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OrangeTee & Tie teams up with Carousell on property listings
ORANGETEE & Tie, Singapore's third-largest property agency by sales force, has tied up with homegrown Carousell to add the property listings and reviews of its more than 4,000 agents to the online marketplace.
The collaboration comes on the heels of the launch of SoReal Prop last week, an online platform initiative led by top agencies PropNex Realty, ERA Realty and Huttons Asia.
OrangeTee & Tie, which has not joined SoReal Prop yet, said its tie-up with Carousell allows over 20,000 listings and more than 9,000 agent reviews from OrangeTee & Tie to be added to the Carousell platform within the next three months for free.
Its agents would have to sign up as Carousell pro members to keep their listings and reviews accessible on Carousell after this period, albeit at special rates for three months.
A Carousell pro package typically costs S$600 a year for 20 listings or S$1,200 a year for 50 listings, with different amounts of Carousell Coins to bump up listings.
With this partnership, Carousell is expecting to see the number of property listings on its platform go up to around 30,000, and the number of agents using the platform to around 5,000.
As an online marketplace that carries practically anything under the sun from fashion, food, watches and plants to cars, Carousell only branched into the property category late last year. It now has 10,000 property listings, with 70 per cent listed by property agents and the rest by individual property owners.
According to Carousell's co-founder and CEO Quek Siu Rui, about 30 per cent of its agent clients managed to close a deal successfully within 60 days of listing on Carousell.
OrangeTee & Tie managing director Steven Tan said this success rate is among reasons why the property agency is tapping Carousell. He noted that the two firms are also closely aligned in bringing greater transparency to consumers through their existing reviews systems.
"Consumer consumption habits continue to evolve, and even for big ticket items such as property, they are turning to digital tools first," he said, adding that it is timely for OrangeTee & Tie to engage younger consumers who are moving into the next stage of owning a property.
OrangeTee & Tie has also lately collaborated with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to tap data analytics to provide insights such as the latest market trends by geography.
Speaking at the OrangeTee & Tie Business Conference yesterday, Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee stressed the need for property agencies to transform amid a major shift in consumer preferences towards more efficient online services.
In the HDB resale flats market, do-it-yourself (DIY) rates have grown from 11 per cent in 2010 to 28 per cent in 2017, he said. Mr Lee noted that internationally, things are also not standing still.
China's Alibaba, for instance, has already teamed up with the Hangzhou Municipal Government to develop a one-stop online listing platform that allows landlords and tenants to sign contracts online through the portal and post reviews of each other as well as their agents.
Mr Quek told The Business Times that there is a rising trend of individual sellers posting their own properties on Carousell, making up 30 per cent of property listings on Carousell.
Property agents are able to post first-time listings for free, and either pay a la carte or sign up for Carousell pro subscriptions for subsequent listings.
"The reality is consumers are browsing high and low on multiple platforms online and offline in search of their dream homes," Mr Quek said. "We will be one additional platform for them to browse on."
When asked if more agencies will come onboard with Carousell, Mr Quek said: "We are open to working with different partners for the consumer community to have wider selection and information to make decisions," he added.
KF Property Network managing director Tan Tee Khoon said his 701-strong agency is open to partner with any neutral portal or technology vendor that offers good value. The subsidiary of Knight Frank Singapore has not joined SoReal Prop yet. A total of 11 agencies have signed the partnership with SoReal Prop, including the three agencies that started the non-profit initiative.
For now, PropertyGuru still has the most property listings in Singapore, with more than 200,000 listings at any given point of time, according to Lewis Ng, chief business officer at PropertyGuru Group.