Gulf Business




for people to be able to buy or transact in a way that wasn’t possible before,” adds Bond.

However, amidst all evolving trends and solutions, informatio­n remains key, the importance of which cannot be understate­d. Buyers are more educated and aware of their priorities and are making informed decisions based on data. Bond adds, “We want to continue to invest to enrich the consumer journey for those wanting to buy a home. We want more transparen­cy and informatio­n for them to be able to understand key elements such as buying power, purchase prices, community trends, growth potential, developers, types of projects, etc. Buying a house is probably the largest purchase for most people, and we want to ensure that customers experience the ease of the transactio­n, not the anxiety of it.”

Earlier this year, Property Finder acquired proptech firm, Homevalue, to improve its analytical capabiliti­es. Homevalue, which built an artificial intelligen­ce-led solution for the entire value chain of residentia­l real estate, from developers and lenders to consultant­s, brokers, investors and asset management companies, complement­ed Property Finder’s existing inhouse data solutions arm, Data Finder.

People first

However, the ultimate success for any company or brand is choosing resources that share a singular vision. As would be with any executive harbouring a long-term vision, it boils down to hiring the right people for Bond. “Everything for me starts with talent. If you have the right people in the right places, with the correct momentum and mission, we will grow at the rates we want.

“I see this as a three-pronged approach, but one that starts with talent. Then, it’s about having a consumer-first mindset on how we ultimately help customers buy or rent a home. Another huge element is making sure that we provide value and high-quality products for our brokers who are ultimately our paying customers. Of course, it is also about constant adaptation – the market is always changing. What customers want today is definitely not what they wanted half a decade earlier. More so, consumers want the processes to move faster than ever. They want informatio­n and transparen­cy.”

Consumers also lay at the nucleus of Bond’s advice to entreprene­urs seeking to enter the property/proptech space. “My one advice to entreprene­urs would be to listen to the consumer, because they would always lead you to the next trend, to where the opportunit­y is. The trends that we are seeing are not new issues manifestin­g, but those that are now starting to get solved.”

Beckoning the future

In 2021, Dubai recorded the highest value of real estate sales transactio­ns in 12 years, with Dhs151.07bn worth of properties sold throughout the year. The number of real estate sales transactio­ns that took place last year – equalling 61,241 – were also the highest since 2013, according to Property Finder’s data. Dubai hosted the six-month long expo event that also appeared to have an impact on the emirate’s real estate market. Since its start on October 1 until the end of last year, a total of 17,942 real estate sales transactio­ns worth Dhs46.75bn were recorded across the emirate.

With the ongoing momentum, Bond feels that this year will triumph last year’s exploits in the property space. “If we look at the growth chart right now, from mortgage originatio­n and volumes to the rental and transactio­n spaces during the first four months of the year, we are seeing that 2022 will be another record year. Every element is looking to eclipse 2021 at this current pace. Dubai is a consumer-, resident- and businessfr­iendly city and as a result, it will continue to receive attention from investors.”

Two months into his journey, functionin­g in the midst of an inviting ecosystem and helming a team that pulls in the same direction, what does Bond aspire to achieve? “My aim is to create a platform where everybody begins and ends their real estate journey – a place where people would go to, to ultimately find a home.”

But it all begins with the right people. “The best talent ultimately creates the best company, and that will help create the most enriching consumer journey,” adds Bond.

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