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Singapore estate agents group plans to buy 51% stake in online property platform SoReal Prop

THE Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA), a grouping of real estate players, announced on Tuesday a proposed acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in online property platform SoReal Prop, which is jointly founded by ERA Realty, Huttons Asia and PropNex Realty.

The association said that the acquisition is a “timely” one that would help strengthen the capabilities of its nearly 4,700 real estate agencies and salesperson members, equipping them with innovative digital tools and enabling them to offer customer advice and perform tasks more quickly.

Launched in March last year, the SoReal Prop initiative aims to provide the industry with a more streamlined property transaction process between salespersons and consumers. The SoReal Prop technology platform serves as a central repository of property data and hosting of vetted listings, with salespersons equipped with an app - RealAgent - to serve clients in real time.

The proposed acquisition is in line with a key goal of the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map announced last year, which is to fully digitalise property transactions.

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For the purpose of the acquisition, SEAA has constituted a company - SEAA Services, to govern the live data feeds by the consortium of agencies.

Under the new umbrella, the RealAgent app – used by almost 23,000 agents in just over a year – will continue to provide clients with property advice.

Other than property reports with the embedded indicative selling price, other features include Real Launches, a component with access to new residential projects in Singapore, as well as eight property calculators.

For property buyers and sellers in Singapore, SEAA Services will enhance the platform with an app - RealHome - to help them in their search for listings, connect with respective agents marketing the properties, and even review or rate the agents after a successful transaction.

In the long run, the feedback derived from the usage of the apps could serve to improve processes so as to provide seamless and secure transactions for consumers, said SEAA.

Thomas Tan, president of SEAA, said: “Some of the challenges faced by agents today include duplicated listings, high marketing costs to advertise on multiple platforms, high subscription fees and outdated information that is not refreshed in real time.”

He added that the association hopes to create an effective platform that can provide “transparent and fast information” that would be beneficial for consumers, salespersons and even property developers.