Knowing and getting the right houses at the right price is what many people desire. bproperty has created that platform for buyers and sellers. Bproperty CEO Mark Nosworthy speaks to Arka Dev Biswas about how this housing puzzle drives his ambition.
Real estate industry has been a market where brokers and real estate developers dominated. There was no formalized market place as such for purchasing and renting homes and properties. Lamudi and Bikroy have been in the business of providing real estate solutions.
However, the acquisition of Lamudi by bproperty, set the groundwork for bproperty’s start. As Mark Nowsworthy has pointed out, bproperty ‘started off because, there are around 160 million people in Bangladesh; people need a place to live in.’ It is acting as the catalyst for providing housing solutions, with a dedicated team both in the office and on the field. bproperty acts as intermediate to provide precisely property solutions that previously existed in a vacuum. These solutions come in the form of providing information about housing availability, interiors, location, market-determined pricing, and giving individuals the surmount number of choices that they were never aware of.
Mark Nosworthy has been in the property industry for quite some time, working across multiple countries, and understands the very basic demand of the common consumers. Beginning the operations in Pakistan and then moving to the UAE, he then entered into the Bangladesh market with a plan. What sticks out for Bangladesh is how other countries have formal real estate agents functioning. Bangladesh did not essentially have these, even if it does, they are small-scale agencies catering to expats and their transactions being of a large volume.
Therefore, the demand was met sufficiently with small-scale operations. bproperty enters the frame and caters to all segments of the socioeconomic strata. It assumes that a large population will become a part of the middle-income strata, and the bigger picture of this social mobility is housing.
With the increasing demand for both land and property, consumers tend to have ever-changing demands. Taking all preferences into consideration, the properties are suggested and consulted to potential buyers. bproperty takes the added responsibility to ensure that the entire chain of transaction is transparent for all parties involved. Ensuring the entire process is fluid for all, along with having legal advisors providing transparency over the property. Knowing the property and the owner and buyers are something that bproperty ensures for all.
Something that bproperty has little say over is how the property is maintained, the vertical and horizontal expansion of buildings and architectural integrity. Having scenarios of selling historical buildings, additional care to ensure legal bindings does not throw in a spanner; bproperty ensures that legal papers are always cleared. ‘We try our best to ensure that buyers meet their expectations. However, once they are the owners, it is completely up to them how they treat their property.’
The exponential expansion in infrastructure for Bangladesh and the reduction in the volume of land availability has led to buildings being more vertically expanded. This is a vast change from the horizontal expansion that used to be, having large gardens and open spaces. bproperty now tries to suggest its buyers to decentralize for the buyer’s own well-being. The current state of infrastructure may not be able to hold down the increasing population into the city center, and suggesting everyone to decentralize and locate to more open spaces is something that very few individuals would opt for. However, the rigidity and the unassured time required to commute is something that forces buyers to reside near areas like Banani, Gulshan and other closer locations. bproperty believes minds would change and decentralization will take place, but in the long run.
Architectural integrity is something that architects have the discretion of. bproperty tries to incorporate as much of the buyer’s wishes; however, the architect is the one who creates the art. ‘We can’t tweak with the work of architects if they don’t want to tweak it. We definitely suggest them. But we leave their art largely to them. Thus, setting up solar panels and renewable aspects are something we do; however, the architects have the final word,’ Mark says. In the end it’s all about ensuring that everyone in the chain is happy and no one gets the short end of the stick.
Mark Nosworthy says that the work he does stems from how his passion is driven by the puzzles of providing various solutions to the ever-changing and growing demands. Working in a country that is very different from his home country of Australia, he has amalgamated himself in such a way that, he knows more than 50,000 buildings, interior and exterior of each building, locations, owners and dwellers, something that individuals only know when they love the work they do. He understands the family dynamics, the ever-changing housing preferences, and various imaginations and ideas that ever new buyer comes with. It takes a lot of work to ensure that everyone is happy, but all of that can be achieved when the right team and the right leader have the foresight of what should be the right direction. From being a virtual unknown, it’s been the journey of a growing strategic player, who is moving and shaking the real estate market and giving it a formal setup that upcoming entrants have to follow.