Location made easy

By Kaye Estoista-Koo

GOING DIGITAL Real estate transactions are now made easier by online platforms such as propertyaccess.co GOING DIGITAL Real estate transactions are now made easier by online platforms such as propertyaccess.co

Having a place to call home is a basic human desire—shelter is key to survival. The Philippines is currently an 80 percent rent industry, despite the need to have a home to call your own. That is because most remain misinformed that real estate is just for the rich.

This sitting asset is something anyone with a consistently generated income can own. Compared to assets earning one to two percent annually in a bank, real estate can be appraised for more than how much it cost you 10 years ago.

In an age where everyone is moving to the digital sphere, it was only a matter of time before real estate moved there, too. Yet one of the pervading problems facing both buyers and sellers was legitimacy: How could a buyer know that the land or house being sold was true and vice versa?

When the website propertyaccess.co came into play, they created a Facebook for real estate and made the process of finding real estate simple and easy. As a matchmaker between buyers and sellers, they offer the best properties at cost-effective prices, constantly updated information in real time, and reliable real estate evaluation from low-end to high-end values. Simply said, propertyaccess.co connects buyers and sellers, whose legitimate profiles stand a better chance of getting noticed by buyers who search by city from a nationwide database.

There are two features that benefit both sides: Real estate agents can create legitimate profiles online, while buyers can use the loan estimation feature that shows how much they need to pay monthly, with bank interests included. The Japanese website, with a growing presence in several Asian countries, has now arrived in the Philippines, led by its CEO Hiroki Kazato, managing director Regina Recio, with online tech start-ups as her background, and beauty queen turned social entrepreneur Kylie Versoza as its brand ambassador and co-managing director.

Singles in their 20s to 30s stand  to  benefit the most from this, according to Kazato, “With the Philippines’ population and strong GDP, the market is ready and the website addresses a real estate danger, where I noticed there is a lack of realistic data for online platforms. We offer a current price estimation model.” Filipinos are becoming more used to doing things online, with this age group aggressive in looking for real estate online.

Kylie is a single, 20-plus-year-old who already has a condo with her family and is looking to get a second one on her own. Here is what she looks for, “Something that is 200-300 sqm, bigger than our first, a negotiable price with a trustworthy, good broker with a good portfolio. Finding the right real estate agent, someone we could trust, was important but it was hard the first time.” She advises her fellow singles to go for pre-selling so that if you decide to sell later on, it is easier.

Regina says that while the singles market is the most tech-savvy, they are also the most risk-averse, “They find difficulty in balancing because it is hard to live alone with monthly fees. That is why our site offers a rent option, which attracts college kids or those from different provinces who studied in Manila for college and then started to work, or expats who stay for shorter periods.”

By providing a direct link between a real estate agent’s PRC license to the website profile, buyers can be sure they are buying from a trustworthy source. Regina adds, “We also created photo guidelines to represent a property accurately, so this standard increases their credibility. We make each profile desirable and uniform. We teach them to focus on the unit itself and not on the furnishings because, at the end of the day, a buyer buys a unit, not its furnishings.”

Young newlyweds look for a one-bedroom condo and put their desire for a house on hold due to concerns over costs and distance from their workplaces. The website keys in to the buyers’ preference and is versatile enough to offer a wide range of choices. Regina advises that, for this particular market, with two sources constantly generating income, “Buy your preference, pay it off in five years so, then it becomes yours.”

Those with growing families, with young kids or teens, prioritize a getting and owning a house. These types of buyers are more willing to go outside business districts to own a bigger-sized home for a cheaper price. Regina’s tip, “Take advantage of townships that are developing and looking ahead like Nuvali or Arca South, which five years from now will become even more desirable.”

The more affluent market, those fresh retirees or well-to-do OFWs or immigrants, have a certain preference. Most of them are grandparents, and they look for beach houses, where they can spend quality time with their grandchildren. Locations like Tagaytay, or those near golf courses, are also something that middle-class foreigners look for.

With a list of properties across the Philippines and not just limited to Metro Manila, propertyaccess.co is certainly going to change how real estate works for everyone looking to own, rent, or sell.