Carousell Property holds first-ever online property expo

Published July 13, 2021, 7:28 PM

by Johannes Chua

Carousell is launching tomorrow, July 14, 2021, the Carousell Property Online Expo. It is one of the biggest online property events in the country, which will be held until July 18.

The online expo is expected to provide a much-needed boost to the real estate industry, which is one of the many sectors hit by the pandemic. Through the event, developers, brokers, and agents will have the opportunity to connect with buyers and showcase real estate developments that are on sale. Buyers, on the other hand, will be able to check out and purchase properties such as lots, house and lot, and condos, in the comforts of their homes.

“We see this event as a great opportunity for sellers and buyers to connect safely and securely. The pandemic may have kept buyers from pursuing their goal of buying a new home, but with this event, they can get back on track and make their dream a reality. For brokers and agents, this is a great platform to secure leads, and showcase developments in their portfolio,” said Raffy Montemayor, Carousell Philippines general manager. “We’re bringing together property buyers and sellers in one virtual event to make purchasing property even simpler and safer especially during the pandemic.”

The expo will have the theme “Every type of home, for every kind of person,” as the event will showcase homes that answer the needs, predicaments, and motivations of buyers today. Participants can go on a virtual tour of the expo in an immersive 3D format, allowing prospective buyers to check complete details of properties they want to buy.

Buyers can also look forward to informative discussions on new practices and trends in property buying and selling during the new normal and have a look into the Philippine property industry today. A complete guide to owning your next home and making the right property choice for buyers will also be discussed during the event. Buyers can also expect great deals when they reserve a property at the expo.

Montemayor, in an interview with Manila Bulletin Property, revealed a lot of insights about the property market at present. Even though there are a lot of challenges, there is an optimism felt in the industry. Read his insights on this Q&A:

Manila Bulletin (MB): What is the general mood of the property market after more than a year of the pandemic?

Raffy Montemayor (RM): The mood of the property market in the short-term is quite depressed but with some pockets of growth such as for sale properties in house and lot (+42% YoY) and lot only (+24% YoY) categories within Metro Manila.

The real estate market mirrors very closely the overall economy of the Philippines. When the economy does poorly, the real estate market does poorly as well since many people will hold on to cash and hold off on large purchases to prepare for the unexpected. With the members of the BSP monetary board expecting the country’s real GDP to return to pre-pandemic levels by Q3 2022, this is also likely when the real estate market in the Philippines will return to pre-pandemic levels. This recovery coincides with when we’re expected to reach herd immunity in the country. Once we reach herd immunity, we do expect our economy to continue its upward trajectory in the long-term and same goes for the property market.

MB: As the world feels a sense of normalcy as vaccination ramps up, how is the property market getting ready?

RM: After focusing on controlling costs to protect their bottom line in 2020, we’re seeing developers in 2021 starting to spend on marketing again with a very heavy focus on online channels such as Carousell and Property24.

In Q1 this year, we also started seeing many brokers and agents who stayed on the sidelines most of last year becoming active again although that positive momentum has naturally paused in Q2 from stricter quarantines in Metro Manila.

As we return to GCQ and as more people get vaccinated, more property buyers and sellers will be either rejoining or entering for the first time the property market. We wanted to support both of these segments in navigating through the “new normal” of the property market through our first Carousell Property Expo.

MB: Online was the mode of selling, marketing, and launching of the products of real estate companies… what practices should still remain (or be totally forgotten) once the pandemic subsides?

RM: Property developers and owners have started to invest more in virtual tours and house tours and so are the brokers and agents that cover these developments. These brokers and agents mention how it’s a lot more common for them to talk to prospective buyers on video calls and to walk them through the property online.

In the resale market, one example of a brokerage firm that has done this very well is Presello, which has a super helpful YouTube channel with 575,000 subscribers that focuses on house tours for high-end resale properties. They’re a big user of our platform as well → A few months ago, they sold a beautiful Ayala Heights house and lot amounting to more than P60 million through the Carousell platform.

