First-of-its-kind PropTech “Matchmaking” Service in Singapore – UrbanMatch, launched in Partnership with ERA Realty Network
Powered by proprietary algorithms, data and AI analytics, UrbanMatch will provide best recommendations to match genuine home-sellers to home-buyers with authentic, verified and potentially off-market properties, to smoothen the experience for both parties.
UrbanZoom, an AI-driven proptech startup based in Singapore, announced the launch of UrbanMatch today, a first-of-its kind digital “matchmaking” service to provide personalized, recommended homes-for-sale that best fit the criteria of genuine home buyers. A curated, private list of properties posted by verified home sellers and exclusive listing agents, will be sent in the format of automated messages via WhatsApp to home buyers. This screening process driven by smart algorithms – like those used in dating apps – and UrbanZoom’s concierge team, differentiates UrbanMatch from existing property listing portals, where users must manually search for listings and have no practical way of ascertaining whether the listings are genuine. UrbanMatch uses a set of criteria to verify the list of properties on-sale by direct home owners or exclusive listing agents, as well as the home- buying intent of potential buyers.
“Home sellers are often frustrated with ‘window shoppers’ with no genuine interests, while home buyers are put off by duplicate or even fake listings on public portals. This lack of trust leads to time and energy-consuming search periods – very much like poor dating matches,” explained Michael Cho, founder of UrbanZoom.
“UrbanMatch wants to reinvent this process by first verifying the authenticity and intent of both parties, while leveraging on machine learning algorithms like those used in popular dating apps, where we prioritize matches based on an understanding of the individual users' preferences that we collate over time, alongside personal screening by our concierge team. The net effect we hope to achieve is a high signal-to-noise ratio in the matches we make, and ultimately a faster route towards actual transactions,” he added.
Sizeable inventory of verified and exclusive homes-for-sale
UrbanMatch has also partnered with ERA Realty Network Pte Ltd (ERA), one of the largest property agencies in Singapore, to supply exclusive properties managed by ERA’s agents. This will provide a sizeable and verified inventory consisting of more than a thousand HDB flats, condominiums and landed homes-for-sale at launch, starting from today.
Mr. Jack Chua, Chief Executive Officer of ERA, commented: “We’re excited about this partnership as it enables us to expand the channels for lead generation by allowing our agents to be connected with genuine buyers. UrbanMatch is unique in creating a safe and trusted community for qualified sellers, buyers and agents who have already been vetted by the portal."
All licensed property agents from various estate agencies are welcomed to post properties-for-sale on UrbanMatch, with the key criteria being: they must be the exclusive listing agent, or in other words, no open listings. This is to prioritise quality over quantity and remove any potential duplicates. Any agents found to have posted fake properties-for-sale in a phishing attempt will immediately be dispelled from the platform.
Higher quality matches between genuine home buyers and sellers
Home sellers who value privacy or who are in the early stages of their home-selling journey will also appreciate UrbanMatch as there is no search function for public-facing listings. This allows them to “soft sound” the market privately as their homes are only being sent to a select group of qualified buyers. UrbanMatch also offers home sellers a free ‘UrbanZoom Home Report’ that is generated based on latest available market data and AI analytics to help them determine the value of their property (see Annex for sample of report).
UrbanMatch will check all registered home sellers against the Singapore Land Authority’s Land Titles Registry, to provide buyers with assurance that the property is put up for sale by the legitimate home owners. In fact, UrbanMatch takes a serious approach to prevent scamming, and has committed to pay S$50 to the home buyer if a fake home-for-sale has been reported and proven.
Unique concierge service provides greater convenience for home buyers
Home buyers who register with the portal will have a list of curated property options conveniently sent to them at intervals through WhatsApp by an UrbanMatch concierge, who will suggest those that fit the buyer’s criteria. Such immediate text alerts save the buyer time from trawling through multiple sites. The concierge may also include suitable properties from major listing portals at the users’ request.
Home buyers can register their interest on the portal by opting for either option: Pay a deposit that ranges between $100 to $300 depending on their budget –fully refundable anytime upon request, or arrange for a private phone consultation with UrbanMatch’s concierge assistant who will survey the buyer’s requirements and budget.
Home buyers and sellers who require further expert advice may opt to engage a licensed agent via UrbanAgents. Users who prefer to manage the entire process on their own, can also opt for services such as basic documentation, legal conveyancing and home inspection, through UrbanMatch’s partners.
"Public-facing property portals will still play the major role of surfacing listings, but UrbanMatch can be a great complementary tool to use alongside them. While these portals focus on search functionalities and quantity of listings, we choose to focus on quality of each curated match, and with that the benefits of time-saving and privacy. We think users don’t have to pick one or the other, they should try both public portals and UrbanMatch to increase their chances of getting a good match,” said Cho.
For more information on UrbanMatch’s services, please visit www.UrbanMatch.com.sg.
Download PDFDownload PDF
UrbanZoom is an AI-enabled research tool for home buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants in Singapore.
We are a team of data scientists and real estate professionals who are passionate about bringing full information transparency and actionable insights to the housing market.
We believe in empowering the man on the street so that he can be free of misinformation and fear when he’s about to commit to one of the biggest financial decisions of his lifetime.
For more on our team’s philosophy, take a look at our blog post here.