New real estate services company RockHome, founded by Péter Oszkó, a former finance minister in 2009-10, and Marcell Kövesdi, general manager of Házbank.hu, aims at reforming real estate services in Hungary, to provide added value for both buyers and sellers, says a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
RockHome is planning to built a countrywide network soon. According to the press release, the need for reform is indicated by the decreasing role of real estate agencies on the Hungarian market. While 80% of properties in France and 90% of properties in the U.S. are sold by realtors, this figure was a mere 30-35% of properties on the Hungarian market in 2018.
In neighboring Austria, the ratio is 80%, with commission fees of around 4-6%. In the Czech Republic, a market similar to Hungary, the ratio is 70%, with commission fees in the 3-6% range.
RockHome is planning to build on unique IT solutions, the power of social media, and special experience-based education to reform the domestic market. Kövesdi brings decades of real estate experience to the table, while Oszkó also has experience on the market, as his company OXO Properties joined the world of real estate as a venture capital firm, the press release notes.
"The marketʼs explosion-like growth does not only favor regular real estate investments, but also provides an excellent opportunity for the development of support services," says Oszkó.
The two founders are constantly on the lookout for partners in innovation, looking for not only major offices, but independent realtors as well. According to Kövesdi, the founders aim not only to create a franchise, but also a strong professional community with a background in quality work, and an extended network of relations.
RockHome is planning to complete almost 5,800 real estate transactions in a year, for 3.5% commission fees (totaling in the region of HUF 2.5 billion). The company expects sales of residential properties to grow by 3%, reaching around 155,000 sold properties.
Kövesdi argues that a well-trained realtor can provide huge added value, as when the person does their job properly, the propertyʼs sale price gets higher. Following international practice, RockHome wants to establish "paperless offices" to hasten services while making them more comfortable as well.
With all employees carrying tablets, contracts are created and signed electronically, with the employee taking on ads on the spot. With an application, the layout plans can be made in six minutes. Pricing will also happen electronically, with price maximalization representing the priority during sales, the company says.
The realtors themselves will be trained based on the best foreign practices, with an emphasis on personal interactions, real-life situations, and effective communications. Every time employees log in to RockHomeʼs system, they will be greeted by one of three questions simulating real-life situations.
The realtors will also have professional Facebook profiles, expanding client communications into the digital world after the first personal meeting. Besides always being available on Messenger, they can also share RockHomeʼs commercial articles about real estate markets.