Online Property Hunting In The Philippines Continues To Grow

Global property marketplace Lamudi revealed that Pinoy’s online behavior grows more aggressive each year.

As Internet and mobile usage in the Philippines continue to grow, their impact and influence to Filipino consumers have likewise expanded not only in our social media habits but also in other life applications, including house hunting. People continue to embrace technology, specifically e-commerce, that everyday solutions are a mere tap away.

Transportation services, accommodation, and even grocery shopping can now be done via mobile applications. Instinctively, going online is also the initial reaction of most shoppers today. If something piques one’s interest, people search online first before buying a product or availing a service.

In preparation for the upcoming Lamudi Housing Fair on October 13–15, global property website Lamudi studied its data to find out the online behavior and demographic of its users. Lamudi has been in the Philippine market for four years, and from its inception the number of Filipino homebuyers who go online even for their investment initiatives is evidently growing.

Online Behavior of Lamudi Users

Real estate is considered the biggest purchase a person could ever make in their lifetime. As such, it is hardly surprising that people start their research online, even when the actual buying will take place months after.

A study by Lamudi in 2015 revealed that close 80 percent of potential house-hunters use real estate portals, search engine, or social media to look for property. And being the most visited real estate portal in the Philippines, Lamudi’s onsite data can show how these online property hunters behave.

In 2014, Lamudi recorded 2.4 million visits to their website, which more than tripled in 2015 to 8.08 million visits. The year 2017 is yet to enter the fourth quarter and Lamudi already have recorded close to 11 million visits to its website, indicating that this year could easily surpass 2016’s 12.37 million visits.

In terms of age, a large chunk of Lamudi users are in fact millennials (or people between the age 25 and 34 years). People from this age bracket comprised 39.15 percent of all Lamudi users in the first 9 months of 2017, followed by the 35–44 age group (20.16 percent) and the 18–24 age group (16.84 percent).

Meantime, close to a quarter (24.2 percent) of Lamudi searches in the first 9 months of 2016 come from overseas, specifically from the USA (6.78 percent), the UAE (1.79 percent), Singapore (1.58 percent), Canada (1.48 percent), and Saudi Arabia (1.33 percent). In addition, as revealed even in the first years of Lamudi’s operation, women dominate online property-hunting in the Philippines. In the first 9 months of 2017, 59.6 percent of Lamudi users are female compared to 40.4 males.

Lamudi Housing Fair 2017

However, for the traditional homebuyer, Lamudi has something for you. As property purchase is a such a tedious process that face-to-face interaction with a seller is a must, the global property website is organizing the 2017 edition of its very popular Lamudi Housing Fair. Slated to be held on October 13–15 at the Megatrade Hall 1 of SM Megamall, this year’s edition is putting together property auctions, homebuying seminars, and talks from government officials. This unique event of everything real estate will not only make property hunting safe and easy, exclusive discounts to homebuyers will also be made available by Lamudi’s partner developers during the event.

To know more about the 2017 Lamudi Housing Fair, visit www.lamudi.com.ph/housing_fair.

Mr. Group Of Companies Pioneers An Angel Investment Platform For OFWs

As Mr. Group of Companies (MGC) opened its doors to the public last July 2017 for angel investing to provide support and assistance to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), this advocacy has led MGC to pioneer the angel investment platform for OFWs.

Serving as the “bridge” between MSMEs and potential investors, MGC is not only driving its efforts to help MSMEs but also, to encourage OFWs to become investors even if they’re far away from the country.

The concept of angel investment is not new in the business industry. It has already been in the country since 2009. Angel investors help start-up companies finance their business. And now, through MGC, OFWs can become angel investors and put at least 100,000 pesos and up to 10 million pesos for MGC’s platinum package – a pioneer platform in the country for overseas Filipinos.

The idea of MGC is to make OFWs who have the money but, have no time to invest, run a business through the angel investment platform. “Most of the OFWs who want to start a business in the country have no time and no physical contact to manage their own business here,” Bautista said. “In our online platform, it’s like OFWs can start a business.”

“I guess that we’re the pioneer in this kind of platform,” MGC Chairman and CEO Rowi Bautista said in an interview. “Ours is different because we’re using the modern technology.” Bautista referred to their company having developed a web application where OFWs can monitor their investments and the activities of the MSMEs. “They can set up a e-meeting with anyone in the company whenever they wish to.”

MGC is already managing a lot of MSMEs and OFWs, as angel investors, can be updated on the activities on the MSMEs where they have invested their money. “It’s like you’re overseeing everything that is happening in your MSME.”

While transparency is always a concern, Bautista already cleared the cloud. “They (potential OFW investors) can have access to the finances, they will have access to the financial statements of the MSMEs,” Bautista said in an interview. MGC assured that investments made by OFWs to MGC are safe and secure.

Aside from this, Bautista also highlighted that in the efforts of inviting OFWs to become angel investors, the company offers coaching and mentorship. “Before they (OFWs) will invest, they will have an orientation about the company profile, the values of investing, the values of helping MSMEs, the values of entrepreneurship, so we’ll be conducting an orientation for them,” said Bautista. The orientation and coaching is only for a day and can be done online or actual in their office. “However, if they require guidance from time to time, we are always willing to assist because that is our role, that is our promise to them.” Bautista reminded that MGC is not just an investment company but also, MGC is here to promote entrepreneurship and the welfare of MSMEs in the Philippines, most especially the startups.

With a target of 150 million pesos to raise, MGC is confident they’ll reach the mark and even more. “The 150 million pesos is just 15 platinum angels,” said Bautista. A platinum angel will invest 10 million pesos, but MGC is accepting as low as 100,000 pesos for starting angels. “Even an ordinary person can invest and can be an angel investor.”

Aside from this, MGC is also targeting the growth of the company at 50% per annum. In terms of the number of MSMEs, MGC plans to double it every year. “This year, we are starting off with 15 MSMEs,” Bautista said. MGC started with 5 MSMEs and plans to acquire 10 more MSMEs this year. “Next year, we’re going to acquire another 15 so it’s going to double and double.”

The impact of the pioneering angel investment platform for OFWs depends also on the MSMEs which MGC are helping. “If we are to increase the number of MSMEs, of course, we need to increase the number of angel investors.”

Bautista envisions a bandwagon effect not just locally, but also reaching to each and every Filipino around the globe through the angel investment platform for OFWs. The company has just recently marked its first year anniversary but MGC has already cemented its vision to be a publicly listed company by year 2020 registered at the Philippine Stock Exchange with a 100 million peso capital.