This article on how Houze Group built Vietnam’s first digital ecosystem for real estate appears in the newest issue of Dot Property Magazine.
Most startups focus on a single niche where they are filling a gap in the market or disrupting an existing process. This can be successful but limiting, especially in a complex industry like real estate. Houze Group opted for a more holistic approach. It found there was a need to build and link the outstanding and differentiated value chains that make up Vietnam’s property market.
Instead of siloing solutions, Houze Group searched for a more innovative solution. The startup would place them all under one proverbial roof. The end result was Vietnam’s first digital ecosystem for real estate.
“The goal of Houze is to create a linked service chain on a common platform, to help customers have an integrated experience instead of multiple experiences. We provide a single choice in the real estate-financial service value chain,” Pham Lam Founder, Chairman and CEO of Houze Group, reports. “Houze connects the synergy from the ecosystem to millions of customers across six areas with technology service solutions from three distinct fields. This allows us to create a prosperous community within the real estate sector.”
In order to create a robust digital ecosystem for real estate, Houze Group utilized proptech, fintech and mobile commerce. The trio of technology solutions allows for a comprehensive digital transformation of the real estate market which can stimulate growth and make it more accessible.
“The Houze ecosystem was born with a great vision. We understood that the real estate industry in Vietnam would benefit from digital transformation. It would make things easier, faster and ultimately better for everyone,” Lam explains. “However, creating and operating an organization that brings together talented people in many fields is not easy, but was necessary for the Houze Ecosystem to develop in accordance with our goals and aspirations.”
One challenge Houze Group needed to overcome was the fact no company had successfully developed an ecosystem model to fully serve the entire real estate community. According to Lam, most people want fast, simple and effective experiences which hadn’t been made available to real estate industry.
“People do not like having to install too many applications on their phones. They also don’t want to deal with cumbersome and inconvenient methods. Unfortunately, this tends to happen because the technology and real estate sectors are segmented,” Lam notes. “There are many companies specializing in real estate that lack sustainable technology solutions. There are also companies with high technology capabilities but who do not understand the real estate market deeply enough.”
He continues, “The end result means there are many applications for the real estate sector, but they are developed separately, sporadically and only focus on a single purpose. It ends up being the opposite of what most people want in today’s day and age.”
Becoming the leading digital ecosystem for real estate
In order to accomplish its goals, Houze Group researched and developed multi-service technology solutions that would allow customers to enjoy integrated experiences through a single application. The decision to be a pioneer and forge a new path is always risky, especially when no one in the Vietnam real estate sector had ever tried something so ambitious.
“Pioneering is often accompanied by risk, and the difficulty is higher because no one has ever done it. But for me, that is part of the fun. It requires great courage from myself and our team,” Lam states. “The key to overcoming those difficulties is the attitude. You have to be ready to commit, ready to change and ready to adapt when the market shifts while always focusing on the goal and constantly creating.”
Understanding the real estate market is constantly changing and by quickly adapting to this shifts, Houze Group built a digital ecosystem that was not only the first but remains the best. It has become the hub where the spokes of the property industry come together.
For example, Houze Building has streamlined and digitized building management and operation processes. Residents can easily make requests and receive status updates. On the flip side, building managers are able to operate more efficiently while better serving clients.
Houze Pay is another part of the digital ecosystem. This feature allows people to make online payments through Momo, Payoo, Zalo Pay, Grab Moca and e-banking for electricity and other services.
Meanwhile, Houze Invest has revolutionized property investment by creating a place where investors with small financial capacity can be connected to real estate investment opportunities.
Then there is Houze Agent, a dedicated work management application for real estate brokers. This feature allows them to improve efficiency, provides sustainable career development opportunities and ensures they can offer the best service experience for customers.
For most startups, doing one of these would be a significant milestone. However, Houze Group has managed to do all of these and more. This is why it is seen as the leading digital ecosystem for real estate in Vietnam.
Houze Group’s award-winning credentials
Houze Group was honored with the Special Recognition Award for Innovation at the Dot Property Vietnam Awards 2020 and also won the award for Solution for Smart Buildings/Apartments at Vietnam Smart City Award 2020.
“The award is encouragement for Houze Group’s pioneering technological innovation efforts to ‘digitally transform’ the real estate service sector with a product developed by Vietnamese intelligence,” Lam says. “I and my like-minded and enthusiastic associates have always made constant efforts and actions to build values for the Houze Ecosystem. Building a team with outstanding capabilities who understands the company’s mission and consistently pursues the same goal is something that I feel very proud of.”
Much of the success of Houze can be contributed to its team. The company has built a diverse and talented group that brings a wealth of experience. Startup founders, technology experts, financial specialists and those with a deep understanding of property have come together to create this digital ecosystem.
“The resonance of outstanding capabilities, innovative thinking and deep understanding of the market has helped the Houze Ecosystem pioneer to create products and services that respond well to trends, bring value and are practical for the community to use,” Lam points out.
This is not the end of the journey for Houze Group, but the start of something meaningful. It continues to adapt, looking to provide new and exciting solutions through innovation as it strives toward making the real estate sector in Vietnam more accessible for everyone.
“Houze Group will continue to move fast, powerfully and effectively to develop innovative and breakthrough products, services and technology solutions. We want to create true values for life while contributing to the strong development of the national digital economy,” Lam notes.
He concludes, “With proven core competencies and a sustainable, long-term development strategy aimed at becoming a pioneering real estate technology service ecosystem in Vietnam, Houze Group will keep creating value for our communities.”