SEOUL, Jan.4 (Korea Bizwire) – With Korean internet giants Naver and Kakao bolstering their mobile real estate service offerings, competition is becoming fierce. The mobile real estate brokerage market, which has been lead by startups like ZigBang, is expected to grow significantly this year.
According to industry reports, Naver has launched the official version of its real estate service after running a beta version for the past seven months.
The most noticeable feature of the service is that information related to real estate is provided on Naver Maps through mobile web applications. When a user selects an area, subway station, university or any specific location that meets their needs, information about available rooms can be seen on the map.
Naver had already been providing information on ‘one-rooms’ (studio apartments) through its previous real estate service. However, through the recent advancements, a separate category solely for one-rooms was established to enhance the user interface.
The goal of the revamp was to target young users who are familiar with mobile applications, as the demand for small and mid-sized one-rooms increased due to the increase of single person households. Also, it is seen as a counter attack against various real estate applications which have appeared.
According to industry watchers, the size of the real estate information industry is around two trillion won, and mobile applications are estimated to share 10 percent of the total market.
Currently, ZigBang, managed by internet startup Channel Breeze, holds the largest market share in mobile realtor applications. The accumulated number of downloads until October 2015 was 10 million, and the accumulated number of sales reached two million.
Dabang, which is run by the another startup, Station 3, is approaching ZigBang with six million downloads and 380,000 sales as of December 2015.
Kakao is also updating its mobile real estate service, as the young people who search for one-rooms are more familiar with the mobile environment than PC. Currently, Kakao is providing real estate information through the PC and mobile version of its Daum portal site, without running a separate mobile application.
However, industry analysts expect that Kakao will soon be launching a mobile platform that provides real estate services, as the company is in the middle of expanding its O2O (online to offline) businesses rapidly.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)