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Trio shares the secret to online success in real estate

Published: 
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Entrepreneurs: Sarah Rajpaulsingh, centre, Ryan Rajpaulsingh, right, and Ryan Olton. PICTURE SHIRLEY BAHADUR

It took just a week for entrepreneurs Ryan and Sarah Rajpaulsingh and their business partner Ryan Olton to gain social media traction for their online real estate business, My Bunch of Keys Realty Limited. That is how quickly they were able to connect with customers on their aggregator website which lists properties for sale.

The innovative trio, who also have brick and mortar presence—their office is located on Long Circular Road, St James—have managed to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive market, with an interactive website that features virtual tours of listed properties, with walk-through videos, photographs and key information, including financial institutions that provide mortgages.

They are not directly involved in the buying or selling properties but instead connect real estate agents with prospective customers.

As a one-stop shop for buying a home, the online platform, while not the first of its kind in T&T, is the fastest and most reliable fully optimised mobile solution in the sector.

The business is the brainchild of Sarah Rajpaulsingh who came up with the idea while browsing through local real estate listings online. She found that the available online resources did not provide the experience she was expecting, or provide the up to date information she was looking for, so she decided to so something about it.

“As a young couple we were renting and I would browse the websites available at the time. I would find myself getting frustrated at how long the property would take to show up or be listed. Sometimes the property would be expired because it was listed since 2009,” she recalled.

Rajpaulsingh encouraged her husband to create a real estate online resource featuring properties for sale in a user-friendly format. He, in turn, linked up with his friend, Olton,who had skills in web developing, having worked on websites and online platforms for the local entertainment industry.

Although none of them had any experience in real estate, they combined their training in online marketing and their strengths in finance, planning and social media and set about developing the business.

The trio chose a name for their business that reflects a cozy and welcoming atmosphere which is also linked to some of the platform’s capabilities.

For example, there is a wish list option, My Bunch, which allows prospective home buyers to bookmark properties they like so they can return to them later.
Social media success

Within a week of the website’s launch earlier this month it had drawn more than 2,500 visitors. To build on this successful online debut, there are plans to attract more interest via traditional radio and print advertisements.

“Before online came along everyone went to the classifieds to look at properties. What you are getting in the classifieds is a description, a one-liner, black and white,” Ryan Rajpaulsingh noted.

The company’s success in reaching their target audience is due largely to the experience Olton and Rajpaulsingh gained while managing Facebook pages for big names in entertainment and the corporate sector.

“Right now, we have a Facebook page aligned with the website. We’ve gotten 500-plus fans and that’s just in one week. We have a few ads running on Facebook and Instagram as well,” Rajpaulsingh said.

This advertising blitz, paired with an online giveaway, has so far attracted 27,000 people, he said, and has proven to be more effective than traditional forms of print advertising which are seen in the morning, but forgotten by the end of the day.

He pointed out: “Social media is a platform where people can pick up the phone continuously and when the advertisement is in their face all the time, it resonates with them even more. It is therefore more applicable than a radio advertisement.”

The platform, which features profiles of realtors, earns revenue through the annual membership fees paid by the agents for unlimited listings per month, social media postings, technical support and membership add-ons. No fee is charged to the buyer that locates a property on the site.

“This is not something that we decided on yesterday and then tomorrow it is launched,” said Olton, explaining that the platform was custom-built from scratch, with features included based on feedback from the public, real-estate agents and financial intuitions. It took two years to build and involved some sleepless nights along the way, he said.

The trio said the knowledge they have gained in the sector has connected them with a close-knit community of very knowledgeable and experienced professionals.

In addition to visiting their site and taking advantage of the resources available there, they advise prospective home buyers to hire a reputable real estate agent or agency to benefit from their experience and knowledge.

Bunch of Keys Realty Ltd can be reached at (868) 35-BUNCH.
Accounts: (868) 312-KEYS
Tech Support: (868) 329-KEYS.
Email: [email protected]

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