You might have found a platform for a neutral discussion or information on property that you like.

We have the privilege to interview, Magdelin Tan, General Manager at PropSocial, which is a great tool for people seeking or interested in properties. It is very interactive and easy to use. It is a social network for property, where people can chat, share information and maybe buy/sell properties. Try it, it is like having your own WhatsApp Property Group Chat! Read the interview after you watch the video below.

Q: What intrigue this start-up to venture into online property platform since there are many existing and other newly launched property websites?
Based on our (my team and I) experience in the industry, we realised that most property websites are very ‘agent oriented’ and there are insufficient relevant information for property buyers especially during the research stage. Property buying especially at the initial stage can be a very tedious process and it doesn’t help when buyers have to go from website to website or even ask around to obtain certain information before deciding where to live or which property to buy. It’s even worse when they have to deal with unreliable agents. Therefore, our goal is to provide a platform to help ease property buyer’s challenges during the property buying process.

Q: “We are a start-up of a newly launched property website (www.propsocial.my) designed to resolve property buyers’ current challenges.” What are the current challenges other than the norm (location, price, appreciates in value) that we can find in other property websites which PropSocial will be able to assist the buyers with?
We don’t just have property information, we also have neighbourhood information, for example: where are the schools, hospitals, supermarket, places of worship, crime statistics and stuff in Mont Kiara area. We even have users-contributed reviews and ratings about a particular property /neighbourhood and even the credibility of an agent (crowdsource). As a property buyer, you do not want to read only about the good things, but the truth about the property / area before you decide to buy it.

Q: PropSocial intended to be user-friendly comprehensive property website, which can be a platform for the users to extract real life information and interact with other users.
How do you mediate the interaction takes place and ensure the information is objective and correct rather than someone’s personal opinion or perception? How reliable is the information published in the NewsFeed/ Discussion section?

For the ratings and review of properties and discussion, we do not ‘filter’ users comment and that’s the whole point. We want to accept non-bias (be it negative or positive), as we believe that as a genuine buyer, we don’t just want to read about the good part of the property before buying, we want to know the truth. We will only moderate if it’s an irrelevant topic or spam notices.

However, for buyers who are looking for factual information such as launch prices, maintenance fees, parking lots, all these are information we have done thorough research on, therefore it’s accurate and not user generated.

Q: The Intelligent Search Tool will be most useful for buyers looking for properties.
With such comprehensive details available at the Intelligent Search Tool offers, will this eliminate the function of agents?

Our search tool does not only have the usual buyer’s requirements such as the location, budget, size, type, leasehold / freehold, but also things like what is the buyer’s concern? Whether it’s traffic, safety, cleanliness, quietness or accessibility? When they have selected their main concern and hit the ‘search’ button, the results shown will be based on their requirements and main concern. And yes, owners are also allowed to post their property for sale or for rent on our website for free.

Q: Based on the assumption that they are extensively using online and social network tools for communication, your market will be mostly young professionals and more urban. What is the demographic of the users at this point? Are there more buyers or more agents and who are you targeting for PropSocial?
At this point of time, after launching for about 5 months, the ratio for our users are be 50% agents & 50% buyers. We are currently doing more marketing to reach out to the buyers, as many of them are still not aware of our existence. Demographics of our users are majority from Klang Valley, young professionals and middle income earners.

Q: I can see there are initiatives to encourage users to use and promote PropSocial by collecting points and reward them. Which is great! How would you recommend the users to maximise the opportunity for getting the rewards?
Leave as many reviews as possible on any properties or neighbourhood that they are familiar with. This can really help the general public who are looking for a property. Here’s a simpler way to do so – come review your property and stand a chance to win prizes. Apart from the usual points reward, we have recently just launched a contest to encourage users to contribute their point of views on any property / neighbourhood. All our contributors will stand a chance to win a Xiaomi Redmi 2 smartphone, H&M gift card worth RM200 and Xiaomi 16,000 mAh Power Bank.

Q: How do you predict the rate of expansion in users growth for PropSocial? Do you plan to manage the growth according to a certain period?
We are currently in the midst of rolling out some marketing plans, mainly online marketing and in time to come, offline marketing as well. We are confident that this will help the increase of traffic for the website and most importantly create awareness of the public, especially within this year.

Q: You have mentioned that there will be a mobile app for PropSocial to allow more users to participate. What are the features in PropSocial Apps and how is it differ from the website? 
Yes, we are planning to roll out our mobile app within this year. It has the usual features like our website, such as search tool, discussion, rate & review, etc. On top of that, we also have features such as :-

  • Noticeboard for the community – For example: people who are staying in Sterling Condo will be able to put up any notices such as badminton tournament, fumigation notice, robbery cases, new neighbour who have just moved in, etc. We will verify the user to ensure that he / she is really from that community. This app will enable the user to know who is staying nearby so that you will be able to know who your neighbours are.
  • Search nearby properties / neighbourhood – With GPS that will locate the properties / neighbourhood around you (nearby) and provide you with the relevant information

For the thorough interview, check out this video:


KCLau
KCLau

Personal finance author and trainer

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