Referral proptech platform UrbanAgents secures US$1.5M from FarSight Capital, APAC Realty
Singapore-based property agent referral platform UrbanAgents announced that it has raised S$2 million (US$1.5 million) seed funding from FarSight Capital, APAC Realty and angel investors.
The company said that the investment it receives will be directed to maximise the use of AI to set commission guide for home sellers connecting to top agents in Singapore, making it fair for the home sellers to have a choice for performance-based commissions.
UrbanAgents.com describes itself as a referral platform that connects home sellers to a curated list of agents from various real estate agencies. In general, UrbanAgents only enroll licensed agents deemed to be within the top 5 per cent cohort based on past transaction and listing history data.
“Home sellers want one thing – sell their homes at a good price. However, in the traditional model, agents taking a fixed commission rate have little incentive to ‘go the distance’ in order to achieve a higher price for the home seller.” explains Michael Cho, CEO & Founder of UrbanZoom and UrbanAgents.
He continued, “Our machine learning team at UrbanZoom have built an auto valuation called Zoom Value, which is now being used in various capacities by banks such as OCBC, DBS, as well as other startups like MoneySmart, Ohmyhome, SoReal, etc. We decided to leverage on this and tie it to agents’ commissions.”
This service is currently available for HDB and Condo homeowners. It allows “Target Price” to be pegged to the home’s Zoom Value, which is calculated based on an AI model with inputs such as recent transactions, relevant listings, and features specific to the unit as provided by the home seller.
“The idea here is that we peg the agent’s fees to his performance. If he only managed to sell at a price significantly below the target price, he’ll receive only a nominal commission of $1,888. Conversely, if he can help the client achieve a price significantly higher than the target price, he should receive higher commissions for his efforts, up to a maximum of 2.5 per cent,” Cho added.
UrbanAgents claims that its analysis also shows that the top 5 per cent agents in Singapore alone represent more than half of all home seller clients, at least in the HDB market. The company then use that as criteria for agents who wish to join the program, and in turn, giving end consumers assurance that they’re dealing with an experienced professional.