Real Estate Tech in Nepal or Property Tech (PropTech) is the new buzz word in the tech startup world where technology is being used to provide intelligent solutions for the realty world across the world. The scenario of Proptech is different in each part of the world, owing to its support for startups, infrastructure as well it’s real estate market. A very interesting case study is of real estate tech in Nepal, the landlocked yet central Himalayan country in Asia.
Nepal and the obstacles
Let’s take a step back and understand Nepal and its scenario first before jumping to a discussion about Real estate tech in Nepal. Bordered by China and India on either side, Nepal is heavily reliant on these neighboring countries for resources as basic as cooking fuel, water, food and medicine supplies. 60% of Nepal’s foreign trade is with India, its neighbor on three sides. Other than this, like Japan, Nepal is very well acquainted with earthquakes, the last devastating one being in April 2015, that took more than 9000 lives and destroyed many homes and heritage sites. We also have to take into account the other factors that contribute to the growth, or determent of it, in this country. Factors like electricity and water shortage, persistent corruption, security issues and cultural hang-ups have held up the scaling of industries and commerce. But, there is a reason for hope in Nepal in the category of real estate tech in Nepal.
Observations of the real estate sector in Nepal
The real estate sector in Nepal is driven mostly by the demand and the limited supply of housing. There has been an increase in vertical living options and a huge demand for independent living facilities. The realty market here started picking up in 2016 with a recorded 161% jump in the collection of land registration fee- a reliable indicator of real estate transactions and a positive note for development of Real estate tech in Nepal. Once the border-blockade was lifted, transactions went up and brought a growth in this sector. The growth is owing to a number of interesting developments like the influx of money being sent by Nepalese working abroad, growth in the number of urban Nepalese moving back home, a stabilization in commerce as well as the influx of tourist traffic to Kathmandu post the earthquake and its continued restoration. The local banks have been riding this wave and have channeled loans towards the real estate sector as compared to the manufacturing sector, they are also predicting increased growth in Real estate tech in Nepal.
The recent Property Expo in Nepal helped shed light to the new demands of the increasingly educated and growing population of here, with the hub being in Kathmandu, the capital. Other than showcasing earthquake- resilient luxurious home options, the expo also started a debate on increasing employment via the real estate sector. The sheer number of people that attended the expo were a clear indication of demand for real estate in Nepal and also for opportunities for Real estate tech in Nepal. This also opens up the door for a technological intervention to create a good market for real estate tech in Nepal.
Technology empowers and transforms
Other than for #PropTech, technology in Nepal is being used for transformative as well as empowerment efforts. It has brought a huge shift in the traditional relief efforts with technologies such as remote sensing with the latest satellite images, crowdsourcing, unmanned air vehicles and mobile applications. These were used for quick damage assessments to help with disaster response and recovery. Disruptive technologies are empowering the average Nepalese with information that affects their lives and it has improved sectors like agriculture, connectivity and data management.
The most significant thing that technology is doing in Nepal is the creation of jobs via new tech based startups and business, that employ locals and train them to do more. It also helps access remote locations online and share teaching, rural financing services as well as medicine information.
The Nepal Startup Scenario
The Nepalese economy is steadily growing in the past few years, but it is still one of the lower ranking developing nations. The restrictive culture and low risk taking appetite have been detrimental to the birth and growth of startups here, but some have still persisted. Nepal might be home to less number of startups, but is increasingly changing and evolving to provide a better ecosystem for entrepreneurs, along with low-cost living.
The main challenges for entrepreneurs here are lack of organized venture funds, limited support from government and bank reluctance to issue loans (unless it’s against property). Nepalese families can be unforgiving to failure and unsupportive of investing in such ventures.
A surge of online ventures is proof that resilient Nepalese entrepreneurs have started their journey and move towards solving local Nepalese problems, as well as cater to the international market. The most popular startups here are Biruwa Ventures, Cloud Factory, Food Mandu, Mero Campus, and KTM Couriers.
Real Estate Tech in Nepal
The real estate tech market in Nepal, or its #PropTech scenario, is currently limited to online solutions for discovering, researching and deciding about housing options in Nepal. There are classified format based websites that cater to the young Nepalese looking for new property around them. The new ones in this space are more popular and technologically advanced as they focus on customer experience and UI provisions.
While there are many websites in the sector of Real estate tech in Nepal, the popular ones are:
The most popular #PropTech startup in Nepal is BasoBaas that is free real estate advertising platform for homeowners, landlords, real estate agents and brokers. It offers both home or property seekers as well as sellers an extensive online real estate ecosystem
One of the most comprehensive startups for real estate technology in Nepal is Ghargadi.com which is a query and advisory based platform that helps a user know product details/deals, market reviews, news & support.
This is a advertising/classified based website that helps you discover properties around Nepal and contact the agent/ listee. One Ropani helps you advertise your property to the right audience with a varied approach.
A widely used website in Nepal is HousingNepal.com which is an online property market resource for buyers, sellers, owners, agents and property developers. It aims to provide 360 solutions for buying, selling, letting and setting up of house needs.
Way ahead for Real Estate Tech in Nepal
Real estate tech in Nepal is still in its nascent stage and needs a lot of push to achieve high technological advancements. The availability of resources as well as non-acceptance of new technologies by the industry has ensured that #PropTech or Real estate tech in Nepal does not achieve high-speed growth in a developing nation like Nepal. As the basic websites and online resource management is available for realty, the next step would be to build intelligent technology that understands the customer and eases their process of buying.
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Do you want to know what makes a winning PropTech startup, check out these Top 50 Real Estate Tech startups to watch out for in 2018.
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