Non-commission agencies stand out
The digital real estate promise savings of thousands of euros to the owners in the sale of housing compared to traditional, which value services and professionalism
They promise succulent savings in the sale of a home to banish the commissions charged by traditional real estate. Savings that can reach 90%. With this business card the digital agencies or proptech are trying to get hold of a piece of the cake of the sale and rental of houses in Spain. A sweet that they will have to share with the veterans, those of the locals on the street, who say they do not feel threatened. “It’s like a comparison between do it yourself, with specialized comprehensive services,” says María José Corrales, president of the Business Association of Real Estate Management (Aegi).
Now, the customer has to choose between one or the other when selling, buying or renting a home. The online offer, above all, savings. In front of the commissions of between 3% and 5% that the traditional ones demand to the seller – some also to the buyer -, the proptech charge a flat rate according to the services contracted. On average, between 300 and 600 euros. Most only charge the seller but some, such as LemonKey, also the buyer (flat rate of 826 euros plus VAT). The duration of the contracts goes from three to 12 months.
They calculate that they save thousands of euros. Propertista was one of the first to land, at the beginning of 2016 and has sold more than 80 houses. “The average saving per customer is 9,500 euros,” says Lorenzo Ritella, founder. Cliventa firm ensures that its customers stop paying 12,000 euros on average. “With this they can buy a car or a kitchen for their new home,” adds Alejandro Briceño, co-founder of Cliventa.
These savings are obtained because the owner of the house is the owner of the house, so the costs of moving a commercial are not generated. The way of operating of these agencies is similar: professional photographs are made that are published in different portals and then “we answer calls, we solve doubts, we filter curious and we select the real interested parties”, comments Arturo Ballester, CEO of LemonKey, born in June by the hand of Housers and Aguirre Newman and that ensures an average saving of 13,000 euros.
Now, these agencies charge or do not sell. Most require payment in advance, without ensuring the success of the operation. “In traditional real estate, in most cases, it is only charged when the sale is achieved,” says Vicenç Ramón Tur, manager and CEO of Rtv Grupo Inmobiliario.
The agencies of all the life put in value their services to be separated. “If we look only at the price, they can compete, but if we compare the service,” warns Jesús Duque, vice president of Alfa Inmobiliaria, who recalls that “what the client values above all else is professional experience and knowledge of a certain area. ” Personal treatment, legal and legal advice, economic study of the buyers, deposit contracts, financing, payment of taxes … These are just some of the services offered by the most experienced. “The proptech is a self-service in which practically the client does everything, we carry out a personal management with a qualified professional who will watch over your interests and will defend your price”, says Javier Méndez, broker of Re / Max Sunset in Fuengirola. “We offer an added value that these agencies, given their limited experience and experience, can not give to their clients,” stresses Lázaro Cubero, director of the Analysis and Reporting Department of the Tecnocasa Group, who makes a comparison with low-cost insurance: “You pay less, but you suffer when you have a mishap.” And remember that this is the biggest decision, both economically and emotionally, made by a family. “Selling a property is a complex process and full of risks, the least important is the photo report, answer a call or teach the house,” says the president of Aegi.
But the truth is that some digital firms do offer services, such as legal advice or contract preparation, although hiring the most important packages (around 600 euros). There are even hybrid agencies, such as LemonKey, which already has offices in five cities.
Reinvent the model
Apart from the debate, they have come to reinvent the model thanks to digitalization. So much that they just landed some that go further: they commit to buy the apartment in a few days. One of them is Tiko, which makes the owner an offer in 24 hours. The firm buys with an average discount on the market price of between 5% and 7% because it assumes the risk of the subsequent sale and management, saving the client the administrative expenses. Then reform the houses and sell them in less than 90 days. In a similar way, Clicpiso works, a Spanish startup that buys homes in a matter of days, making the payment instantaneously.
The first proptech reached the Spanish market in 2016, imitating European models such as the British, where 15% of purchases are made through digital real estate. In Spain there are about six, although “we can get to ten in the next few years,” adds Briceño. The question is obvious: Is there room for everyone? “Yes, since in Spain only 45% of all sales go through a professional, the proptech come to position themselves in part of that 55% that still does not have an agent”, analyzes Javier Méndez, of Re / Max. “A similar situation occurred when the real estate portals appeared and now we see that they have not made the traditional agencies disappear,” says Cubero, of Tecnocasa.
In addition, they target two different market segments. “In the digital ones the low cost is highly valued and they are oriented to younger people who do a good part of the fieldwork”, they assure in Rtv. The vice president of Alfa agrees: “Both types of agencies will coexist and there will be very personalized services for people who want a high level of attention and security in their operations, and other cheaper models, with a more automated and less personal service”.
Source: “El País”