By Zsarlene B. Chua, Senior Reporter
SINGAPOREAN ONLINE property listing company Ohmyhome has formally launched in the Philippines, setting itself apart from other platforms with its do-it-yourself features and a cross-border property ecosystem spanning three countries.
“We are not an advertising platform, so we do not sell advertising space for agents and agents do not pay us to lease properties. That is not our business model, our business model is for people to come in and if they want any [help in leasing or buying properties] they can get it from Ohmyhome,” Rhonda Wong, Ohmyhome CEO, told reporters during an Oct. 1 digital conference.
“As much as possible we try to make sure that every listing is genuine and you should be talking to the homeowner or our agents in Ohmyhome,” Race Wong, the company’s chief product officer, added in the same conference.
Ohmyhome started in 2016 in Singapore as a property transaction ecosystem where individual homeowners can post their listings for free. The company also offers agent services, mortgage and loans, as well as renovation, legal and moving services. It entered Malaysia in 2019 and according to its executives, they have sold more than “5,300 properties in Singapore and Malaysia” with a “gross transaction value of more than $1 billion.”
Listings can be accessed via the company’s website and mobile app.
Ohmyhome’s do-it-yourself features are meant to simplify the listing and buying process and also offer a more “transparent and reliable” transaction process.
“You can choose between in-house agents. That means, if you want an agent to serve you, you want the agent to meet you at your home, at your office, we can send an agent to you. If you don’t want to pay for any fees because we understand that agent fees can be very high, our entire platform allows you to do it yourself,” Rhonda Wong, the company CEO, said.
Ohmyhome expects to have “between 5,000 to 10,000 listings in the next few months.” Since the company just entered the Philippines, they expect that the bulk of their listings will come from partner real estate developers before seeing individual listings.
According to their website, some partner developers in the country include SM Development Corporation, Ayala Land, Inc., and DMCI Homes.
Since the company is also present in Singapore and Malaysia, customers can browse listings in their current markets and have their Philippine team advise customers who want to live in the other two countries.
“[This] makes us the very, very first cross border property ecosystem across Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines…what we’re providing here with this cross border property ecosystem is that right there in Manila,” Race Wong, Ohmyhome’s chief product officer, said, adding that “even though there are very large real estate companies around the world, no one is providing this service to anyone.”
Ohmyhome noted that during the pandemic, more people either moved out of the cities because they wanted to be nearer to their families and get a home that is more spacious or move into the cities because they want to be nearer to their offices.
“So even though there is seemingly like a slowdown in the economy, the website traffic in terms of people moving, it’s actually still very active,” Rhonda Wong said.
Another trend seen during the pandemic is the need for developers and homeowners to do more virtual tours. The trend is expected to stick even after the crisis has ended because it allows people to save time and see the company’s listings even if they are located in other countries.
For virtual tours, agents can be on location while the customer is on video conference, or the listing may already have videos.