Meet Openn Negotiation: A tech platform transforming Aussie real estate, with big North American ambitions
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What started as an idea around six years ago by a property investment banker and two experienced real estate agents has since evolved into a revolutionary, transparent sales platform, facilitating real-time negotiation of property sales.
Property-tech company Openn Negotiation (ASX:OPN) has solved one of the single biggest problems facing the real estate market – a lack of transparency in the sales process and pricing.
Leveraging ten years’ experience working in the tech industry, OPN managing director Peter Gibbons said he sat down with his business partners back in 2016 to knuckle out the fundamental issues plaguing traditional real estate sales methods which were resulting in disappointing outcomes.
“When you say to an agent, ‘I like this property, how much do I have to pay?’ and they say, ‘I can’t tell you, put in your best offer because I’ve got three other offers’ that is a pretty standard experience across the board,” he said.
“It either ends in ‘congratulations, you’ve bought the property’ and you’re immediately thinking ‘gosh how much did I overpay above the next person’- if there even was a person.
“Or worse, it ends with ‘I’m sorry you missed out, it went for $700,000’ and you’re left there thinking ‘I would have paid more than that, but you didn’t tell me how much I had to pay’.”
Working with this end in mind, Gibbons said Openn Negotiation had developed a technology to resolve such problems.
“Virtually every other market, when you think of stock exchanges and the like, they all have transparency. But real-estate is the last bastion which hasn’t provided that,” Gibbons explained.
“Our solution is worldwide – buyers, agents, and sellers can participate from anywhere in the world and get notified of new offers in real-time.”
Using the Openn Negotiation platform allows greater transparency for buyers, giving greater piece of mind when making what is a very important life decision.
“Buyers can see what price they need to beat and seamlessly submit multiple offers or bids on a property, which then goes directly to the agent,” Gibbons said.
“The platform then has a final bidding stage, which allows the buyer who wants the property the most to pay the most for the property, so they don’t miss out.”
Since its infancy, the platform has quickly expanded to include Openn Offers (a private treaty solution) and Openn Tenders – meaning agents can efficiently manage the sales process through the platform no matter what form of sale they wish to use.
Gibbons says the company was leading in its market, with Openn ideally placed to take real estate to the next level and bring it up to speed with other transparent markets.
“We are a seamless one-stop shop solution to the sales transaction and because everything is run though the platform, we are capturing depth of market data that has never been seen before,” he said.
“And while it works very well in what is a heated market at the moment, it has been designed to work exceptionally well in flatter markets – so we’ve future proofed ourselves against turns in the space.”
During its eight months since listing, the company has been busy setting up a North American business, Openn North America, appointing personnel in the US and Canada and recently receiving confirmation of patent acceptance – which it says opens a strong legal pathway.
Gibbons says the tech play has set up a US pilot program, alongside broker arrangements ahead of a program launch where it plans to introduce Openn Offers to the North American market.
The pilot is underway in Connecticut and Massachusetts with huge potential in the US, where some 6.4 million properties are sold each year – a particularly large pie.
“We have been invited into North America because we are seen as the leading tech to solve this problem which they have as well – and the market opportunity for us is enormous,” he said.
Other growth initiatives the company is looking into include new products such as Openn Access – where users can manage and accept digital offers, and Openn Tenders – featuring a tender process aimed primarily at commercial and rural real estate sales.
This article was developed in collaboration with Openn Negotiation, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.