Emre Ersahin is the CEO of transaction-based Turkish property portal Tapu.com and is a guest speaker at PPW’s forthcoming Lisbon conference, which will examine the theme of Getting Closer to the Transaction.
Tapu.com is based in Istanbul and is Turkey’s first online real estate auction marketplace, which evolved from an intention of making property transactions easier and more transparent.
The portal began selling properties in August 2015 and has since completed hundreds of sales in 57 provinces in Turkey. Ersahin says Tapu’s success is underpinned by a philosophy that, at its core, promotes trust in a market where a brokerage license is not mandatory for agents to practice.
“In most of the cases, any buyer candidate looking at a classifieds listing from a “so called” agent doesn’t know if there is a problem with the title, if the price is inflated or if actually such a property exists,” Ersahin says.
“There is no ownership of content quality in classifieds. Hence, the distrust in property sales is created mostly by the “so called” agents.
“We thought, ‘it’s impossible to solve this distrust with a classifieds business model that is making money off of the same “so-called” agents,’” he admits.
So instead of creating just another property portal, Ersahin wanted to develop a transactional auction platform that owns the process end-to-end. In this way, Tapu.com brings legally appraised ‘clean verified assets’ to the market, makes prospective buyers aware, conducts auctions & helps buyers with the paperwork.
“Tapu.com is the only transactional business model that can sell properties we have never seen, to people we have never met within a trust circle,” Ersahin says. “And Tapu.com has achieved that in a market with 1.34M annual title transactions.”
Since its inception, the portal has continued to grow and in Q1 of 2017, half of its sales closed in under 15 days.
“Our site has grown ahead of our expectations and has initially become an important sales channel for the financial industry to liquidate repossessed properties,” Ersahin says.
“After we established success in the finance industry, we started to work with public companies who wanted to sell properties they didn’t need. Some of the examples are big (medical, white goods) distribution companies that need to liquidate properties.
“We are prioritizing on repeat sellers. So that’s why we started with financial institutions. Now we are starting to work with small developers, big public companies, state agencies, and also franchise networks who filter out the crooks.
Ersahin adds:“We are working to grow faster on the number of transactions and property by growing in company and individual seller segments.”
The portal is now able to sell approximately 50 properties per month and shows no signs of slowing down. Tapu also recently completed its 3rd round of investment from existing investors with the total investment reaching close to 3M USD.