- Too many bumiputera properties are going unsold, and many portals are focused on the “richer” market without focusing on the higher population of bumiputera with lower incomes.
- Hartabumi was designed to combat this issue by founder Radzi Tajuddin.
- The platform is already profitable, but Hartabumi is looking to expand into home rentals and helping bumiputera get loans.
Bumiputera housing is a significant part of the property industy in Malaysia. And with it, came a problem that has left a gap for this startup to fill.
According to founder and CEO Radzi Tajuddin, “People or business owners are always scared to venture into an unknown market.”
“As we can see today more and more portals are targeting the same 30% market which is the non-Bumi and the ‘richer’ Bumi.”
“I believe in the remaining 70%, which is the bumiputera. For me, these are the people with purchasing power. Some of these people don’t own any property not because they don’t have the money, but because they don’t have sufficient knowledge of this subject.”
28-year-old Radzi began his career as a policy researcher, and while in his previous profession, came across a large number of unsold bumiputera properties.
He tried to get some data about the issue, but couldn’t find a comprehensive resource.
This was the trigger that led him to form his portal.
The solution for Radzi is to simply begin listing all of the bumiputera properties he’s found onto a portal, appropriately named Hartabumi in 2015, with the help of a close friend turned investor.
He spent a total of RM100,000 on the enterprise.
Listing out the locations informs the bumiputera buyers about the existence of the houses. Besides that, Hartabumi also dabbles into educating this segment with relatable articles to help demystify property in their eyes.
“To be honest, the educational segment is actually the crowd-puller to our portal. It proves that bumiputera are genuinely interested in property and willing to educate themselves as long as there’s a right medium for them to do so,” said Radzi.
Despite this, it has been a challenge to get the right bumiputera crowd to change their mindset.
“Some of them think that it’s absolutely impossible to own a property and that is wrong.”
They’ve also struggled with convincing agents and developers to list their properties with Hartabumi, but they are slowly shifting that mindset.
When they started as a team of three in a studio office in Damansara, things were tough. This was Radzi’s first business venture, and he faced significant difficulties trying to find the right people with the right skills.
They’ve come far since then, but they have a long way to go.
“Our user rate is not sustainable and to be honest, the competition is tough. We’re fully aware of our competitors and how the market works,” said Radzi.
“That’s why we’re constantly coming with new ideas and strategies. For example, we’re working closely with KPKT to help first-time homebuyers now.”
Things looked up for them when more established organisations like REHDA, government agencies, and media attention propelled their concept forward.
Despite their difficulties, they’ve still been able to make about RM100,000 to RM300,000 quarterly, by offering packages to developers.
Sitting still isn’t an option.
To stay competitive, Hartabumi is moving towards home-ownership, particularly working with those whose loans were rejected. They’ll be helping their users with their credit profile and improve their chances of getting a loan.
“Knowing that now we have loyal users, we want to offer more to them. We’ve been releasing important data about housing to keep our users excited,” said Radzi.
They’ve also acquired Rumahsewa.com for its “stable and promising visitors”, in hopes that this will unlock the sub-sales and rental market for them.
They will also be expanding their existing products.
“We’re evolving in term of our segment market. We want to focus on all sort of properties despite the status of the property,” said Radzi.
“As for now, we would still want to focus on the bumiputera audience, but non-Bumi developers who wish to promote their products to bumiputera are more than welcome to visit our portal.”
- You can check out Hartabumi’s listings here, or learn more about bumiputera properties from them here.
Feature Image Credit: Hartabumi