For example, constantly rolling out new features is essential to stay on top of innovation. But if this gives you a bad user experience on your core product, then it’s actually a bad move. It’s easy to get carried away by the excitement of building, but it’s key to focus on the most strategic directions,” said Claire.
Now that they have agents on their platform, the team is now moving forward into incorporating more B2B elements to include even more listings by approaching the agencies head on.
“I specifically feel that the real estate industry is due for disruption. The way moving forward is not in the classified space, and also not in removing agents away, but to empower agents with the right tools that connect all their verified listings to verified buyers or tenants,” said Gadiy.
This article was brought to you by Bumbung. To find out more about their services, you can head over to their website here.