Steve O’Hear | 2/07/2018
Kasaz, a new startup from Sebastien Marion — who founded Comufy, which was acquired by games company King in 2014 for a minimum of $11.8 million — is on a mission to bring much-needed transparency and a better user experience to the Spanish real-estate market. The company has built a property online marketplace that makes it easy to list properties for sale and for buyers to access the information required to know if a property is worth viewing and potentially making an offer.
“Looking for a property in Spain, and more generally in continental Europe is an ordeal,” Marion, who co-founded Kasaz with Idriss Farhat, tells me. “There are many friction points and the typical time to completion is over four months. When one decides to buy a flat, one would typically start on one of the leading real-estate portals. From a foreigner’s perspective, however, the quality of the leading real-estate platforms in Spain is shocking”.
To help with this, each listing on Kasaz is verified, as are prospective buyers, and duplicate listings from competing agencies are prohibited. The Kasaz platform also lets buyers and sellers communicate with each other, including the ability to book viewings online, and provides additional services such as professional photography, video or 3D tours, and professionally written property descriptions.
“Compared to the leading U.K. platforms, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, it feels like Spain’s leading real-estate portals have been frozen for a decade,” continues Marion. “For example, seeing a list of property for sale in Barcelona on Idealista.com, the leading real-estate portal in Spain, will require a minimum of 7 clicks versus 2 in Zoopla. Worse, you will see no statistics about the area, no trends, no information about past sale prices nor nearby transport systems, schools etc”.
In contrast, Kasaz claims to provide the most accurate location and property information and Marion says that where that isn’t possible, properties are rejected. The site also displays more general information about an area, such as transport links and other amenities e.g. shopping, transport and sightseeing possibilities.
“House buyers in Spain are tired of being misled. Thanks to the quality of information available in Kasaz, a buyer can analyse the whole market in a fraction of the time it took in the past. Our mobile app even allows you to visualise the real properties for sale around you, something that until today has not been possible due to the low quality of the information,” he adds.
Since launching 6 months ago, Kasaz claims to already list nearly half of the unique inventory available for sale in Barcelona and says it works with over 100 agencies. The startup plans on expanding to the rest of Spain shortly, with Madrid up next.
It makes money by charging real-estate agencies a monthly fee to list on the platform, while individual home-owners can list for free. “Both agencies and home-owners can also buy extra services such as 3D virtual tours, 360° professional videos, Facebook lives, or professional photos,” explains the Kasaz founder.