By June Ramli
Kuala Lumpur, October 5: No industry is immune to technological advances, but real estate is one niche that is known to move at a slower pace when adapting to newer trends.
One such company which has disrupted how Malaysians interact with their properties is Didian Sdn Bhd.
This publication recently spoke to the company’s co-founder and director Chow Nam Kit to know more about the new trends in the property market and all things Didian.
Give us a low-down on Didian?
If you’ve ever sold a property, you know that the sales process can be difficult, confusing, time-consuming and worst of all, expensive.
Didian was launched in 2018, in response to issues such as finding the right development projects to sell, cash flow problems and financing paperwork, which have been identified as the reasons why many agents and negotiators left the real estate industry. Together with three other co-founders, Brian Wong, Ng Kay Yip and Ng Han Yang, we set our sights on creating an online product aimed at merging old fashioned human touch with modern technology and design.
Didian’s role is to match-make projects with agents and negotiators based on preferences, such as location and expertise. Our goal is to help property agents generate more income by digitising the sales process, and extend their reach to a wider group of buyers.
Additionally, our B2B online platform allows agents and negotiators greater access to developers’ product offerings, and they can take part in selling projects by reputable developers, regardless of their size and geographic area.
Can you tell us how Didian differs from the competition?
Didian is Malaysia’s first business-to-business (B2B) property marketplace aimed at reinventing property sales. The platform is available in both web and mobile app versions.
This platform uses a proprietary algorithm to immediately match the best agents to the projects that best suit their skills. It digitises all agent-facing interactions in selling property – from sourcing for projects, accessing all project information, to tracking the transaction progress.
Didian’s vision is to bridge the relationship between developers and agents, eventually resulting in improvements in cost, convenience, and velocity of sales.
Everyone knows that as a realtor, you need to conduct research on your seller, just like any sales relationship, the stronger it is, the higher likelihood of achieving the desired outcome, and our platform provides an easy and simple solution.
Ask any seller about his property, his motivations for selling it and what he hopes to get out of the experience. We want to strengthen relationships between our partner agents so that they get every possible tool and service to improve their chance of closing sales fast and seamlessly.
With the Didian Agent App, any verified agent can start selling in a few clicks. We are acquiring more registered estate agencies and negotiators to come onboard. There are no fees involved, agents can sign up for free.
How do home buyers explicitly benefit from using the platform?
Didian provides agents with a three dimensional (3-D) walkthrough of most projects on the platform. Agents have been eagerly utilizing the 3-D walkthroughs so that they can show a property without their clients present on-site, and still provide the level of service and information the latter needs to make a confident decision about the homes they are viewing.
If a client is keen on physically visiting show units, Didian has partnered with developers to ensure that visitors may continue to view the showroom while being socially-distanced. By allocating time slots, agents using the Didian platform are able to book specific time slots for a meeting with their clients at the show gallery, ensuring that the Movement Control Order’s Standard Operating Procedures are adhered to and clients feel safe.
Being a user-friendly platform, agents are able to access live price charts, make bookings in real-time, access a fresh supply of projects and manage their client’s progress. Team leaders in real estate firms also have a live dashboard to track the performance of their team members.
For agents and negotiators, Didian also offers a seven-day express commission payable from the date the Sale & Purchase and loan agreements are signed, which can help improve the financial situation of more than 3,000 agents and negotiators utilising their platform.
What are some of the expansion plans for the year?
Since the lockdowns, we have had numerous successes in launches. With no site visits possible, developers and agents swiftly adopted digital technologies to launch new projects and market their properties, with a fair amount of success.
On the bright side, the pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital adoption in real estate, which will go a long way in transforming how properties are sold in the country going forward. On this note, we are definitely looking at expanding to the rest of Malaysia, followed by Southeast Asia in the near future.
The number of sales transacted on the website since its inception.
Since 2018, Didian’s database of agents has seen 100 per cent growth year-on-year. We estimate that by the end of 2021, the platform will have 4,000 agents across Malaysia.
Didian will continue to enlist more developers’ projects. Since 2018, Didian has transacted RM2.2 billion worth of bookings, and reputable developers who have leveraged Didian’s platform have seen 100 per cent take-up rates.
Company revenue, market share and the projection for the coming year?
Revenue continues to grow as more developers and agents leverage the products and services available on the platform. For 2022, Didian aims to more-than-double this year’s sales growth, as developers and potential home buyers’ confidence rebounds post-pandemic.
Any new offerings on the business in the pipeline?
Didian will continue to innovate its platform to ensure a level of functionality and intuitiveness to help agents and developers reduce time and friction in selling property. Currently, Didian features digital booking, real-time data access and commission status tracking and supports back-end administrative processes.
We will be launching Malaysia’s first fully automated Agent Cooperation Network (ACN); where agents can maximise their conversion and let a Didian partner assist with closing a sale.
Tell us the price range of homes that sells most on the platform?
Anywhere between RM250,000 to RM 2.5 million.
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