Tapu opens to individual sellers

I wrote about our investment in online real estate auction marketplace Tapu in a post from August 2015.

At the time of Tapu’s launch, it sourced the supply of properties auctioned on its marketplace from banks and asset management companies. These organizations had a stock of properties that they found challenging to sell through their existing channels and they welcomed Tapu as a new sales channel. The properties were also a good fit for Tapu because they came together with land titles and valuation reports which gave potential buyers the confidence to bid for them in an online setting.

However, Tapu soon began to receive requests from individual sellers who also wanted to auction their properties on the marketplace. Individual sellers represent a larger supply of properties than banks and asset management companies, so this was a big opportunity for Tapu. The problem is that, unlike the properties of banks and asset management companies, the properties of individual suppliers don’t always have land titles and rarely have valuation reports. This makes them difficult to sell in an online auction environment.

Rather than accept these problems, Tapu decided to solve them. And the result is that Tapu now lets individual sellers auction their properties on its marketplace. To do so, Tapu connects its individual seller candidates with licensed valuation companies who confirm the land title and provide a valuation report for the individual sellers’ properties. This verification and appraisal process ensures that potential buyers can have as much confidence bidding for the properties auctioned by individual sellers as they have bidding for those auctioned by banks and asset management companies.

The result is a new and efficient sales channel for individual sellers who don’t have to deal with the back-and-forth communications, property visits, and price negotiations which are part of the experience of selling a property through a classifieds site. And the result for buyers is that they have many more properties to choose from.

The development is a win-win for both sides of the marketplace and I believe that it’s going to be an important source of growth for Tapu.

Also published on Medium.