China-inspired property app to revitalise Malaysia real-estate
The Fang Tian real estate mobile app platform is an innovative business to business tool that aims to facilitate real estate agents’ access to new development projects and revitalise the property development market in Malaysia.
Howard Ong, co-founder and executive director of Fang Tian Platform Sdn Bhd and an experienced property investor, noticed that the local property market was not as vibrant as the market in China.
Further analysis of the Chinese property market, uncovered an innovative real estate mobile app platform in use in China, that connects a network of property developers with real estate firms and negotiators. Ong saw a niche that had yet to be filled in Malaysia and grabbed the opportunity to develop something for the local market.
Instead of reinventing the wheel he partnered with China based Wu Ling Technologies, that offers a similar app in China, to develop a localised offering for the Malaysian market.
Wu Ling Technologies is currently transacting more than RMB3 billion in sales a month in China. Fang Tian has set itself a more modest target of achieving RM10 billion in transaction value within the first three years.
Fang Tian will secure new commercial and residential property projects that come on the market and make it available to real estate agents through the FT Agent app. Ong said that in the future, property developers will be developing 1000s of units rather than the 100s we see now. These developers need money to start building, to provide better facilities, design and fittings. Real estate agencies will be able to access these projects via the FT Agent app and make them available for their agents to sell to buyers, he added further.
“It [Fang Tian] will address the cash flow concerns of developers and help maintain the viability of a project,” said Ong.
When asked how this will be a game changer for real estate agents and agencies Quah Chai Ming, COO of Fang Tian Platform Sdn Bhd and long time real estate marketer, said “Agents will now have direct access to developer projects. They will be able to cut out intermediary costs and earn higher commissions as a result.”
Agencies will no longer need to build relationships with property developers to secure units for sale and will be able to focus on the business of finding buyers and closing deals. “This will be especially beneficial to small to medium sized real estate agencies” added Quah.
In addition to providing development project listings, the FT Agent app also aids productivity by providing buyer registration features, the ability to record buyers’ requirements and property viewing and appointments management features. It also facilitates payout of fees to the agents.
“Agencies will need to be legally registered and real estate negotiators will need to be accredited by the Board of Valuers “, said Quah, when asked if agents would be vetted before getting access to the platform.
RHB Trustees Bhd has been appointed as Fang Tian’s fund trustee to ensure payment of fees to all real estate agencies, real estate negotiators, introducers and third party referrals. RHB will also act in the capacity of an independent and impartial third party stakeholder or escrow agent.
The Fang Tian platform has a trio of apps – the aforementioned FT Agent app, the FT SC app and FT Manager app.
The FT SC (sales coordinator) app is a property developer coordination tool that facilitates lead connection, agent and buyer management and payout management. The FT Manager tool is a monitoring tool used to track sales transactions and provide an overview of the sales progress status for agencies. There is also a fourth app – the FT Finance app – in the works.
What was their criteria when choosing a foreign company as a partner? “The app works well in the country of origin and we felt it could be localised to our market. If it adds value, why not?,” said Ong. Both Ong and Quah also feel that Chinese apps are very advanced and rich with features that meet a multitude of needs. “Just take Wechat as an example. It’s so many products rolled into one,” said Ong.
The Fang Tian apps come in the English and Mandarin language and are available through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.