Singapore startup MOGUL.sg launched a new keyword-based property search portal yesterday (Nov 21) to help home-seekers in Singapore find their dream home faster and easier.
MOGUL.sg is established this year by a group of entrepreneurs, who aims to reinvent the entire real estate journey for buyers, sellers, and agents.
Using custom keywords generated from Singapore Land Authority’s OneMap geospatial data, their platform helps users search with greater granularity.
Traditional property portals lets users filter their search by selecting from a small number of parameters such as district, location, price and type of property.
Despite the promise of a concentrated search, these filters still generate hundreds, and even thousands of results, which makes the search process cumbersome and time-consuming.
In contrast, MOGUL.sg’s keyword-based search system works like Google Search.
Accurate And Relevant Results For Home Seekers
In its database are over 5,000 (and growing) custom keywords that describe the characteristics of the property that the user is searching for.
For instance, keying in “near North-South line” will show all property listings that are 0.5km away from any MRT station along the red line.
When you combine a second keyword, say “near supermarket”, the system filters out homes which are more than 300m from any supermarket.
You can also throw in more nearby keywords such as “hawker centre” and “park”, or physical features such as “high floor” and “west-facing” to get a more relevant search result.
OneMap’s routing API even recognises that void decks are unique buildings where people can walk through and this is important for MOGUL.sg to define the meaning of the word “nearby”.
For example, when a user keys in the word “nearby hawker centre”, the system will list all hawker centres within 3 minutes of walking time, considering the user’s ability to cut through the void decks.
“The proliferation of property portals over the last decade offers consumers more choices, but the search process has become too complex and unwieldy over the years,” said Gerald Sim, CEO and founder of MOGUL.sg.
MOGUL.sg aims to use AI (artificial intelligence) to simplify these processes and make the matching between property owners and home-seekers easier and more transparent. Having the most accurate and updated map data empowers our keyword-search system with powerful context. We may be the new kid on the block, but integrating OneMap is our competitive advantage which will differentiate us.
Building on the promise of delivering relevant results, MOGUL.sg said that it also does not support ad-listings.
The growth of advertising in property portals has made it a battle between agents with the deepest pockets to get onto the top of search results.
Getting to the top of the list is often based on how much money the agent is spending instead of delivering the most relevant results to the home seeker. In addition, the organic results are often listed in chronological order with no regard for the degree of relevance to the user.
“We think that users are tired of having to scroll through pages of ads before even reaching organic results from real home owners. We want to do for property search what Google did for the Web search industry in the early 2000s – deliver accurate and useful search results for the users,” said Mr Sim.
What If You Don’t Find What You’re Looking For?
According to MOGUL.sg, if the home-seeker doesn’t find what they’re looking for, its in-built AI will scan all future listings and automatically recommends the ones that suit their search history.
MOGUL.sg also offers a property concierge service who do not want to scroll through multiple listings or contact multiple agents. Its curated concierge team can help the user by being their only point of contact throughout their real estate journey.
They personally filter through messages to ensure that spam does not reach home buyers and sellers alike, as well as recommend properties to potential buyers based on their keyword searches. One property concierge communicates with the home owner as the single point of contact.
“Instead of focusing on advertising revenue, we want to move to an agent subscription service which levels the playing field for buyers, sellers and property agents,” explained Mr Sim.
It is currently offering free listings to agents for the first year, and $365 for the subsequent year.