PowerMew Technology Limited provides a revolutionary experience in exploring apartments. With its social networking platform called MewMe, they believe it will become the next “LinkedIn” in the real estate business that connects and communicates proprietors, buyers, tenants and estate agents. MewMe refers to “purr from cats”, “mobile estate web” and the “private space” for users.
Collaborating with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, PowerMew has received over one million Hong Kong Dollars from the HKSAR Innovation Technology Fund. It is also supported by the Incubation Technology Programme of Hong Kong Science & Technology Park and the Facebook Start Program. PowerMew won the champion of Alibaba Cloud Startup 2016 in Hong Kong session. PowerMew also joined NTT DATA Open Innovation Business Contest 2016 and was one of the five teams who received the Merit Award among 80 oversea companies.
PowerMew Product Introduction
PowerMew launched its mobile and web applications in May 2016. Their mobile applications are available in the Apple App Store. Users can find the dream house via MewMe, the intelligent platform, at any time in anywhere. They are free to share the apartment information with family, friends and even someone without MewMe accounts. Moreover, MewMe provides the Virtual Reality service. Potential property buyers need not visit the actual places anymore. All they have to do is to put on a pair of VR goggles to be presented with 360 degree panoramic views of the estate. MewMe is more than a real estate database, it is an intelligent social platform which can help all users to find the place they want.
With the latest 360-degree camera, every corner of the flat can be reached and display to users in 4K resolution. MewMe provides virtual tours of different apartments so that user can visit everywhere of the flats. By looking at the arrows in the panorama, user can visit any rooms you like.
MewMe utilizes four technologies:
- Virtual Reality Technology: By utilizing the latest advances in virtual reality (VR) technology, our platform enables users to have immersive experience for enjoying 360-degree view of properties. Users just need to install a virtual reality system in the smart phone and place it in a pair of VR glasses to browse properties for sale around the world.
- Social Networks and Ontology: We establish a social networking platform called MewMe connecting all stakeholders in the global real estate business. Many local real estate agencies have utilized it to improve their professional services to address the supply and demand issues.
- Big Data Analysis: The Big Data technology can bring us more intelligent, intensive and valuable information. The data visualization can show the up-to-date real estate trend and prices which provides a better understanding of real estate market. MewMe assists agencies to develop more effective marketing strategies.
- Cloud Storage: Thanks to the cloud technology, MewMe allows users to access these services around the globe seamlessly, creating a new paradigm of paperless and home office environment. Real estate agents can use travelling time to plan and prepare the site-visiting routes and documents. Thus, this remarkably improves the productivity and efficiency.
MewMe is Set to Revolutionize the Real Estate Industry
Real estate is one of the most important pillars of Hong Kong’s economy. According to the statistics from the government, there are over 500,000 active landlords and tenants in Hong Kong as of this writing. Specifically, in 2015, there were 4,009 real estate agency companies (with EA-License), among which around 99% (i.e., around 3,900 real estate agency companies) were small firms. The majority belongs to the small firms and individuals, in terms of the market share, the four biggest real estate agency firms take much more market shares than the others, i.e., 70% of the total market share, dominating the property market. This makes real estate market in Hong Kong unhealthy.
Market Segmentation of Hong Kong Real Estate Agencies
Distribution of Real Estate Agents in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, the real estate agency business is still operating in a traditional way where potential buyers would approach the well-known agency companies. In 2015 there were 40,000 real estate agents. Around 17,000 agents, i.e., 43% of total number of real estate agents, belong to the four biggest real estate agency firms, i.e., Centaline Property, Midland Realty, Ricacorp Properties and Hong Kong Properties. The rest are either belonging to small firms or worked as individual.
Monopoly exists in the Hong Kong real estate business. Small firms and individuals find it difficult to survive, which may finally lead to the monopoly. Every large real estate agency firm has its own property database. Although the database is comprehensive, they are not open. Therefore, due to lack of information resources support, small firms and individual find it difficult to survive. Small firms find it difficult to negotiate deals with more than 3 district areas. Because the information is possessed only by the big firms, other players in the real estate business, e.g., landlord, tenants, sellers or buyers, have no way of accessing this information and cannot make wise decisions based on comprehensive information.
Higher stamp duties to cool Hong Kong’s property market has affected the real estate agents’ livelihoods. Sales of both first-hand and second-hand homes dropped significantly. In July 2013, Hong Kong real estate agents organized a protest against such measures designed to cool the property market. Major domestic agencies and international property consultants are diversifying their businesses. Many small firms and individual agents (around one-third) were forced out of the market. Many agents will be coming out from the large firms and shift to other domain business. Not a small portion of agents may join small agency firms or turn themselves as individual agents to earn more commission share and gain more time to handle their self-employed business. It is a golden opportunity for MewMe social networking platform to react such changes. Real estate agents will find our mobile platform to be very useful to attract customers.
Total Outbound Investment from China from the Year 2009 to May 2016
PowerMew also now expands their business to the Greater China. They believe there is a pressing need for Chinese people to buy oversea properties. In 2015, Chinese people spends over US$27 billion to buy US properties. The figure keeps on rising every year and grows at the rate of 600% from the year of 2010 to 2015. Their office is located in Hong Kong, a highly internationalized city near to China, has great advantages in trading, logistics and financial services that plays a key role for connecting potential Chinese investors to the global real estate market. With their MewMe platform, overseas developers and agencies could utilize their VR technology, which provide information with high transparency to attract potential Chinese investors and let them explore the property investment market in foreign countries.
MewMe’s Market Niche
There is no open platform which provides real estate agents and their clients thorough property information as well as a communication platform. MewMe is the first such social networking platform proposed, which is specifically developed for real estate business. 90% of time can be saved in travelling if the user can look at the property via VR goggles in advance.
MewMe provides an instant messaging system for real time communication among users. Text and multimedia messages can be sent and received in the instant messaging system, which allows dynamic interactions between agents and their clients, regardless of their physical locations. This breaks the limitation of the traditional business practice in the current real estate agencies.
In addition, MewMe provides a personal profile system in which professional users can post updates on currently for-sale/for-lease properties. Any users can easily follow multiple personal profiles to be notified the latest information posted. And professional users can conveniently share relevant information to a large audience with a few simple taps at fingertip. We believe this can provide a new instant channel of communication for agents and their clients, and it can enhance the efficiency of communication.
More importantly, MewMe is an open platform for individual real estate agents and small agencies to build up their reputation, which is an essential factor in drawing more market share and in breaking the monopoly in the real estate agency business in Hong Kong.