Whether you are a young adult looking for a new place to live or a keen investor who wants to delve into the global housing market, entering the world of real estate can be overwhelming. In the Middle East, however, local entrepreneurs have opened new doors into this booming market by marrying technology with real estate.
Today, there are startups to meet nearly any real estate need, from finding roommates to participating in global property trading. Here are a few of the coolest rest estate-focused startups in the Middle East today:
Serial entrepreneur Amad Almsaodi established Aqarmap as an extension of his original classifieds site, goyemen.com. After deciding to tap into larger market segments such as real estate, he set up Aqarmap to help residents of Egypt find local properties for rent and purchase.
Aqarmap functions like many other online real estate platforms, allowing users to search for available spaces in various cities and neighborhoods across Egypt. The startup features an array of options when it comes to renting and buying, from chalets to single shared rooms. The startup doesn’t focus solely on residential spaces, however. Sellers can list land, commercial spaces, and even medical facilities on Aqarmap.
For those who do not know where to begin their search, Aqarmap provides information about different neighborhoods. From market prices to ratings, they can learn about locations before choosing to buy or rent a space there. Aqarmap even has an “Ask Your Neighbors” function, which allows users to get in touch with residents of the communities they are considering.
Serving communities in seven countries in the MENA region, Property Finder connects buyers and renters with available spaces in the UAE. Users can search for properties based on a wide array of criteria, from length of contracts to available square footage. Property Finder can also help users find real estate agents to assist in identifying the perfect space.
Property Finder makes the search for real estate even easier by publishing thorough guides for various areas in the UAE. The site also features a blog that keeps readers up-to-date on the latest community developments and gives advice on where to live in each Emirate.
Headquartered in Dubai, Etherty has leveraged blockchain technology to give its users the opportunity to participate in the worldwide real estate market. Typically, those who want to expand their portfolios overseas must undergo the arduous process of paying for entry and finding investment opportunities. Etherty makes this type of property ownership more accessible to the average individual by introducing cryptocurrency into the buying process.
Through Etherty, users can connect with other investors and even partner on investments. The startup recently made its initial coin offering (ICO) of ETY tokens, which individuals can use in all of their investment activities.
Since Etherty uses properties as collateral for this cryptocurrency, there is less risk of the tokens losing their value. This unique setup enables individuals from all financial brackets to invest in properties around the globe.
Tskeen is an online marketplace for individuals seeking shared housing or co-working spaces in the Middle East. The site offers these services in the aim of combating surging rental costs and lack of available rental space.
Those with spare housing can list their properties on the site. “Seekers” can use the platform to find accommodations that will fit their needs. From doctors who want to work in shared clinics to students looking for an apartment, Tskeen has listings for everyone.
Another platform for real estate investments, SmartCrowd allows entire communities to come together and crowdfund real estate projects. The firm splits real estate property prices into shares that anyone could afford. This enables those who want to enter the world of investing to do so without paying exorbitant entry fees.
All those who invest in a real estate project maintain their own share of the property. Depending on how much they initially invest, they will receive dividends on rentals on a regular basis. What’s more, they can earn money on their investments while SmartCrowd handles the logistics of each real estate transaction.
Launched in 2017, MyRoommate helps those in the UAE find available rooms or roommates. Whether they have a family or only need accommodations for one, users can find the right property for their needs. In addition to location, users can search for rooms and roommates based on specific requirements such as gender and nationality.
Established in 2012, JustProperty allows its users to access real estate listings from both web browsers and mobile devices. The startup, which features properties from across the UAE, lists properties for rent and for purchase. From apartments to commercial spaces to villas, the startup has aggregated a varied catalogue of locations.
Users can search for available real estate based on such criteria as location in addition to preferences about the number of bedrooms and their monthly budget. JustProperty even allows its users to view listings from specific real estate agencies.
When users identify their favorite properties, JustProperty provides a direct connection to the real estate agents who can navigate them through the deal. The startup can also connect potential buyers to home loan providers.