That's a deal - proptech Huspy wants to speed up the sale process by allowing agents to list free of charge. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Property portals in Dubai have been hiking their rates for listings and ads since the new Land Department requirements were issued, and which come into effect October 1. But not all portals are joining the ‘hike rates’ bandwagon.

Proptech Huspy, fortified by recent funding rounds, is offering real estate agents in Dubai a chance to list free of charge. They also get access to ‘pre-qualified ready-to-buy’ clients via Huspy.

Azzam Fakhoury

By connecting these customers to real estate agents, we are able to help the entire transaction close faster. For our partners, whether on the mortgage or real estate side, this means the home buying process is completed with ease, and they are able to earn market-leading commissions.

- Azzam Fakhoury, Head of Real Estate, Huspy

The move makes sense for Huspy; unlike the typical property listings portal, Huspy gets its revenues when a property gets sold and the buyer needs a mortgage. This is where the portal offers financing options via partners. So, for it, letting estate agents free listings is part of the speeding up process.

Estate agents won’t mind, because the main-line property portals have hiked ad tariffs by 30-40 per cent. It was last week that the Dubai Land Department said each property listed for sale or rent can only be advertised by up to 3 brokers. And each of them will require permits before listing it anywhere. This upends years of how properties used to be marketed and sold in Dubai, with even 7-8 agents being ‘associated’ with the process. (The Dubai Land Department also made it mandatory to remove all listings as soon as that property gets transacted.)

The move – effective from October 1 – could remove much of the multiple listings property portals feature. The portals’ thus are trying to compensate for the drop in revenues by raising ad rates.

Huspy’s moves

Apart from raising new funds from investors, the portal has also been busy with consolidations, acquiring property consultancies that fit in with its mortgage-focussed operations.Through three acquisitions – all done this year - the company claims the title of the ‘UAE’s largest mortgage platform’.

It also raised one of the largest Series A rounds in the MENA region, at $37 million, from investors including Sequoia Capital India, Founders Fund, Fifth Wall, Chimera Capital, Breyer Capital, VentureFriends, COTU, Venture Souq and BY Venture Partners.

As for the free listings for brokers, “This decision of Huspy’s ensures that every stakeholder in the UAE’s property ecosystem can benefit from our technology, across every step of the home buying experience,” Fakhoury added.