Based in singapore Greyloft raised $ 1.1 million to develop their vision of what a real estate agency should look like and operate in today’s digital age.
Wait! Real estate agencies? Aren’t they the bad actors messing things up for everyone?
It’s true that many real estate startups have chosen to disintermediate agents on the assumption that their motivations do not match those of the consumers they represent. At worst, their goal is often to maximize the outcome of a deal, rather than 100% customer satisfaction. India’s NoBroker, which raised $ 10 million earlier this year, is possibly the best example of this “direct to consumer” model.
Greyloft believes he can solve the problem by bringing agents together under his own roof and this seed funding, which has been provided by DSG Consumer Partners, Wavemaker, Cub Capital, Tigris Capital and JFDI, will help him leverage his initial promise.
The startup was founded last year by former bankers Siddhesh Narayanan (CEO) and Archit Agarwal (CTO), who explained that the vision was more of “real estate 2.0” than an online real estate portal. In his system, he works with a selection of closely affiliated licensed agents who are urged to put the customer first, changing a dynamic that many believe has been broken.
From left to right: Archit Agarwal and Siddhesh Narayanan, founders of Greyloft
Greyloft focuses on two things for his business: providing consumers – buyers and sellers – a platform for renting and selling homes, on the other hand, it generates leads and business for realtors.
“We do everything a real estate agency does, but a lot smarter,” Narayanan said in an interview.
The company aims to attract agents by offering a CRM system that does obvious things that real estate professionals currently cannot access using their existing setups, which are mostly offline and analog. This includes software that handles multiple transactions, transfers clients between colleagues, keeps track of documents, and can track client requests, meaning agencies can process requests months in advance.
“Once they get used to the backend systems… it allows them to focus on customer service and not being a push seller like agents are sometimes known for,” Agarwal said.
Narayanan admitted that it is difficult to find the right brokers in Singapore as there is a small licensed group and Greyloft’s own approach requires some explanation. But, all things considered, the founders of the startup see the right kind of agents as essential to the process.
“Buying a property is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life, and the rent is also one of the most important things. [of expenditure] the low. You need an expert to advise you, ”Narayanan argued.
With its new secure financing, the company aims to “step on the pedal a little and get more customers to know us.” This will involve the creation of a dedicated sales team in Singapore and the potential exploration of possible overseas expansion plans. Currently, Greyloft is outsourcing its technology to India while it has a customer service team based in the Philippines.
Singapore is not an easy market to win, however. Other established competitors include iProperty, which was bought by News Corp for over $ 500 million, PropertyGuru, which raised $ 129 million in its most recent funding in 2015, while there’s also 99.co, a startup backed by over $ 1.6 million from investors like Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.