Why we acquired RoofPik?

roofpik

An average home seeker checks out 14 different home options with 4-5 different brokers over a period of 18 days before finalizing a rental home. 87% of them find the process moderately or extremely cumbersome. This is the story of 45 Lac families in urban India, who move to a new rental accommodation in a year.

Home renting is among the very few activities in today’s age, where you still have to run pillar to post for an activity that may last for multiple weeks. Internet has had little to no impact. The question is – Why?

  • Why can’t you see all available rental options – with correct information & pics – online?
  • Why can’t you see the ongoing rental trends in your area to zero-in on your options?
  • Why cant you have a prescreened list of homes relevant to your profile?

Problem is that real estate is supply driven. Brokers operate in small areas, where they have handful of options. They are aligned to getting these properties rented rather than help customers find the right houses – which in many cases lie outside their area of operation. That forces customers into an offline home discovery process with multiple brokers. A process which is cumbersome and broken. Online classifieds – doing demand aggregation – add little value as they have no real inventory information or knowledge of closures.

Solution to this problem lies with Inventory Aggregation. Inventory aggregation is about bringing information of all available home options at a single place. With a small area focus, you are in no position to effectively guide the customer to the right homes. But if you can build inventory depth in a sufficiently large part of the town (~80%), magic sets in! One can tell home seekers which are the most relevant home options across their area of consideration, past renting trends and even a prescreened list of options worth a visit. This can bring a big part of the home discovery process online – just like it is for everything else in the 21st century.

FastFox is committed to transform the home renting business and to do that we have to aggregate all rental home options – through brokers, affiliates or direct home owners. And that is where acquiring Roofpik makes sense. Roofpik has an army of local community experts who are plugged into the neighborhood ecosystems. These ecosystems create valuable information wrt rental home options and will prove critical to help us deepen our reach in each of these neighborhoods. Even as we expand our affiliate network through Roofpik, we continue to work with brokers – offering them a strong value proposition – to uncover more & more inventory. We have made a lot of progress but our journey has just begun.

The solution to real estate conundrum in India is simple but not easy. Aggregate supply one step at a time! Roofpik acquisition is one of them.

Pallav Pandey

Author: Pallav Pandey

Passionate about building tech-enabled businesses in emerging markets. Excited to work with young companies in their journey from 0 to 1.

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