Lamudi Doubles Manpower to Answer Stronger Digitization of Local and International Interest in PH Real Estate

Lamudi Philippines is gearing up for expansion. Growing with the increasing demand for properties online, Lamudi continues to raise the bar for what is possible in the industry.

Amid the challenges and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, leading real estate platform Lamudi is gearing up for expansion. In its seventh year in the industry, the team plans to double its Philippine team and cater better to the country’s growing and recovering real estate market.

Kenneth Stern, Lamudi Philippines’ CEO, said that he looks forward to 2021, as the year brings fresh new opportunities for achieving unprecedented growth amid the crisis. Stern joined the group in September 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

“We set new aggressive targets that will continue to raise the bar for what is possible,” he said.

Stern added that Lamudi Philippines will be focusing on the “right people, right leaders, and the right culture” as the company moves to augment its workforce and business operations.

Foundation for Expansion

Lamudi’s new parent company offers a stable backing for its expansion plans. It was announced in May last year that EMPG, one of the leading digital classifieds groups in the Middle East-North America, South Asia and Southeast Asia regions, acquired Lamudi Global, covering ventures in the Philippines, Indonesia and Mexico.

The digital classifieds giant owns and operates various online marketplaces, including Bayut in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Zameen in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, Mubawab in Morocco and Tunisia, and Kaidee in Thailand.

Similarly, it owns and operates Dubizzle in the UAE, OLX Pakistan, OLX Egypt, and OLX Lebanon. EMPG’s acquisition of OLX raised its valuation to $1 billion.

The acquisition by a unicorn company allows Lamudi to learn from EMPG’s knowledge and expertise in the global market. This has helped Lamudi seize opportunities in overseas demand while continuing to strengthen their presence in the Philippine real estate market.

According to Lamudi’s trend report, Hotspots Unwrapped: 2020’s Most Popular Locations, Singapore, Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh drove the strongest overseas interest in Philippine properties in 2020.

The report added that the most active property market segment was the millennials. The age bracket of 25 to 34 represented the highest number of pageviews, accounting for 30.58 percent. The most motivated, on the other hand, were the generations older, 45 to 54, fueling the greatest number of leads, 28.60 percent.

Lamudi works on seizing opportunities in the overseas market and reaching more property buyers and sellers in the Philippines, as it is backed with EMPG’s financial resources and industry expertise.

Collaborations with Real Estate Giants

More than the support of its parent company, Lamudi draws its strength from the partnerships it has forged with property developers.

Recently, the portal has renewed its partnership agreement with real estate giant Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC). Leveraging Lamudi’s monthly pageviews of up to 7 million, the partnership will bring unparalleled exposure and reach to RLC Residences, the consolidation of RLC’s three divisions–Residences, Luxuria, and Communities–into “a single and meaningful brand.”

Last year, Lamudi introduced a webinar series featuring RLC’s key leaders. In June, Arch. Henry L. Yap, Senior Vice President and Business Unit General Manager of RLC Residences, talked about real estate as a solid investment, giving encouraging advice to buyers. RLC also graced Lamudi’s online events. Architect Yap shared his journey as a real estate professional for On the House: Small Talk with Big Bosses.

Despite the challenges of the health crisis, Lamudi managed to provide a comprehensive campaign and maintain a strong relationship with its partner developers. The team is confident that its expansion plan will succeed, fueled by its ties with real estate giants.

Growth on All Fronts

As the real estate partner turned seven last March, Lamudi has seen the gradual shift to online transactions through the years. In 2016, Lamudi launched its housing fairs; now, in 2021, it is set to host the first and biggest online housing fair in May, featuring a huge network of property developers all over the Philippines — RLC, Aboitizland, Federal Land, Shang Properties, Solar Resources, and Primehomes, to name a few.

This change is testament to how online-first is the move companies make in the new normal, and how property seekers are more active than ever when it comes to online property search. Overcoming obstacles from last year, Lamudi finds more motivation in reaching greater heights.

According to Lamudi data, pageviews declined steeply around the time the enhanced community quarantine policy was implemented in March and April 2020. After understanding what was happening in the market and reviewing strategies, they launched the campaign Modified Enhanced Listing Offer, allowing brokers and agents to post 50 free listings on the platform in an effort to help the industry bounce back.  

In the same month, Lamudi saw a 56.76 percent increase in pageviews compared to March. By July, the company was earning back almost 100 percent of its pageviews recorded in January.

Given this promising outlook, Lamudi plans to grow its manpower on all fronts of the business by 2021: It will double its broker sales teams within the first half of 2021, with plans to continue adding more people in the second half of the year as demand continues to grow. Lamudi’s developer sales teams have already started to grow every month, with plans to double by the end of the year. To support the commercial teams, the operations and support teams are also continuously scaling up proportionate to their needs.

