Swoop: App-ifying an analogue industry

When people are looking for a place to live, what is the first thing they do? It’s probably not going to be “download an app.”

Has anyone ever thought, why not?

Real estate is an age-old industry, with age-old practices that aren’t so practical in this day and age. Looking for trustworthy and committed real estate brokers takes time, effort and a leap of faith; using an app takes only minutes. People buy and sell off their phones through Carousell, OLX and Lazada all the time.

However, bigger investments are too important to entrust to apps. They lack the understanding of human ears, the accountability of a human face, the assurance of a human voice. At least until now.

Enter Swoop, the Philippines’ first full-service real estate app.

“Shelter is a basic necessity, but more than that, it’s part of someone’s identity and wellbeing. So it should be one of the most people-focused industries, but it’s not,” says Swoop founder Neva Talladen, asserting that the industry is “overdue for an overhaul.”

Swooping in to fill the gaps in the current system, the mobile app is meant to combine the service of a dedicated broker with the practicalities that technology affords. It has features like 360-degree property photo viewing, in-app scheduling of site visits, real-time updates and across-the-board real estate services (from titling to transactions, to interior decoration and property management – they mean it when they say “full-service”). But it also has that human touch, Swoop’s secret sauce: The Advocates.

Advocates are a new breed of real estate agents who provide dedicated service to clients all throughout their Swoop experience, eliminating the need to “broker-hop.” They are also assessed based on customer ratings, not sales quotas – a system that assures quality service, as well as the industry’s lowest commission rate (one percent). Advocates can be consulted anytime during work hours directly from the app, and will accompany clients when viewing properties or closing deals.

The Advocates are complemented by Swell Partners: companies that share Swoop’s vision of a full circle, hassle-free real estate experience for customers. Megaworld Prime and KMC Savills have entrusted their ready-for-occupancy listings to the Swoop Advocates, while design-and-build firm Foxfort Construction Corporation joined as the interior design arm. Security Bank is Swoop’s home loans and financing partner.

Through its unique business model, Swoop is taking real estate into the world of tech, without removing the human touch so embedded in the industry and Filipino psyche. It’s a matter of trust, after all. Automation assures transparency, Advocates ensure accountability, and Partners enable a full-circle experience. It’s a combination that’s hard to beat.

It’s a brave new world, and even industries like real estate are bound to evolve. For an easier, more efficient but no less transparent way of buying or selling property, there’s no way to go but app.

Swoop is free to download from the Google Play Store and App Store.

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