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Riding the digital wave

OrangeTee & Tie's foray into the digital realm gives it an advantage over its competitors

As the saying goes — two heads are better than one. When it comes to tackling the challenges facing the real estate industry today, consolidating resources is sometimes a smart move. 

One example of this is OrangeTee & Tie — formed in 2017 after Orange Tee and Edmund Tie & Company merged their associate agencies. 

With a 4,000-strong agent force, the merging of the two organisations has made OrangeTee & Tie Singapore's third largest real estate agency.

Mr Steven Tan, the managing director of OrangeTee & Tie, says: "The collaborative synergy will offer significant value to all of us facing unprecedented challenges in this digital age.

"Associates will be able to leverage on the combined resources, providing greater depth of personnel, expanded research, and continueddedication to quality work and customer service in innovative technology, leading-edge market research and comprehensive training programmes."

New wins, new milestones

OrangeTee & Tie’s success is made sweeter with the Enterprise 50 award it received this year — the first since the merger.

Mr Tan says that winning the award feels like a validation of the partnership, and suggests positive growth in the right direction.

OrangeTee & Tie also takes pride in being recognised with a nomination for the SG: D Techblazer Awards’ Best Adoption (private sector) nominee this month for its very own Property Agents Review platform.

The award recognises Singapore companies in the private sector who have leveraged technology to transform their business operations, resulting in a greater competitive advantage, operational efficiency and enhanced productivity.

Property Agents Review is a portal that helps consumers find a suitable property agent based on the reviews of verified customers. 

It holds the distinction of being Singapore’s first review portal that allows customers to review and rate property agents.

He adds: "Most companies focus on key factors such as how to improve productivity and stay competitive in the industry. With the changes in consumer behaviour and new millennial mindset, we must strive to build a purpose driven brand such as to improve the life of individuals and to elevate industry service standards through modern technology and personalised services." 

Blazing a digital trail

More importantly, the wins also affirm the company's foothold in the digital frontier.

In 2015, Mr Tan noticed that consumers were looking at digital solutions fortheir property-related needs.

He says: "We noticed that property technology companies were providing consumers with a lot more options to handle their property transaction themselves, along with a flat fee payment model. 

"It was a clear signal that the consumer was going to be king, and we needed to leverage on technology to build trust and provide clear value to our consumers if our agents wanted to continue to be relevant.”

Building a digital eco-system

To bring about a digital transformation for the company, he assembled a taskforce to execute a digital overhaul of the traditional property agency business.

This eventually led to the taskforce launching the Property Agents Review portal, showcasing its data analytic capabilities in empowering property agents to provide more personalised insights for customers.

In March, OrangeTee & Tie teamed up with online marketplace Carousell to add property listings and reviews of its 4,000 agents to the portal.

The strategic move was made as part of an effort to reach out to a new generation of mobile-first consumers and property seekers.

Not resting on its laurels, the company further extended its reach in the digital space with the launch of Agent app in August — Singapore's first one-stop real estate digital ecosystem for property agents.

The ambitious project helps property agents adapt to the fast-changing digital world and transforms the real estate business through the collaborative effort of strategic partners such as 99.co, Amicus, Carousell, EdgeProp, SRX, United Overseas Bank, as well as its equity partner, Edmund Tie & Company (ET&Co).

Mr Tan says: "Digital transformation is not a solo journey — it is one where we co-evolve and co-innovate with reliable strategic partners sothat everyone can leverage on one another’s strengths to play a critical role in the business ecosystem, and constantly create better value for the consumers."

Being future-ready

In March, OrangeTee held its business conference. With the theme “Transforming Together in the Digital World”, it centred on embracing digital innovation in the property industry. 

The conference highlighted on the need to leverage technology for development and innovation, as well as Orange Tee & Tie‘s ongoing efforts to harness digital means to find new ways of delivering value to their consumers, as part of its customer-centric approach.

Mr Tan says: "To be future ready, we must always be the disruptor to change the status-quo of the industry. Therefore, it is important to constantly take bold step to experiment new initiatives. I strongly believe that it is better to be the first to fail rather than the last to catch up. The early stage of trial and error will become the essential learning points to create more first-mover advantages."

With such a strong bent for innovation and customer-centric approach, OrangeTee & Tie believes its willingness to continually embrace technology will be key to its success in the future economy.