Overseas pageviews on Lamudi saw a 17% year-on-year growth in 2020, despite the setbacks brought on by the pandemic. In 2021 so far, overseas pageviews have posted a 20.51% increase in the monthly average compared to 2020, with real estate listings receiving attention from overseas destinations with sizable OFW populations such as Singapore, Dubai, London, and Sydney. With Lamudi’s expansion plans underway, it will have more manpower to address the strong demand from these regions.

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Lamudi brings together the biggest lineup of developers with exclusive deals at Online Housing Fair

Lamudi’s survey of property seekers in the first quarter of 2020 revealed that 91% of respondents want financial help from property developers, with 46% looking for discounts, 31% for promos, and 23% interested in a smaller down payment. Responding to this need from the market, the leading real estate partner brings its housing fair online this May with not just the biggest lineup of developers, but also special deals and exclusive property discounts.

For the real estate industry, the first quarter of 2020 saw some of the hardest struggles, with the Taal volcano eruption happening in January, growing concerns about the novel coronavirus in February, and the subsequent announcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) midway through March.

Surveyed property seekers last year mentioned they were keeping their property buying timeframe open, with 34% considering a property purchase a year after the start of the pandemic. Monitoring property demand on Lamudi across all price points, most price segments experienced year-on-year dips in pageviews on Lamudi in 1Q2020. Demand one year later in 1Q2021 points to recovery across all prices, with high-end properties proving most resilient during a time when cash is king, while the affordable segment showed the dream of homeownership is alive amid a health crisis.

High-end properties for sale lead recovery in the residential market

The luxury market, the only segment that posted positive year-on-year growth in pageviews in 1Q2020, saw a 33.7% average growth in pageviews year-on-year in 1Q2021. Leads for the luxury segment were particularly strong in 1Q2020 compared to 1Q2019, with houses priced over 20M posting a 222% growth. This grew by an additional 18% in 1Q2021.

As the country faced unprecedented challenges which highlighted the importance of cash, those with more purchasing power took the opportunity to consider investing in real estate–a financial move advised by investors during times of crisis.

Laborers showed strong desire to own a home amid the pandemic

Even outside the luxury segment, the importance of owning a home proved strong amid the pandemic. For affordable houses for sale, properties priced less than 450K saw a 46% growth in pageviews in 1Q2021 compared to 1Q2020, posting the highest recovery rate in the affordable segment. Property seekers realized the importance of owning a home when mobility restrictions were put in place. The proximity of one’s home to essential establishments and place of employment greatly affected their mobility, comfort, and capacity to work at such a critical time.

Houses in this price range were also the second most inquired property in 1Q2020 compared to 1Q2019 at 128% growth in leads, which continued to grow by 38% in 1Q2021.

Pandemic property demand calls for safe property search at home

The interest across all price segments fueled Lamudi’s decision to bring its much-anticipated housing fair online this May. As property buyers revive their confidence in investing in real estate, the free event will help them get the best value for their money through special deals and exclusive offers from featured developers. Since 2016, Lamudi has been organizing housing fairs in various cities across the country, bringing real estate seekers closer to their dream properties. Previous housing fairs were held in shopping malls, including SM Mall of Asia, Trinoma, SM City Cebu, and Glorietta–a setup that would not be ideal in the new normal.

Seeing the demand for homeownership bounce back in 2021, Lamudi has decided to host the first and biggest online housing fair in the Philippines through a digital platform showcasing exclusive offers from property developers such as RLC Residences, AboitizLand, Federal Land, Shang Properties, Prime Homes, Solar Resources, PH1 World Developers, ACM Homes, DMCI, and PIK, as well as the real estate brokerage PropertyPro.

Sponsored by Nook, Kamada, and the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc. (SHDA), the Online Housing Fair will officially open on May 3 and last until May 31, 2021. The event’s official media partners are BusinessWorld and Mindanao Times.

The online housing fair will feature the Pag-IBIG Fund to talk about affordable housing loan programs, and Atty. Siegfrid S. Suarez, the Legal and Compliance Officer of Lamudi Philippines, to answer land title transfer concerns. Renelyn Tan-Castillejos, a Certified KonMari Consultant and the founder of World of Yorokobi, will teach attendees how to tidy and organize their homes. Clean All PH and Happy Helpers will also give valuable advice on how to deep clean and sanitize the home in the new normal, and SoFA will be sharing home interior design tips. Learn to start your own garden at home with tips from ZassyGreen – All About Plants.

A first in the history of Lamudi, the online housing fair marks a significant milestone for the company. CEO Kenneth Stern said, “For the past years, Lamudi’s housing fairs have been held in malls all over the country. Our team has been working hard to address the limitations to property buying brought on by the pandemic, which is what led to us deciding to bring the housing fair online.”

Visit the Lamudi online housing fair through this link.