Tech

Buying and renting property is a pain… but what if you could do it collaboratively?

This week I was made aware of a ‘social network-esque’ property platform. They call it Kohab and it aims to make buying or renting property a simple and collaborative process. I think back to buying my place last year and the INCREDIBLE amount of emails sent back and forth between my parents, friends and colleagues in an attempt to find the perfect place. The solution Kohab proposes to this problem, is to do all of the commentary and analysis of these places directly on the website you’re looking at them on.

If you’re a little confused, let this video do the talking;

They call this feature ‘Dream Boarding’ – which is beyond nerdy but hey, it’s also very useful… As I pretended to buy a house (and pretend I’m not pinned with a mortgage for the next 30 years), I found that Dream Boarding made for an awesome way to keep track of all the properties on my radar. And what better place to start than cheap, 1 bedroom apartments in Melbourne;

Sadly my parents couldn’t care to help me find a place so all the comments are my own, but you can see functionally how it operates.

Two brilliant features of the site include;

  • Pop-Up windows instead of tabs – Typically when rolling through realestate.com.au or domain.com.au you’re stuck opening up ten tabs to look at ten different properties. Either that or you’re navigated to a page and have to navigate back. Something I really like about Kohab is that the property opens as a popup, which means you stay on the page you’re currently on and can view the place easily.
  • Photo swiping in search window – With the ability to swipe through the photos without having to actually open the property, you save yourself the hassle of opening up a page to view two or three rubbish photos that simply wasted time.

The ‘Dream Boarding’ functionality is conceptually a brilliant idea. Practically speaking, Kohab do a great job of implementing it, but with one small glitch to work out;

I know it seems minor but when your whole platform is based around the ability to comment within the website, you want the comments to be legible and easy to read.

The sharing process is incredibly simple and allows for a custom message;

Now my main concern with using Kohab is potentially missing out on properties that are listed on other, more established platforms such as RealEstate or Domain. When I put the question to Kohab Co-Founder Darren Clark, he replied “I’m happy to say we are working with a number of other sources and data providers who will help us close that gap over the coming months. It will very quickly become a non-issue” – which was enough to put my mind at ease. And having a proper play through their website, there is no shortage of properties. I’ll argue that the benefit of collaborative hunting outweighs the properties you MAY miss out on.

A new website in this space, I can imagine Kohab will do well in the industry if they market efficiently. It’s a tool that I’ll be using when talking property with any of my friends and family from here on out.

Buying and renting property is a pain… but what if you could do it collaboratively?
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