Singapore startup unveils keyword-based property search portal

Dated: 21-Nov-2018

TRADITIONAL property portals let users filter their search by selecting from a small number of parameters such as district, location, price and type of property.

The issue with this is that results end up swarming in by the hundreds and even thousands, said proptech startup Mogul.

On Wednesday, the firm launched a new property search portal - also called Mogul - that uses a keyword-based system to speed up the property search process. It holds a database of over 5, 000 custom keywords that describe the characteristics of the property the user is searching for.

For instance, keying in "near North-South line" will show all property listings half a kilometre away from any MRT station long the red line. Combining this with a second key phrase, "near supermarket", will let the system filter out homes that are more than 300m away from any supermarket.

The ad-free search system makes use of the Singapore Land Authority's (SLA) OneMap geospatial data. OneMap provides information on multiple building types and amenities such as hawker centres, schools, child care centres and expressway exits.

Mogul is one of the pioneer startups housed at the SLA's GeoWorks industry centre, which connects and supports geospatial businesses, entrepreneurs and users.

Gerald Sim, chief executive officer and founder of Mogul, said: "The proliferation of property portals over the last decade offers consumers more choices, but the search process has become too complex and unwieldy over the years.

"Mogul aims to use artificial intelligence to simplify these processes and make the matching between property owners and home seekers easier and more transparent."

Mr Sim told The Business Times that the firm charges agents for listing properties on their platform. Agent membership fees are split into basic and premium tiers - for the basic membership, the first year of usage is free and the fee is S$365 per year from the second year onwards; for the premium membership, agents are charged S$200 in their first year and S$500 per year from the second year onwards.

Each tier will enable the agents to have unlimited photo uploads. The basic tier allows for 18 concurrent listings while the premium tier allows for video uploads and 38 concurrent listings.

"Additionally, Mogul is working to build a small property concierge team selected from best-of-breed agents from the industry. They will help to match home seekers with homeowners on Mogul. Eventually, Mogul will charge the property concierge a subscription fee, but we are still working out on the numbers, " said Mr Sim.

Source: The Business Times