Almost every industry was impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, but the residential property rental market transaction is still very active. After the government announced Malaysia now is in the Recovery Movement Control (RMCO), the sales of the end-to-end rental platform SPEEDHOME rebounded rapidly, and the acceptance of “Contactless viewing ” recently launched by the platform also greatly improved.
Even during the MCO, online rental platform still secured 50% deals
“Even during the MCO moment, we were still able to maintain 50% deals by implementing the contactless viewing initiative. After the government loosened the movement control order, many tenants whose leases expired were eager to find a suitable house to stay, so finding a house through an online platform became their first choice,” said Wong Whei Meng, chief executive officer of SPEEDHOME.
“It’s clear that the outbreak has changed the consumption habits of Malaysians. In the past, everyone still had doubts about online services and had resistance to using online services. SPEEDHOME launched contactless house viewing before the MCO, which was accepted by the public.
SPEEDHOME’s sales manager, Ms. Ong also said: “During May, the number of rental inquiries made by tenants restored to the same level as of March pre-MCO, a response like this is extremely rare especially during the Ramadan month. I believe this is caused by there being a lot of tenants who were unable to relocate before April. “
Online business bloom, people want less physically contact
“Because we came up with many contingency plans namely contactless viewing, whereby tenants were able to view a unit remotely through video, they could then decide to rent it or not. Given that their choice is still protected with a 3-day full refund initiative in which the tenants could go and see the house for themselves after the MCO or when allowed by the building management. Should the video and the condition of the units differ, the tenants could get a full refund for the payments that they have made. This move very much increased the confidence of our tenants on what we offer to them. Ultimately, this impacted the growth of our company during this MCO period. Nevertheless, we must also highlight that the company decided not to downsize the operations, which also helped in this recovery. SPEEDHOME Sales executive Katherash shared his thoughts with the internal team.
Katherash also mentioned, “We feel it makes the online business bloom because people do not need to be in contact or meet face to face with each other during this crucial time. This is especially true when renting a home because online businesses require much lesser contact. Having less contact reduces the risk of infecting others and also increases the confidence of our customers that renting a home can be done without contact and hassle free”
Contactless viewing involves the owner recording video(s) of their rental unit, SPEEDHOME will assist the owner, through passing the video to potential tenants. If the tenant is satisfied with the house, they can pay a booking fee, and the owner will give them a three-day grace period. If the house is not as appears in the video, the tenant can report to us within 3 days after relocation, SPEEDHOME will refund the full amount.
Customers behavior changed
1. 3-bedroom unit properties became the most popular style.
In May the three-bedroom, two-bathroom property type in Klang Valley became the most popular, accounting for nearly 40% of the platform’s transaction volume.
Wong Whei Meng said: “Platform data shows that family tenants accounted for the largest number of transactions. Most of them have children, so 3-bedroom apartments have become their first choice. The rental price of this type of room in the center of Klang Valley is about RM1800 to RM2100. Of course,the rental amount still depends very much on the apartment facilities and location.”
2.Demand from student tenant is lesser
In addition, the education ministry has yet to allow the students to return back to universities for studying, and the demand for student rentals has dropped primarily because the number of suite and room rentals has dropped significantly. During the period of conditional regulation, suites/rooms only accounted for about 16% of the platform’s trading volume, compared with the last month 22%, there is a decrease of nearly 6%.
3.Properties with parking became less of an essential need
In addition, platform data also found that apartments with a single parking space are easier to rent out and more than 70% of the apartments provide at least one parking space. In the Klang Valley, the car occupancy rate is high, and tenants hope that the apartment they rent can provide at least one parking space.
However, after the outbreak of COVID-19, the number of people working from home increased and people seldom went out. It is not ruled out that the local residents will dispel the idea of owning a car and use public transportation or use e-hailing services. The parking space may not become a primary consideration when coming to renting a house.
Just like many startups in Malaysia, SPEEDHOME sales had been badly affected during the outbreak of COVID-19, but with the right strategy such as contactless viewing, good customer service and digital marketing, we have been blessed to keep the company business on track.
For sure right now Malaysian’s are more open to accept digital services, customer behavior and needs have changed significantly. So we ask you… Are you preparing to adapt to the changing of the new norm for your business?
Click here, to Know more about the SPEEDHOME Transparency report.