Renovating The Real Estate Market
By Jessie Yang | As the first and only real estate web listing company in Thailand, Hipflat is all set to provide a more transparent and efficient platform for property transactions. Recently receiving investment from Aucfan – Japan’s most significant online auction price analytics and search platform – Hipflat CEO Denis Nemtsev aims to expand the technology-driven marketplace.
“We do more than just facilitating property search engine, we provide resources for customers to make more profitable investments,” Nemtsev says.
Solving Mistrust In Property Markets
Working as a real estate agent for five years, Nemtsev sees the potential – as well as the downsides – in Thailand’s real estate market. There is a widespread sentiment of mistrust within the market, whether it is between buyers and sellers, or landlords and tenants.
Due to a lack of market transparency, there is no credible data on transaction records, property pricing, and trustworthy unified property agents. Moreover, the sellers and landlords withhold more available information, which puts the buyers in a disadvantaged position. Therefore, “building trust” and “increasing transparency” became Hipflat’s vision when it launched in 2013.
Improving Real Estate Market
“We introduced blockchain into our online system, which can decentralize the property market with a database free of control by third parties. That is what makes us special,” Nemtsev says.
Suggested by Harvard Business Review as having the potential to create new foundations for economic and social systems, blockchain technology serves as an open platform that can record transactions efficiently and in a permanent, verifiable way. As a result, it facilitates a crowdsourced information exchange platform with comprehensive information on currently available properties for sale and rent.
Similar to a role of a good real estate agent, Hipflat’s crowdsourced platform stores three essential information categories which include listings, transaction records, and market participants’ scores and reviews. Last year, Hipflat received the prestigious “Companies to Action” award from Frost & Sullivan, which celebrates transformative companies making the most social impact.
“It all comes down to people,” Nemtsev says firmly. “We want to help people in making better decisions and further influence other countries with similar transparency issues in the property market.”
With 260,000 active property listings attracting over 30,000 monthly inquiries from homebuyers and renters, Hipflat is well-positioned in Thailand and expanding to other SE Asian, African, and Latin American countries where information on past real estate transactions is not available or inaccurate.
Bangkok: A Transforming Smart City
Based in Bangkok, Hipflat is one of the thriving startup companies that contributes to the rapid startup funding growth rate in the city. Bangkok is transforming – positioning itself as a fast-growing innovation hub, with convenient transportation and urban planning shaping the city into a better choice for entrepreneurs like Nemtsev.
“Bangkok is becoming a booming city for startups,” he says. “The city has changed massively since I first arrived here a few years ago. It’s a city with diverse culture and technology advancement, plus low living costs.”
More importantly, the government is supportive of innovation and startups. The cabinet endorsed the Smart Visa policy early last year that enables investors, startup entrepreneurs, and highly skilled professionals to boost business growth in the country and attract foreign entrepreneurs.
The success of Hipflat is relevant to how startups in Bangkok are shaping the city into a more sustainable environment. By providing an efficient, transparent and accessible working landscape, they become the vital force to push the former manufacturing-based city forward.
Reasons For Success
“It is important to stay creative, observe the market trend instead of simply following others’ footsteps,” Nemtsev says. “We are a small team, and we utilize our technology expertise to solve the problems within the real estate in Thailand.”
As for his advice to new startup founders, Nemtsev thinks persistence is an essential quality. “Don’t stop developing your ideas. As long as you start with your expertise, things will come naturally,” he believes. “People normally shut down their ideas when encountering difficulties, but instead, people should try to solve the problem from different angles, being in the shoes of the consumers.”
About Denis Nemtsev
Hipflat CEO Denis Nemtsev launched the Bangkok-based company in 2013 after working as a real estate agent for 5 years.