From humble beginnings as an idea in Saigon’s coworking scene, REIC is now really shaking up the real estate scene in Vietnam. We sat down with co-founder Long Dang to talk about the growth of REIC, his time in the coworking spaces of Saigon, and what’s next for this hot startup.
Helping Home Buyers, Developers and Agents
Calling a broker to find out information about a property used to be standard practice in Vietnam. It was in the broker’s interest to keep details from the market, to ensure the buyer would call and the broker would be positioned to negotiate.
REIC has changed all that by providing transparent information to buyers in a convenient online site. All the legal and planning information for the new projects in Saigon is provided, together with price information, details on the payment scheme and even regular updates on construction. The platform also helps developers to market their properties and generate leads.
REIC is a startup that was initially conceived by Long and co-founder Hoang Vo almost 2 and a half years ago. After a public launch in April 2016, REIC has gone from strength to strength. REIC now enjoys great support from Vietnam’s top 10 property developers and is showing strong use by property buyers.
Building REIC in Saigon’s Coworking Scene
Long and Hoang had worked in real estate for almost a decade and were given the chance to focus on REIC after receiving the support of an angel investor.
Much of the initial development of REIC was completed in coworking spaces around Saigon. Long spent time in Dreamplex and Work Saigon, but it was during his time at Saigon Coworking he completed the market research, business planning and initial website concepts for REIC:
“Working from Saigon Coworking provided the chance to meet other startups and founders. I could share the ideas and get feedback quickly. It was also a good way to meet helpful people, and people I could hire to help me. The smaller size of Saigon Coworking helped to meet people easily and talk with them. I still keep in touch with several of them.”
A shared area in a coworking space was ideal when REIC was working as a small team, but this changed as the team grew.
“Coworking spaces can be great, but it was difficult to avoid distractions and hold meetings in a shared space once we reached 3 or 4 people. We were lucky and were offered a private office just as our team really needed it. This was about 6 months into the project. We were then able to be more focused, and it also reduced our costs.”
The early days: Long and the REIC team
What is coming up for REIC in the next year?
The growing team behind REIC is now focused on a big 2017. From a technical perspective, new features are being developed for REIC's web and mobile apps and should be implemented later this year. Long is also excited about sharing a greater amount of data:
“Investment managers don’t have enough access to quality data. At some point in the near future, we want to make that data available so investors can make better decisions. ”
Marketing will also be a high priority to make sure that REIC’s listings and audience continue to grow. Finally, Long is also hoping to complete a round of capital raising later this year. It’s exciting times for this Saigon startup!
Do you have a story for us about a company, project or organization that has grown in the coworking spaces and cafe's of Saigon? Get in touch!