[This is a sponsored article with CORE Proptech.]
At first glance, CORE Proptech appeared to be yet another property listing site in the market, such as the likes of iProperty or PropertyGuru.
Scrolling through the site, I found that it only listed new or ongoing developments. Based on personal experience, these listings seemingly showcased more comprehensive details about the property, even the commission rates agents could earn from selling the listing.
To dig deeper, I spoke to its CEO and co-founder, JJ Liau to learn more about the platform.
Not just another property listing site
Founded by former real estate entrepreneurs in Malaysia, CORE Proptech aims to digitalise the property-selling industry, bridging the gap between property developers and real estate agents.
When developers have new projects to sell, they can list them on CORE Proptech for free, along with all the details an agent would need to know about the listings. Developers only have to pay the commission fees they’re offering agents upon a successful sale, and these rates are transparently displayed on the platform.
JJ told Vulcan Post that this differs from other property listing sites which tend to charge upfront fees for each listing.
CORE Proptech also distinguishes itself by only focusing on the primary property market, while sites like iProperty and PropertyGuru feature both new listings, and those on the secondary market as well.
Editor’s Update 24/01/24: The above paragraph has been updated for greater factual accuracy.
Did you know: The primary market consists of new properties like new launches and ongoing projects from the developer.
The secondary market is made up of previously owned houses to be rented or sold to new owners.
The idea is to let real estate agents find properties to sell, and they can do so by directly getting projects from developers on the platform.
You may wonder, aren’t there already existing ways for property agents to get projects, like through real estate agencies?
“We cut out the middleman,” said JJ during our call, as he went on to explain the biggest value proposition he believes his startup offers the local real estate industry.
Giving property agents more control
CORE Proptech wants to offer agents the potential to earn higher commission rates offered by the developers for their sales.
JJ explained that the traditional way agents earn commissions is for the property developer to pay the agency a certain percentage (say, 3% of the sale).
Agencies will take a cut from this commission, and then pay their agents the remaining rate (say, 1% of the sale).
That doesn’t mean that agencies are lowballing their employees. These companies often also provide their agents with non-monetary benefits like training, for example.
By cutting out the hierarchical structure of agencies, CORE Proptech lets agents earn higher commission rates (say, the full 3% commission), and monetises by charging agents a 10% transaction fee for the sale (eg. 0.3%).
Additionally, CORE Proptech wants to provide agents with more transparency in terms of the listings they take on. JJ explained that traditionally, agents will only know the commission rate they’ll earn from a sale, and not the full property details before they take on a project.
By getting developers to provide comprehensive information on CORE Proptech, agents can look into each listing before deciding to sell that development.
That leads to the platform’s next value proposition, giving agents more choices. Upon reviewing the listing details, agents have the choice to take on the project.
JJ also shared that should agents be keen on selling a development that isn’t listed on the platform, CORE Proptech will make the necessary arrangements to get the property developer on board.
CORE Proptech aims to empower property agents with the choice of selling projects they’re personally interested in, or serve agents who may already have prospective buyers for that property.
This way, the platform can provide independent agents easy access to new listings, or function as a gig platform for those who are tied to an agency and want to increase their earning potential.
Open to experienced agents only
As CORE Proptech’s business model differs from agencies, the platform does not provide training to agents.
So, it only onboards experienced agents with a Real Estate Negotiator (REN) licence. Agents should also be able to prove their legitimacy by providing documentation such as previous agent name cards, commission payslips, and other supporting documents.
“The onboarding process is designed to be simple and efficient, involving just three steps: registering an account, undergoing a brief verification call, participating in a quick 10-minute product demo, and they’re ready to start selling,” JJ shared.
Since the platform’s launch in Q3 2023, JJ detailed that CORE Proptech currently has over 200 registered agents, with approximately 20 developers listing over 30 projects.
Six months into launching, JJ said that the platform has seen up to a 40%-60% month-on-month growth.
Recognising that this figure may seem modest compared to traditional agency numbers, the CORE Proptech team still sees it as a win, given their platform-based approach and word-of-mouth marketing methods.
By their first anniversary in 2024, CORE Proptech is setting sights on listing over 100 projects from at least 50 developers, and to have a community of 1,000 registered real estate agents.
“Beyond numerical targets, we are committed to enhancing our platform’s value proposition,” JJ added. “This includes initiatives like faster commission payouts, quality lead generation, CRM inventory system integration, and more, all geared towards accelerating the listing and selling process.”
In the next five years, the team aims to expand CORE Proptech into adjacent markets such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and beyond.
Towards the end of our call, I asked JJ, “Is the end goal for CORE Proptech to fully cut out the middleman and replace agencies altogether?”
To that, JJ clarified that he doesn’t see agencies as competition; the startup simply wants to empower agents and improve connections across the property industry.
Bringing up Grab as an example, the CEO elaborated that the e-hailing startup didn’t intend to replace taxis, and never did. But over time, the platform offered customers a better solution, and more people opted for it.
That success is what he hopes CORE Proptech can achieve one day, too.
Featured Image Credit: The team at CORE Proptech