houza fills a gap in the property market
A consortium of premier real estate companies has joined forces to create a new property portal, houza.com
houza – the UAE’s new home for buying, selling and renting property – has brought together a strong collective of brokerages to offer all real estate agencies in the UAE more choice when selecting a portal on which to list their properties.
Motivated by the lack of options and autonomy for agencies, the business model offers the first agency-backed, full-scale property portal for property seekers across the UAE, for buying, renting and selling.
Heading up the operation is Barry Judge, former CEO of dubizzle and CEO of OLX Group MENA. He has formed a world-class team with extensive marketplace experience, including specialists in sales, user experience and engineering.
"It has been well-documented that it’s been a difficult year for the industry. We wanted to provide greater choice for agencies and as a result, deliver more leads and revenue opportunities."
Judge summarises: "It has been well-documented that it’s been a difficult year for the industry. We wanted to provide greater choice for agencies and as a result, deliver more leads and revenue opportunities."
The portal boasts support from top consumer-facing agencies in the UAE, such as Allsopp & Allsopp, Betterhomes, Driven Properties, D&B Properties and Espace, as well as leading segment-specific agencies, CORE Real Estate and CRC in commercial property, and LuxuryProperty.com in high-end residential units. Recently launched Linda’s Real Estate has also come on board.
So, why would agencies choose to list on houza?
On the surface, the nature of adding competition in the portal market can lead to reduced marketing costs, while increasing exposure for listings.
Agencies signing up to be part of the houza Network will gain a host of benefits, which will allow smaller or independent brokers access to free PropTech tools and competitive rates for software, that will drive cost and business optimisation for everyone.
And what are benefits for the consumer?
The consumer will also benefit from a mobile-first, seamless browsing experience and complete transparency of their data usage.
"The model means we are able to leverage our joint bargaining power to agency advantage; however the whole design and flow of the website is customer- centric."
Judge explains: "The model means we are able to leverage our joint bargaining power to agency advantage; however the whole design and flow of the website is customer- centric. Our vision is to achieve an e-commerce platform that solves buyer and seller pain-points, incorporates intelligent technology and consistently strives for high quality and accurate content."
"There is a huge emphasis on defeating the scourge of fake listings. Visitors to houza.com can expect all of the properties they view to be 100% genuine and available.
"We also anticipate houza having a level of exclusive content for consumers with some properties appearing on the portal before they reach the wider market, giving buyers andtenants the chance to get in to high demand properties before others.
"We are passionate about delivering a transparent and enjoyable customer journey from start to finish."
Photo caption: Barry Judge, CEO of houza on location at Hillside at Jumeirah Golf Estates.