Vietnam’s TOP100 Judges’ Choice believes crowd sourcing is the key to winning over tenants and landlords alike.
“Please avoid any online real estate website for foreigners” was the advice from Tomo, an Asian-American living in Vietnam. In 2012, he wrote the blogpost on Ho Chi Minh City’s (HCMC) rental scene for expats and expressed the concern when there existed “a handful of real estate agents pumping their overpriced products. You can assume that anything on there is a ripoff”.
2012 was also the time that Hoozing’s co-founder , Hai , stepped into a career in real estate industry after one year serving as Business Development director of AIESEC (an INGO with a focus to empower young people so they can make a positive impact on society). Very soon he realised that all the values that he had been bringing along from the previous job turned out to be a luxury thing in the new environment. Integrity, sustainability, fairness… they were all so hard to come by.
As for me , Hoozing‘s cofounder, I moved from Jaipur (India) to HCMC in Vietnam in 2013 to serve as Program Director of AIESEC. The nature of the job required me to network with interns coming from different countries as well as support them finding a good place to live in the city. However it was an impossible thing for a foreigner to find good deal and reliable agent to work with, even for my Vietnamese members as they got cheated sometimes.
As you might already guess, the bad personal experiences we had and the common traits of people who worked in non-for-profit sector brought us together in 2015, to enable the idea of building a startup where people can find housing accessible, hassle-free and trustful to go from inception to implementation.
Hoozing was launched in July 2015 and currently termedq as one of the most exciting startups in Vietnam. The business model is innovative in the sense that a community of renters is built rather than just another ordinary agent house. It’s crowd sourcing the information so that real true information can exist and informed decisions can be easily made. Simply put, new tenants get to talk directly with the current tenants, those who know best about the house and its neighbourhood. Meanwhile, the current tenants can earn huge commission from Hoozing for uploading their listing and supporting the potential tenants on their visits. This circle enable the trust to thrive and at the same time removes Hoozing out of the normal agent’s job description.
“Hoozing is also far ahead all of their competitors when it comes to user experience”, commented Attila Vajda, MD at Project Asia Research & Consulting Pte. Ltd, “The way they integrate 360 degree features into property viewing on website and social media is never a common practice in this industry.”
Hoozing plans to make the whole renting process from the time you search, to moving in, to have post-delivery services so that when you move in you don’t need to care much about all the renting hassles.
The more people know and use Hoozing, the stronger the community gets. Soon there will be people moving around Asia and renting houses in different locations just by a click of a button.
Taking home the winning spot at the TOP100 Vietnam Regional Qualifier this past March, Hoozing will exhibit among 99 other top APAC startups at Echelon Asia Summit 2016. This grants the team an opportunity to present their ideas to expand the Hoozing brand beyond Vietnam come 2017.