Cooing, real estate broker platform, has achieved sales of EGP 700m for real estate developers during the first half (H1) of this year.
Aly Rafea, marketing director at Cooing, said the company aims to achieve sales of EGP 1.5bn by the end of this year.
Daily News Egypt interviewed Rafea to learn more about the company’s activities and future plans, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:
The sales movement is improving due to the facilities provided by real estate companies to attract the largest category of potential customers. The sales value of the company increased during the first six months of this year to EGP 700m, compared to EGP 600m in 2018.
The prices of real estate units are expecting to see an increase ranging between 7-10% of the value of the residential units due to the liberalisation of fuel prices.
What is the idea of Cooing?
Cooing is an electronic platform specialised in real estate marketing inside and outside Egypt. It was established in 2016 by a group of experts in the field of real estate. It seeks to provide information and data to citizens to help them make the right decision when buying and selling real estate through a specialised team that is competent and skilled in real estate marketing. It also issues periodic reports on the real estate market and the trends of supply and demand for consumers.
Yes, the real estate market is moving toward e-marketing, because it has become a necessity in reaching potential consumer groups besides increasing interest in using the internet, and because it is characterised by easy access to the target customer. Determining the type of consumer is one of the requirements of the current phase.
Real estate e-marketing platforms now take up a large part of the local and international market. What distinguishes these platforms from social media and official websites of companies is that they provide various databases for consumer needs. They also detect supply and demand trends. Some of them work as research platforms and issue reports that provide consumers and investors with real estate market updates.
Additionally, these platforms have activated the role of real estate marketing companies, because they provide consumers with full information about the offered real estate projects, and real estate companies can reach their target customers.
What kind of real estate units does the platform seek to market?
The Cooing platform targets marketing real estate projects inside compounds, both inside and outside Egypt, and provides extensive information about them, as it contains three types of e-marketing, including blogs on the website that provide all the project data, marketing through Google ads, and marketing through social media ads such as Facebook.
Is there a difference between you and any other real estate platform?
Cooing differs from other platforms in terms of its control over the information displayed about each project through its contract with real estate development companies. Other marketing platforms allow paid advertising for a project by more than one real estate marketing company, which results in more than one company marketing the same project, which confuses consumers.
The Cooing platform includes an experienced marketing team, collecting project data and information, and communicating with consumers who wish to purchase to make the right decision.
This team is committed to a code of ethics that includes transparency and clarity with customers. We do not aim to persuade customers by passing false information or using illegal means.
Moreover, the company relies on e-marketing without using phone marketing and presenting projects to customers. We do not want to be classified as one of those annoying companies.
The company works with individuals in case of resale of units within compounds only.
The high cost is the problem of reselling residential units, because citizens buy the housing unit at a great value in a project with a lowered price or facilitated instalments, but what distinguishes the resale is the immediate delivery, and Egyptians working abroad prefer that very much.
How does the company achieve its gains through e-marketing?
Cooing receives a commission from real estate development companies in marketing its projects. The commissions range between 3-5%, and this rate varies from one company to another. The best company would be real estate development companies working at the New Administrative Capital given their desire to achieve more sales.
The current quarter is active in terms of the sales at coastal cities, which drives companies in non-coastal cities to raise their commissions to maintain the proportion of sales.
The increase in supply is in the interest of consumers because it drives companies to offer more facilities by reducing the down payment or instalments over long periods.
What is Cooing’s target for the next phase?
Cooing is seeking to establish a link for the services between the development, marketing, and consumer companies, through the real estate sector in Egypt, taking Uber as an example in the sector of transportation. It would provide citizens with all services in complete transparency and connect them to real estate marketing companies.
The company is trying to develop an integrated system for the real estate sector, through preparing and improving the company’s website and contracting with a group of developers and real estate marketing companies to start concrete steps in introducing a model to keep pace with the latest information technology.
Consumers must change some concepts and we want to reach development companies easily and learn all the information needed on real estate projects on the market with transparency.
According to the report, the platform saw 80,000 visitors, with 42% of them being women and 58% men. They were mostly aged 25-34-years-old.
68.6% of them were from Egypt, 8.1% from the United States, 4.4% from the UAE and 3.9% from Saudi Arabia. The sales of the company for Egyptians inside the country reached 71.3%, 5.8% sales for Americans, and 7.7% for UAE citizens.
The report pointed out that residential flats are the most demanded units in Egypt by 69%, while the demand for town houses recorded 11%, and villas and chalets 10%.
Meanwhile villa prices recorded the highest price worth in Egypt and reached EGP 8.1m, townhouses EGP 4.7m, residential units EGP 3.6m, and chalets EGP 2.6m.
According to the report, the demand for real estate is concentrated in the Sixth of of October City by 30%, followed by the North Coast by 20%, New Cairo by 18%, Mostakbal City by 13%, and the Administrative Capital by 4.2%.
Meanwhile average prices for real estate units reached the maximum in El Gouna by EGP 6.9m, New Cairo by EGP 5.2m, the Administrative Capital by EGP 4.2m.
The report also pointed out that New Cairo projects are the most searched for across the country with a percentage of 28%. This is followed by the Sixth of October City which comes in with 23.4%, while the North Coast comes in third with 21.5%.
The report showed that the Sixth of October City is the region with the highest sales by 28.2%, followed by the North Coast by 22.4%, and New Cairo by 20.7%.