Most people looking for property rental or purchases are familiar with online property portals like PropertyGuru, Iproperty, Edgeproperty, and 99.co. These Online Property Portals have simplified the process of finding and renting out/purchasing a home. Below, you will find a comparison to PropertyGuru and 99.com.
Out of all the Singapore online property portals, it would be appropriate to say that PropertyGuru is the most popular and successful real estate website. It provides thorough listings of residential, commercial, and overseas properties, and also has a wide range of beautiful condos. In addition to this, PropertyGuru’s users can take advantage of their features like affordability calculator to find out just the right deal for them and a deal which will suit them financially. Furthermore, PropertyGuru provides detailed information about all the available properties along with the latest updates as well. And, as with all outstanding features of property news, market valuation, and investor blogs, PropertyGuru ensures that their users are fully loaded up with all the vital information before they go on to buy or sell their property.
99.co is similar to that it is a real-estate website which lists a huge variety of available real estate. The site provides their users with enhanced features such as Map-based searches which make it a lot easier for the potential buyers to find the Property that’s best for them. Their User Interface is quite similar to that of AirBNB with easy navigation and a lot of high-quality Photos. One of the popular features of the site is that it provides special services like Free Photo Service. This service is great for sellers as it makes their job easier. All the seller has to do is use their Free Photo Service and 99.co will send their photographer and he will capture their property’s photo and will upload them to the official site of 99.co.
As mentioned above, 99.co emphasis is mainly on improving their search results and making it more efficient. Search results of other online property portals are not so clear and have been known to have problems such as a too much advertisements and repeated or bad listings. These problems make the matter of finding the appropriate property for their users a tad more difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, 99.co had introduced a ListRank Algorithm, which filters out the data by passing it through 30 different data points including the user’s profile, listing quality and attributes, and search behavior to deliver only the most refined search results. In addition, they also provide their users with features like reviews and ratings which are a great source of information for potential buyers of sellers.
PropertyGuru’s primary objective is to get as many listings as they possibly can on their website. Because they boast such a huge database of listings, many people prefer PropertyGuru. However, this also gives an opportunity to the agents to repost their listings and as a result PropertyGuru search results are bombarded with repeated or bad listing. In an effort to rectify this problem, PropertyGuru has started filtering out search results in order to increase their result accuracy. But still, in terms of quality and precision of search result, they still seems to be lagging far behind 99.co.
Number of Users:
In terms of numbers of users or daily traffic, PropertyGuru is leading all of their online competitors. PropertyGuru is bombarded with an astounding figure of more than 4.5M visits per month and on the basis of time-on-site, it holds a marketplace share of more than 85%. The main reason why millions of user are using PropertyGuru for buying or selling their properties is because they were the original concept of online property dealings in South-East Asia and grabbed market share early in the game.
As mentioned above, the primary goal of 99.co is to provide their users with an easy and more efficient user-interface. In terms of listings, they still have a lot of ground to cover to reach the level of PropertyGuru. The fact that PropertyGuru was founded much earlier than 99.co gives them an edge in terms of overall popularity. And undoubtedly popularity factor plays a vital part in attracting traffic to one’s portal. But still, one of the main reasons why 99.co is so far behind PropertyGuru is because ultimately people want more listings rather than better-designed listings.
Are PropertyGuru and 99.co Rivals?
Many people may think that the two most popular online property sites in Singapore must be each other’s rivals. But this isn’t the case at all. Founders of both the companies had previously emphasised the fact that their main rival and competitor is the offline real estate market. Despite the fact that property websites seem like an obvious destination for home seekers, and there are a large number of property searches starts online, it has been estimated that 85% of real estate advertising dollars are still invested offline. These two sites might become each other’s rivals in the future but before that happens, they need to work together to reduce the offline housing market.
Overall in the Singapore property market, there are always more sellers than buyers/investors. This poses a huge problem as there are severe inefficiencies in the listings found on property sites. As of yet, neither PropertyGuru not 99.co have cleared up repeated/out of date lists which is frustrating for users who often turn back to offline housing markets in repsonse. To be fair, both companies have tried to address this issue- as seem from PropertyGuru’s quality listing algorithm and 99.co ListRank Logarithm- but neither program has quite successful enough.
Both companies seem well aware of the challenge and point to those inefficiencies as one of the key reasons buyers move offline to find properties.
Large numbers of users had previously complained that the quality of the photographs available in both sites are relatively poor. PropertyGuru had already started training their real estate agents with basic photography techniques to solve this image quality problem. 99.co image quality was relatively better than that of their competitors and also has a photography feature that helps improve overall quality.
Since its establishment in early 2006, PropertyGuru had participated in two rounds of funding and raised a total of $175.9M through these funding. Their first funding round took place in early 2012 when Immobilien Scout GmBH invested a total of $47M. And its latest funding round took place in 2015 when Square Peg Capital invested an enormous total of $128.9M in an Equity round.
Due to their promising start and creative user-interface, 99.co has attracted some high profile investers such Eduardo Saverin and Sequoia Capital which have invested around $2.0M in a separate funding rounds.
The foundation of online property portal was the brain-child of PropertyGuru-as can be seen from its absolute market dominance. On the other hand, new start-ups like 99.co have unique and creative user-interface which is refreshing and a needed update in the propertysite web space.
While its genesis has been promising, 99.co still has a long road ahead of them and the only way they can even imagine to reach the top and overtake PropertyGuru is to take bold steps and introduce innovative new practices in the world of online property dealings. For instance, if 99.co can somehow manage to erase the factor of middle-men in property dealings, it would provide users with an easy, effective, and financially efficient way which will probably result in a large number of people using their site.
While PropertyGuru is currently in the lead, the world of real estate sites is certainly due for a makeover. May the better man win.