Catcha Group is back in property game with home rental service Instahome
By Digital News Asia October 28, 2020
- 7-figure US$ funding from Catcha Group, cofounder Eric Tan & some early employees
- Instahome checks all listed homes to eliminate fake, inaccurate, poor-quality listings
Renting homes can be an arduous, frustrating thing. Fake, inaccurate listings, misleading photos and a cumbersome, overly-manual process can make renting experiences a nightmare.
It’s a problem that Instahome is hoping to mitigate. Founded in September 2020, Instahome looks to leverage design and technology to improve the home rental experience for tenants, agents and landlords. The service, funded with a “7-figure US$” seed funding from Catcha Group, cofounder Eric Tan and even early founding employees has now officially been launched.
In a 200-renters survey in Klang Valley conducted by the Instahome team before the launch, 60% of the renters complained that the quality of listing on existing property websites as their biggest frustration when looking for a rental home.
“As a team of frustrated renters, we asked ourselves ‘What is the dream renting experience?’ and we realised that the world of renting has not caught up with the times,” says Tan (pic), who is also chief executive officer.
“We set out to create a better way to rent a home. On Instahome, we personally visit and check all of our homes before listing them – no more filtering through hundreds of fake, inaccurate and poor-quality listings.”
Instahome’s features aren’t just limited to that. On the platform, users will be able to access 3D virtual tours, HD photos and videos of every listed home, on top of scheduling home visits. The platform lets users rent online (without the hassle of paperwork), as well as discover and arrange for maintenance services.
Paying rent on time also lets users redeem rewards, as well as build a strong credit profile on the platform.
Instahome also solves the problem of duplication listings. This is a common thing that happens as landlords typically work with multiple agents to expand their tenant reach, and these agents would list the same properties on major classifieds. This can result in tedious searching experience and can lead to renters unknowingly enquire about the same unit.
“In the past, some of our team members have visited the same property twice (some even thrice!) with different real estate agents when they were looking for a place to rent as the exact property address is not disclosed at the point of viewing,” Tan shares.
“It’s a huge waste of time and effort for all parties involved. Therefore, we make sure all the listings on Instahome are unique. Once a property is listed by our partner agent, we will reject all future requests by other agents to list the same unit.”
Agents are able to list their property with Instahome within a minute (after vetting by Instahome) – all the platform requires is the property address, rent and deposit requirements.
“We want to make sure that agents find tenants in the most efficient manner. We are very fortunate to have signed up more than 100 agents across Klang Valley to partner with us officially at launch, and we look forward to many more agents who have already expressed interest to work together once our platform is live. We want to make renting a home as easy as buying a T-shirt online,” Tan adds.
Instahome is cofounded and backed by Patrick Grove (pic, left), the group CEO and cofounder of Catcha Group. Grove is no stranger to online property ventures – he was the chairman and cofounder of iProperty Group, which was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s REA Group for US$532 million (RM2.2 billion) in 2015.
“I am extremely excited to launch Instahome with an extremely passionate and talented founding team. Except for online property classifieds, the real estate industry has largely remained the same in the last 20 years. With our operating experience in iProperty, extensive industry network and personal frustration on the problem, we are very convinced that Instahome is the future of home rental,” Patrick states.
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