UAE’s Hi Sandy app skips brokers step, aims at Chinese interest

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Hi Sandy is a new mobile app is coming to the UAE real estate industry that skips the brokers step, along with the commission fee that comes with it, from the process for either buying or renting. With this application, sellers and landlords can list their properties and connect with prospective buyers or tenants directly without worrying about the middleman.

The Chinese investor-backed app, with more than $1.3m put into its research and development over the past two years, also intends to cash-in on China’s significant interest in Dubai’s real estate market by facilitating direct transactions with developers through the app.

Scheduled to launch next month, Hi Sandy is the brainchild of Dubai-based realtor Sandy Zuo.

With 25 years of experience in the UAE and international market, her goal was to build a platform to ease property rental and sales transactions and make it stress-free and without the burden of commissions.

On average, agents in the UAE typically charge between two to four percent on purchase or lease of a property, with the fee typically based on the value of the property. Brokers can make thousands of dirhams in a single transaction.

According to the latest figures from the Dubai Land Department, real estate brokers in the emirate earned $155 million in commissions during the first half of 2018.

Hi Sandy allows sellers and landlords to list their properties and directly connects them with buyers and tenants.

Both parties can schedule viewings, negotiate prices, schedule documents for pickup delivery, and close deals – all through the app. Instead of commission, Hi Sandy charges a fixed fee for all transactions, set based on unit type, that’s just a small fraction of what a broker would charge.

“The whole purpose of it is to connect buyer and seller, landlord and tenant, minus broker,” Ahmed Taha, Hi Sandy’s director of marketing, told Arabian Business in an interview at Cityscape.

“It might upset brokers but think about it from the customer’s perspective. It’s for the greater good. We have to open the door for technology because the purpose of it is to facilitate our lives. How many people in Dubai suffer during the rental process or have begged off investing or moving house because of the commission?”

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