A Qatar-based tech start-up is aiming to change the way people search for homes to rent
by introducing a platform that would help them navigate through Qatar’s burgeoning property market.
“We want to get rid of the frustrations people face when looking for new home options, because moving is already stressful enough,” according to hapondo co-founder Haajerah Khan.
Established in July 2019 by Abdulla al-Fadhala and co-founders Abdulaziz al-Yazeedi, Ahmad al-Khanji, and Khan, hapondo is launching this February as “Qatar’s first property rental platform.”
He said the mission of hapondo is to become “the leading property rental platform in the region” by providing the necessary information and content needed to find a place to call home.
“During a casual dinner, my co-founders and I discussed the difficulties and the expensive process of finding a new home in Qatar - from the time-consuming activity of browsing through unrealistic, low quality photos, to not knowing exactly how much new rental properties cost given all the added fees; finding a new home in Qatar just wasn’t easy,” al-Fadhala told Gulf Times.
“We realised that this was because there was a huge gap in the real estate rental market, and therefore, something had to be done about it. Our desire to create an innovative product/technology that could fill this gap and help solve the problems we and many people living in Qatar had faced was the driving factor in creating hapondo,” he continued.
Asked if hapondo will also include commercial and industrial properties in its portfolio of services, al-Fadhala said: “When we first started brainstorming, we were thinking whether to include all types of properties, such as residential and commercial properties that are for sale or for rent.
“However, we knew from day one that creating a niche product was critical to our success. The team wanted to focus on a very specific market, which had the demand for our product. Based on the analysis and market research we made, we decided to start with residential properties for rent.”
“One of the main things that separate us from or competitors is our niche product – hapondo is focused on residential rentals. Also, we are based in Qatar, which means any future developments to the platform will cater to the needs of the Qatari real estate market,” al-Fadhala pointed out.
He continued: “For example, if we see a trend that most real estate companies are using the 3D view as a feature, then we can work on integrating this into our platform, as well.”
Headquartered inside Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), al-Fadhala also lauded the support provided by Qatar’s private and public sectors, which, he stressed, contributes to the development and growth of tech start-ups like hapondo and Qatar’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) ecosystem.’