Singaporeans have been facing a problem, and we don’t realize that. It is only until someone points it out to us do we realize, “Wow that is just wrong”.
That’s the case with online property searches in Singapore.
If you have been looking around for a place to rent in Singapore, chances are you would have been using (or at least heard of) PropertyGuru. It is arguably one of the largest property listing sites in Singapore. What many don’t realize is this – while you are able to search for property listings on its site, the site also allows property agents to pay their way into the search results, thereby affecting your search results.
New online rental search portal, 99.co wants to change that.
Property Search Designed For Real People
99.co takes a different approach which sticks to their value statement: “Search Results Are Sacred”. 99.co was created because current property platforms are antiquated websites that provides terrible search experiences ridden with advertising, bad or duplicated listings, and give little regards to the users’ desired results and relevant information.
A visit to both PropertyGuru and 99.co will show you a stark difference between a cluttered web 1.0 portal and a modern slick web2.0 feel. Let’s take a look at both platforms:
Property Guru Search Results
99.co Search Results
Other than the aesthetic appeal, 99.co also prides itself with its new proprietary algorithm ListRank, which takes into consideration more than 30 data points, including listings’ attributes and quality, users’ profile, and search behavior to deliver the most relevant search results. 99.co also plans to incorporate ratings and reviews as a feedback system to continue to improve the search results.
This is different from PropertyGuru, which apparently allows property agents to repost their listings as well as buy premium advertising slots.
“Search results are sacred to us at 99.co, so agents can never buy advertising slots on 99.co,” co-founder of 99.c0 Darius Cheung told me over coffee.
Indeed they are: look at popular portals such as Airbnb or TripAdvisor, which puts their search results above everything else. 99.co also draws its inspiration from the global peer to peer rental site Airbnb, to create a beautiful search experience that is simple, relevant and reliable. Taking a page from Airbnb’s early founding days too, where its creators would travel down personally to provide photo shoots for early Airbnb properties, the 99.co team also emphasises a lot on the photo quality of the listings: The better the photos, the more positively it affects the search result position.
“We notice that there are agents who copy and paste everything from the web into various property search portals, and this does not reflect accurately the condition of the listing.” To make sure that agents have a minimal friction from using 99.co, the team also provides photo shoot services for property agents who might need them.
So if you are looking for a different search experience – one that focuses more on producing relevant search results to you, a slicker web portal for better browsing experience, 99.co will definitely not disappoint.
Oh and by the way, they have a mobile app too!