In this week’s Entrepreneur Feature, BLOCK71 Singapore speaks to Ivan Lim, one of co-founders of Averspace, a digital peer-to-peer (P2P) real estate portal, on their latest milestone they have achieved in the real estate industry! Recently, Averspace has collaborated with Frasers Property Singapore to launch a project to digitalise leasing transactions!
- What is Averspace and how did the idea for it come about?
Averspace is a digital peer-to-peer (P2P) real estate portal. We connect homeowners with potential buyers or tenants, saving our users thousands of dollars in traditional real estate fees and commissions.
The idea for Averspace came about based on personal experience a couple of years ago when I engaged an agent to assist with a property transaction. During the course of the transaction, I had to do a lot of research on the market and the transaction process, and realized that it was pretty straightforward for homeowners to transact themselves. I tried looking for a portal and could not find a suitable one. So the idea of a direct owners’ property portal was born.
It was after Averspace launched our digital tenancy agreements feature that we got multiple requests from different parties to make the feature available to them. We then realized that digital contracts is something that the real estate market wants, especially in this time of technological disruption. Companies want to future-proof themselves and this is one way to do so. We took our underlying technology of the digital contracts feature and spun it off into Real Estate Doc (or RED for short), which is developed for property professionals.
2. What were some of the challenges Averspace encountered in the lead-up to the launch of the project? How did Averspace overcome them?
Our tie-up with Frasers Property was a first in the market. There was no precedence because no other property developers or mall managers had tried to digitalise their commercial leasing transactions before this.
We are grateful to our partner, Frasers Property for working with us which lead to its successful launch. We had to go through every single step to develop a system that is convenient, faster, and more intuitive. Would not be possible without helpful and cooperative partners.
3. What gives Averspace a competitive advantage?
Averspace is the very first property portal in Singapore to harness blockchain technology by recording digital tenancy agreements generated on our platform onto the blockchain. This is important for us because we believe that blockchain is the future. There are many practical applications for the technology that will impact so many industries, and we are only just scratching the surface of what we can do with it. With our knowledge in the real estate industry, we continue to push forward deepen our technology in simplifying real estate transactions while keeping an eye on the practicality of its use cases in the industry.
4. How do you measure the success of Averspace?
The core of Averspace is the community. Afterall, Averspace was founded to help homeowners and homeseekers successfully connect with each other for their real estate transactions. Without the community, we would not be here in the first place!
So our measure of success is in helping our users connect with each other, thereby saving thousands of dollars in traditional marketing fees and commissions. With the launch of RED, we also measure our success in terms of helping property professionals save time and money by harnessing on the power of technology through digital contracts.
The more people and businesses use our technology, the more resources / fees saved by our clients, the more successful we are.
5. What is the next milestone for Averspace?
We have big and exciting plans ahead for Averspace.
Currently, we are tying up more agreements with property developers to use RED. And for Averspace, there will be a huge revamp in the portal in the next few months. Watch this space as we keep you updated!
6. What is Averspace’s take on the future of digitsation of the real estate industry?
Digitisation of the real estate industry is inevitable. With technological progress happening across the different industries, it is only natural that real estate would be swept in the revolution as well. This is especially so given that the Singapore government have recently announced the details of the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (RE ITM).
We are already seeing the changes happen. The HDB have revamped their Resale Procedure by streamlining and digitalising the Resale Checklists and eliminating one the of Resale Appointments, thereby cutting down the time taken for an HDB resale transaction.
In two to three years, the government will be releasing standardized contract templates for transactions, paving the way for the digitalisation of documents. This includes both rental and sales transaction. Because of this, we believe there will be further revamps in the current legal framework of electronic transactions. There will be a big change in the way real estate is transacted when that happens, not only for property agents but for property developers as well.
We see lots of changes coming to the real estate industry in Singapore within the next few years and are honestly very excited about it.
7. What was your most memorable moment in BLOCK71 Singapore?
Who can ever forget the moment when they were first accepted into NUS Enterprise, and stepped into BLOCK71? It was a milestone for us because we were looking for a place to call home before that. One year on, we have forged friendships with the many start-ups located here as well as with the ever-friendly NUS Enterprise community managers and staff. Highly recommended to any promising tech start-up!
Are you an entrepreneur working on a cool product and looking for more than just a co-working space ? Do apply for a hotdesk here and become part of the exciting community that we offer at BLOCK71 Singapore.
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