Facility management is a tough work. Not only do you have to keep the estate clean and the amenities well-functioning, you also have to respond quickly to complaints and refrain from spending too much, lest you go over budget and have to raise maintenance fees, much to the chagrin of facility owners.
Now, online contractor platform Kluje has announced a new plan to extend its contractor matching service to over 30,000 licensed property agents and facility managers in Singapore. With the platform, they can look forward to posting and managing jobs free of charge, and find better quality contractors.
According to CEO Jamey Merkel, the new agency service aims to help time-strapped agents and managers maintain their properties in a cost-effective way. “We have created a tailored solution for real estate agents and facility managers who are always stretched on time to maintain and fix the properties they’re looking after,” he said. “Knowing that they’ve to manage their time more effectively, we hope that Kluje.com’s agency platform can bring productivity gains for the industry.”
Merkel added that this new service is designed such that one account holder can service multiple residences or offices. Through a unified dashboard, the user will be able to manage the jobs posted and indicate whether the contractor should liaise with him or her, or directly with the property owner/tenant. The new solution enables agents to post more home improvement jobs on the Kluje platform.
According to the Council for Estate Agents (CEA), there were over 30,000 licensed property agents buying and selling over 22,000 residential properties in 2013 in Singapore. Together with the overall growing (albeit cooling) property market of Singapore, this pool of agents and estate managers will provide a healthy market for Kluje, as they will need units to stay in good condition to attract and retain owners or tenants.
To make the service simple to use for property agents or facility managers, Kluje will be introducing a simple 3-step process to realising and maintaining one’s dream home/office:
First, post ‘jobs to be done’ on the website for free
Second, up to three quality contractors can bid for the job
Third, select the best contractor based on their portfolio and ratings.
To encourage signups, Kluje.com is also simplifying its pricing model. While the agent account is completely free, contractors only have to pay a 1 per cent lead cost (starting from SG$1), which is determined by the budget size of the homeowner, agent, or facility manager, instead of a fixed membership subscription fee.
According to Merkel, Kluje’s next step will be to build a mobile app for homeowners, property agents, facility managers and contractors to manage jobs/bids on the go. The app will be built in-house by technology startup accelerator and Kluje’s cornerstone investor GHX, and should be launched shortly.
With approximately 1.15 million households in Singapore, together with a projected number of 140 million more in Southeast Asia by 2015, home maintenance is a multibillion dollar industry, and it will only grow in the future. Kluje plans to aggressivly take on the local market, eventually expanding into the region by providing agents and homeowners with a reliable and easy way to find contractors for their home improvement projects and maintenance.