SolacelyAR: Tech Meets Wicked Problem.
There are not a lot of things that can be truth and fact but there is one that sticks for me:
House hunting in Lagos is gruesome and it’s not for the faint hearted.
Lagos is a high-value market ridden with inflation on anything money can buy, especially when it comes to real estate property whether it’s to be bought or to be rented.
You’d expect the problem with properties to be only affordability but it isn’t. There is also the problem of accessibility and security.
Let me paint a scenario.
So let’s say you want to rent a house in Yaba, you’d have to take the following steps.
- Reach out to an agent (Pray the person is not a scammer).
- Describe the specifications of the property.
- Pay for inspection to see the house.
- Inspect the property.
- Pay a down payment if it meets your standards (again, pray against scams).
- Get the property.
All the steps listed above seem pretty straight foward but in reality, the items in parenthesis and much more happen.
Some of those issues are:
- There are fake agents everywhere taking people for a ride.
- People pay down payments due to FOMO instilled by these agents and get scammed hard.
- People spend money on inspection fees, transport to the location whether or not they select the property they have.
In Africa, people see real estate as a fail-proof investment, due to the abnormal rise in the value of rent and property acquisition. There has been some Fear Of Missing Out(FOMO) in the industry and due to how unregulated the industry is, there are huge scams all over the place with any Femi or Tobi claiming to be a realtor and any Amaka or Nkechi falling for the scams.
This problem is not just making it difficult for people to hunt for houses and accommodation, it's also making it hard for legit realtors to get people what they want.
A lot of prop-tech companies like Spleet solve these issues by getting people premium accommodation that they can pay for monthly but they do not capture a large segment of the market.
We need something that makes househunting and property discovery super simple for potential tenants and house owners.
Well, SolacelyAR is working on making that happen.
Solace means comfort, that can give some context on what the product will do. SolacelyAR intends to deliver an end-to-end experience of the property acquisition process where users souricing for property could make payment without the need for any physical interaction.
The play is to make sure, all you have to do is search for a house, select the house, pay and have the keys delivered to you.
You can say that SolacelyAR is on its way to take away a lot of pain from house hunters in Nigerian and hopefully across Africa.
The AR in SolacelyAR stands for Augumented Reality.
Apart from what they want to do, the way SolacelyAR wants to do it is quite amazing because they are going to be leveraging easy to use technology and the end goal for them is to make the house hunting experience integrated into Augumented Reality.
AR-Augumented Reality means having an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. — Investopedia
SolacelyAR has not launched yet but based on what we have seen so far, they will be creating different ways to make sure more people can easily get the keys to their house, for them it’s not just going to be about the technology but an ecosystem that ensures both the landlord, house seller and the hunters are satisfied at the end of every transaction.
SolacelyAR has not launched yet, building a fragment of the metaverse is not actually done lightly. But when they do, there are a few things, I hope they do.
- SolacelyAR becomes the underlying infrastructure for property managers to advertise their properties. I look foward to a future where property owners have a trusted partner that will ensure their homes get sold or rented easily.
- SolacelyAR offers the diaspora a safer route to property acquisition. It is crazy the way people in the diaspora get scammed in property deals, even when they outsource the deals to family members. It can easily be solved when they verify the property and are able to step into the house virtually.
- SolacelyAR offers consumers a marketplace to get verified asset managers and agents to ensure they get to visit legit properties virtually.
- SolacelyAR becomes accessible in urban and suburban cities around Africa and other emerging markets.
- SolacelyAR offers vertical solutions in the industry, things like payments via escrow, maintenance management and leasing management.
SolacelyAR has not yet launched and so we cannot yet grasp its full potential but we can be sure that it will give potential tenants and homeowners some level of comfort.
If you want to know when the product is ready, start here.
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