Before the pandemic, it was primarily OFWs who were buying properties without physically visiting the property beforehand. At times, they would be able to send one of their family members to take a look but most would still transact without that tripping and developers have supported OFWs quite well in closing these types of transactions.

But during the pandemic, it’s also a lot more common for property buyers to buy property without physically visiting it beforehand. This tends to be experienced buyers who have a trusted real estate partner to do the due diligence on the property such as Conveyance Realty Services.

One of the aims of our Online Property Expo is to educate first time property buyers on the whole home buying journey and share with them what experienced property buyers already have learned in buying properties during this new normal.

Property sellers have also started adjusting to the pandemic. They take a lot more pictures and videos of the property and they upload these online and share these with their brokers and agents when before the pandemic it took awhile to get them to do this because they didn’t see the need. Now, property sellers themselves want to limit the people who visit their property and only want to entertain serious and ready property buyers.

We believe all these changes will remain very common in the future and will become the standard for buying and selling properties because:

⦁ Experienced property buyers like the convenience of staying home while mitigating risks of not visiting the property

⦁ Gen Zs, who are immersed in the Internet from birth, are becoming a bigger share of the workforce (20 percent in 2020, 35 percent in 2025). As they earn more and start to look at renting or buying properties, they will go for options that cater to their own expectations of how they live their life.

MB: How is Carousell positioning itself in the market, considering there are other sites out there catering to the real estate industry?

RM: Carousell is a one-stop marketplace for consumers. We have a wider audience base than the other vertical players because we cater to both high intent property users but also people who are not yet considering property but will in the future.

Buying and selling clothes, mobile phones and furniture on our online platform are common entry points for our users and they move to high-end value items such as cars and property when their income grows and life stage changes. We’re with them in the early stages of their online journey that will then lead to home buying.

We also fulfill a unique home ownership journey from property buying to:

⦁ Furnishing their property through our multiple home and furniture-related categories

⦁ Avail of services such as cleaning, transportation and renovation to convert the property into a home that’s ready for them to live in

⦁ If they decide to upgrade their property as their family expands or their needs change, they can rent out or sell the property on our platform as well

We fully leverage our strength in the general classifieds space where we connect people who want to buy or sell anything under the sun.

MB: What are the efforts done by Carousell to help the industry? And what can we expect with this online expo?

RM: We’ve always been committed to helping property buyers find their dream home and property sellers grow their business since 2006 when Sulit was founded. We created our own property vertical, Property24 Philippines, in 2012 to create a more focused home buying experience while syncing property listings to the OLX Philippines platform in 2017 and to the Carousell Philippines platform in 2019 so that even more online consumers are able to connect with property sellers.

We run quarterly Online Marketing Forums for brokers and agents to stay up-to-date on the latest real estate trends even during the pandemic. Our Q2 2021 Online Marketing Forum was held on June 3rd and was attended by 199 brokers and agents. We also had a special guest speaker, Dr. Mary Gaw-So, the president of Real Estate Hub Philippines and a licensed real estate broker herself to add her perspective followed by a very engaging Q&A.

Our main property event this year is the Online Property Expo. From our regular interactions with the 4,000+ brokers and agents who use our platform and the tens of thousands of property buyers who visit our platform, we saw the need to create an Online Property Expo that will help both property buyers and sellers in the Philippines navigate the new normal of the industry.

⦁ For Property buyers, our Online Property Expo gives them a one-stop shop where they can find properties with great value from developers, brokers and agents, hear about the future of real estate and whether now is the right time to buy, learn how to buy a property for first time buyers and tips on the process for experienced buyers and even home loans 101 talk.

⦁ For Property sellers, our Online Property Expo gives them an opportunity to not only talk about their new developments and highlight their property listings but also to share their knowledge and experience with everyone in and interested in the property sector including talks on how one can start a career in real estate and how YouTube and virtual tours are paving the way for the future.

We also have Maven, a financial planning vlogger who will discuss whether one should buy or rent, and Chris Suarez, a vlogger and licensed broker who will share with prospective home buyers everything they need to know about getting a home loan but were afraid to ask.