Online platforms a boon to real estate industry

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THE rise in Internet usage by property hunters is a boon to the real estate industry in emerging markets, such as the Philippines, as it benefits both buyers and sellers, according to property portal Lamudi Global.

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In a statement, Lamudi said the growing number of Internet users has turned online platforms into a primary tool in finding real estate to buy or rent in Asia and Latin America.

It cited data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which found more Internet users in emerging markets or developing countries than in developed countries.

ITU said the number of Internet users worldwide has reached an estimated 3.2 billion in 2015, two-thirds of which are based in emerging markets.

“This means that for every Internet user in the developed world, there are two in developing countries,” Lamudi said.

Lamudi noted the expanding Internet penetration in developing countries presents opportunities for companies to take their businesses online. The real estate sector is no exception.

A Lamudi Philippines survey found that 91 percent of real estate professionals observed a significant increase in online inquiries in 2015.

Lamudi Global co-founder and Managing Director Paul Philipp Hermann affirmed the opportunities of going online.

“Astute online business owners and entrepreneurs can expect to see their companies grow as more people switch online in Asia, Latin America and beyond,” Hermann said. “We are already seeing this trend occur within the online real estate sector, as more and more house-hunters in emerging markets turn to property platforms like Lamudi to find their dream home.”

According to Lamudi Philippines head of Content, Rodel Ambas, property buyers are also at an advantage as they are able to make wise choices because of the information online such as data on the industry in general, price trends, location advice, and housing loan comparison, and financial education.

Ambas noted this is the reason why a lot of property developers are shifting to an online platform when marketing their products.

“We feel that today’s homebuyers are highly educated and well-informed, and those sellers–be it property developers or licensed real estate developers–who can best help them can win these buyers. Indeed, in today’s digital marketplace, helping is the new way of selling,” Ambas said.

KMC Mag Group Managing Director Michael McCullough echoed Ambas’ sentiment as online property hunting provides a better “user experience” for the consumer.

“They typically reach for their phones, their tablets, their laptops, and start their property searches online. It’s a lot quicker, there’s a lot more information online,” McCullough said.

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