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Contxto – Brazilian proptech AoCubo closed an investment for R$1.2 million (nearly US$250,000) with Simon Baker and Brian Requarth. This pair had co-founded Viva Real, a major property sales platform which in turn had joined ZAP Group. And it was acquired by OLX Brazil last week.
Anywho, AoCubo will use the funding for marketing purposes as well as to expand its tech and product. The startup reportedly sold 326 units through its system in 2019. And for 2020, it plans to close 1,000 property deals.
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A tale of two problems
Chances are, when property brokers aren’t searching for new real estate units or meeting with potential clients, they’re likely rummaging through hundreds of emails requesting further information on a piece of property.
And unfortunately for these brokers, oftentimes the requesters are people who are just “looking around,” and aren’t necessarily interested or have the money to buy a home. So these reps lose valuable time trying to differentiate who’s serious and who isn’t. And of course, that can take a toll on the quality of the service they offer.
Meanwhile, on the property seekers’ end, they may feel uneasy dealing with a broker if they feel pressured and misinformed.
This disquieting feeling and duality of problems both for the broker and the property seeker, are what motivated Ronnie Sang alongside entrepreneurs Thais Cancian and Luiz Perna to co-found AoCubo in 2017.
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AoCubo eases the property process
To manage these issues, Brazilian AoCubo developed two products. The first is a platform where real estate brokers can freely register the properties they’re handling. And its second solution are bots that initiate contact with a person to better understand what they’re looking for as well as their budget.
These bots get to know the user and real estate reps in its system to better match them.
When it’s clear the customer means serious business, this lead is passed onto the corresponding broker for follow-up.
The startup’s business model charges the real estate rep a commission once the deal has been closed. But the larger share of this commission (70 to 75 percent) goes to the broker.
It’s a solution that’s useful for reducing inbox loads while also giving users immediate attention. However, I’m still a bit concerned about brokers who may push the final sale in an attempt to get their commission.
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