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In Its Fifth Year, Lamudi Bangladesh Eyes Renewed Growth Push

Lamudi Bangladesh, one of the active online property marketplaces in the country, celebrated the fifth year of operation in Dhaka this July. This internet-based real estate property finder, which has operations in 33 different countries around the globe, has maintained a low profile operation in Dhaka.

As it celebrates fifth year anniversary, the startup gives hints of its renewed growth push.

From its inception in 2013, Lamudi has been trying to apply innovative strategies to bring changes in the real estate scene in Bangladesh. It characterizes its role in the industry as the one of a data facilitator—a platform that seeks to build a network of property owners or developers and property buyers and renters via the internet.

Data is the new oil

Data is one area in which the company aims to leverage in the coming. In fact, the company celebrated its fifth anniversary with the publishing of its data set about the state of housing preferences of people in Dhaka.

Anne Maria Hermans, co-founder and managing director of Lamudi Bangladesh, shared some fascinating insight about the industry during its anniversary event took place last month including how people’s preference for housing location is changing fast in Dhaka, what are some areas that are getting more attention from property buyers and renters, and how the demand for small apartments are growing. Some of this information are common sense and some others are the useful insight that developers and housing industry insiders can use to their advantage. It seems data is one of the areas that Lamudi aims to pay a lot of attention to going forward and use to push its growth. Since it is a marketplace, it naturally collects a lot of data from both property buyers and renters and the property owners. It can understand the pulse of the market that can be invaluable insights to the property developers.

Lamudi aims to offer data that it gathers through its operation for external entities too. If that plan is realized, real estate developers can address many prevailing issues in the market which are currently overlooked mainly due to uninformed decision-making.

With direct customer interaction and large-scale data extractions, Lamudi can help the industry deal more efficiently with urban planning, socio and demographic changes such as—growing number of nuclear families, and matching different demand and supply levels.

Naturally, this will allow Lamudi to build a better relationship with the property builders and leverage the strength over the years

Better customer relationship

Lamudi is constantly optimizing their website so that customers can sell or buy houses on-the-go. Users can also post the first property advertisement for free which is an effective way to increase the traffic to the website.

In an interview with ICE Business Times CEO Anne Maria Hermans said, “ever since I started at Lamudi, I made it my top priority to have an open dialogue with developers. I frequently have invaluable conversations with our clients, where they give me their thoughts and recommendations for Lamudi”.

The other important tool that can propel your growth is customer relationship. Lamudi gets this It has been investing in building an intimate relationship with its users. The recent integration of Facebook chat on their website comes as a result of such an attitude. Lack of trust remains a critical challenge for ecommerce companies in Dhaka. A focus on serving customers better should help the company build the critical trust factor.

More properties in one place

The company has also been putting a lot of effort into enriching its database of properties. It recent hiring trend suggest that building a platform that offers a comprehensive listing to its users is a priority for the company at the moment. As the competition in the space grows, this is a critical factor to win users because users will eventually use the platform that has the most diverse list of properties.

Bangladesh has been seeing a rapid urbanization at present. In 2016, the population of Dhaka crossed the 18 million thresholds. A study suggests that every year more than 600,000 people come to live in the city. It is a formidable challenge to provide housing for every one of them.

But such concentrated urbanization is one side of the coin. On the other one, it seems to be a boon season in the real estate sector. Apartment price in the capital has dropped from 10% to 30% over the last four years. The interest rates on housing loans are falling down and the government has implemented a number of borrower-friendly policies in the recent times.

The groundwork, it seems, has already been laid down for companies like Lamudi. The timing for taking the real estate market seriously can’t get any better.

Rahatil Ashekan is an undergraduate student at the University of Dhaka studying Accounting and Information Systems. He works as a reporting intern at FS and writes about startup, travel, and e-commerce. You may reach him at rahatilrahat@gmail.com.

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