2nd Sep 2021 – The safest and fastest end to end residential rental platform, SPEEDHOME congratulates the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) for embracing insurance practice to protect landlords’ interests but hopes that the agency will change its perspective on seeing tech companies as illegal brokers.
Whei Meng Wong expressed that “I wish to congratulate MIEA for taking a positive step to embrace insurance as a practice to safeguard landlord interest. While I welcome this news as a big advancement for market maturity, I vehemently disagree with MIEA CEO & past president K. Soma Sundram statement on tech companies trying to bypass the law.”
He further continued his statement by saying “Mr K. Soma Sundram is viewing the property industry from a very narrow lens that only real estate practitioners are allowed to serve the public. It has undermined the hard work and innovation of tech companies who have created new solutions and value for the market.”
A Healthy Competition Is The Key To Market Maturity
By having more diverse backgrounds of people and industries to look at the market, it spurs new ideas to old problems by taking different perspectives. Take for example SPEEDHOME, which has pioneered the concept of Landlord Insurance in the region together with Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad to offer best-in-class insurance in the market.
With more players like SPEEDHOME participating in the industry, it has resulted in a more cohesive environment, from transaction, safety and transparency. In Landlord Insurance specifically, SPEEDHOME has created far superior protection compared to the traditional deposit model.
For an insurance company to underwrite and mitigate the risk associated with tardy tenants, an insurance agent needs to properly assess the tenant’s profile. For that to work, a new process was introduced to adhere to more stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements like checking payslip, bank statement and credit checking.
This is unheard of in the traditional deposit market; hence the new process is more objective in screening tenants and ultimately safer transactions for the landlord.
Providing Value To The Market Through A Different Lens
Wong also expressed “As the CEO of SPEEDHOME, I’m deeply disappointed that MIEA did not take a more progressive view to include more aspiring players, be it tech or non-tech, to build a more mature market. SPEEDHOME is a licensed general insurance agency and generates income through selling insurance policies.
Real Estate practitioners are entitled to a commission for a property rental transaction as permitted by the law; SPEEDHOME on the other hand is a free-to-use platform with the option to purchase insurance. From a business revenue point of view, an insurance agency is at a disadvantage. Yet, it did not deter SPEEDHOME from serving the market because we passionately believe we are providing value to the market through a different lens.”
While SPEEDHOME does deduct payments for the insurance purchased by landlords from their first month’s rental, it is factually incorrect to say that this practice is overcharging the landlords. At the end of the day, landlords enjoy greater protection than the price of the insurance they pay as the insurance coverage can go up to RM42,000.
The law is clear, SPEEDHOME is a licensed insurance agency and under no circumstances should it be labelled as a real estate agency; hence MIEA must change its habits of calling tech companies that participate in the real estate industry as ‘illegal brokers’.
Collaborating Together To Meet Changing Market Demands
To pave a way for a more mature market, more rooms should be given to tech companies and other players to further accelerate the development of the industry to meet the ever-changing demand from the market.
SPEEDHOME also shares the same goal; to see the real estate market grow. Thus why over the years, SPEEDHOME has welcomed real estate agents to collaborate and find clients through the SPEEDHOME platform. This has always been carried out in a manner that favours real estate agents more than SPEEDHOME.
At the end of his statement, Wong called out to MIEA saying “I urge MIEA to double down effort in combating the players that are truly contravening the law instead of turning down tech companies that are trying to provide innovative solutions towards the market long-existing problems and ever-changing demand.”