Fangdd Opens Free SaaS to Agents Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

China's proptech company navigates the hard-hit market by offering real estate customers an online alternative.

Belinda Zhou
    Feb 25, 2020 3:25 PM  PT
Fangdd Opens Free SaaS to Agents Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
author: Belinda Zhou   

Shares in real estate marketplace Fangdd Network Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: DUO) soared as high as 3% Tuesday afternoon after the company announced five promotion plans including free SaaS offering, then cooled down at the close on Monday.

The Shenzhen-based company said in a statement on Tuesday that the company first opened its SaaS products on Jan. 29 to assist agents in China to sell properties online during the coronavirus outbreak.

The coronavirus has kept people in China off the street, disrupting China's traditional real estate industry that relies on agents taking customers onsite to view properties. 

This has led to a drop in market demand. New businesses, second-hand housing, and leasing have all stagnated in China.

More than 60 cities in China reportedly have temporarily suspended the sale of commercial housing, and even some regulators required to shut down the offline real estate agencies and leasing office during the virus period, according to data from Qianzhan Research on Feb. 12.

For January, the sales area of commercial residential buildings in 40 cities across China hit 15.3861 million square meters, down 34% year-over-year, according to data collected by Ehan Think Tank. 

Meanwhile, real estate sales in China fell by about 61% compared to the 2018 Spring Festival holiday. Real estate sales in more than 10 large and medium-sized cities such as Tianjin, Hangzhou, and Nanjing saw zero transactions, according to Fangdd.

"From another perspective, the epidemic has further fueled the upgrading and digital transformation of the real estate industry," Fangdd said in its official WeChat account. The company cited the visitor number of online homes walk-though in January soared by 57% month-on-month.

Fangdd launched its free training channel Duoduo College to offer skills growth training for brokers on February 20. The training services included nearly 100 professional courses, including the live broadcast of real estate speeches, professional skills training, and product tool training. 

"We believe that the spring of online real estate transaction services is coming, and the industry has ushered in new opportunities for leapfrog development," Fangdd said in its internal letter on Feb. 8.