Latin America, and Mexico in particular, is fast becoming a market of reference in the world of PropTech. It has outdated bureaucracy ripe for disruption and has seen headlines made by housing transactions done in Bitcoin and the arrival of Jeff Bezos as an investor in recent months.
One PropTech company that caught our eye in Mexico is the elite brokerage technology and tool provider Pulppo co-founded earlier this year by former Inmuebles24 Country Manager Augustín Iglesias who told us all about the business...
What is the problem that Pulppo solves?
Selling a home has been (historically) a long and complex process that uses, on average, 14 different disconnected tools (digital and analogue), creating a poor experience for users and generating multiple friction points for agents.
By empowering agents with our integrated tool, we help them sell more homes per year by organizing their selling process, eliminating inefficiencies and increasing customer satisfaction.
How does Pulppo generate its revenue?
We partner with a select number of experienced real estate brokers and work on a revenue-sharing structure. As Pulppo covers all the costs associated with technology, offices and marketing; we only work with experienced brokers in the luxury sector.
What is Pulppo’s biggest challenge?
To keep building as fast as we are right now. In the first month of operation, we already have more than 45 top brokers, an average price of the properties we manage of nearly $1 million USD and a waitlist of more than 100 brokers to join Pulppo. Our agents are giving us great feedback on what they’d like changed (and added) about our product and we need to maintain speed to keep providing them with the value they expect.
How many employees does Pulppo have?
We are currently 17 Pulppers strong and have 6 positions open. Once we’ve completed our core capabilities team, we will start our expansion plan. By the end of 2022, our plan is to launch 6 markets and have 500 brokers generating more than $46 million USD in GMV as well as $2.3 million USD in commissions.
Did working for the Inmuebles24 portal inspire the idea for Pulppo at all? Did it help you transition to working more closely with agents?
While Inmuebles24 taught me everything I know about the Mexican market, the idea was a natural evolution of my first startup, Tokko. While working on Tokko, the biggest Real Estate CRM for LATAM (that was acquired by Navent), I was constantly frustrated that we only addressed a small part of the buyer’s journey. I realized that to create a smooth and transparent experience, we needed to provide brokers with all the tools they needed. That includes tech, expertise (legal, marketing, etc.) and even offices that match their expectations.
What is one thing our readers might not know about but would probably find interesting about the real estate market in Mexico?
There is no regulation for Real Estate Brokers. That means that anyone can be a broker. This leads to fraud, lack of professionalism and a highly fragmented market. By creating a strong brand and only working with the top experienced brokers in the market, we ensure we provide a unique, safe and transparent experience.
What is the most common request from clients?
Transparency. When selling a home, our customers share their ongoing frustration that brokers don’t provide them with the information they expect. They rarely have information on visits, clicks and feedback. To increase transparency, we created a collaboration tool where the seller has clear visibility of how their property is performing (and what actions should be taken to improve conversion).
Additionally, sellers have constant frustration that property valuations are done with little information and comparables. That’s why we created the first Valuation Tool that helps our agents provide a detailed recommendation on pricing.
Which other portal or PropTech companies do you look out for in the industry news?
Compass has always been someone we admire and learn from. By partnering with the best brokers in the country, and providing them with all the tools they need, they’ve become the #1 broker in the United States, having as much as 35% market share in some markets!
What is Pulppo currently working on?
Product, expansion and team. We are bringing the best talent to listen to our agents and build what they need to add value to their customers. We are now focused on simplifying the selling process. With a few clicks, our agents will be able to have their customer’s properties published on the best portals (with professional pictures, video, etc). We are finalizing the process that will allow them to focus on managing their customers, while we do everything else for them.
How do you see the market evolving and what will you be doing to be ahead of the curve?
Proptech in LATAM still has huge growth potential. Luckily, there are amazing startups rising to provide end-users with solutions to problems within the process of buying or selling a property. Rather than staying ahead of the curve, we see ourselves partnering with those startups to provide our users with all the alternatives available to make their homebuying experience a frictionless one.