Hutbitat, a startup that launched in September last year, is aiming to help house hunters find all the information they need about prospective homes in one place.
Users can use the platform to search for homes to rent or buy, in much the same way as consumers do on competitors Realestate.com.au and Domain. In addition to the information about properties provided by real estate agents, the startup also pulls in publicly available data on public transport schools, and median rental prices for the area being searched.
Hutbitat does not charge real estate agencies to list on the platform. It pulls its listings from real estate agents own websites and lists them all on the Hutbitat platform for free. Co-founder Lee Wei says that saves real estate agents time by eliminating the need for them to find an external site to showcase their properties.
“Our core promise is to allow agents and vendors to list properties they are selling for free and they will always remain free,” Lee says.
“This does not just benefit the sellers but also the potential buyers as they now have a transparent and complete view of the possible listings.”
Lee says the startup’s main revenue stream will come from data and analytics. It will encourage, but not require, real estate agencies to sign up to its subscription-based analytics platform. Lee wouldn’t go into the specifics of the data agencies will receive, but says it will improve their efficiency. In addition subscribers’ listings will appear on the website first.
There are close to 50,000 properties already listed on Hutbitat across Victoria and New South Wales. The startup has received seed investment but is looking to raise more capital to scale its infrastructure so as it can service all of Australia.
“(Our founder) has lived in Australia for over six years, and found there was much to be desired in online real estate. At the end of all of this what we’re really trying to do is improve user experience,” he says.
“What we want is users to spend the least amount of time searching for homes. Because we all know how painful it is.”