The first real estate aggregator app in Oman that will facilitate buying and selling of properties was launched recently. Developed by Mahmood al Mahruqi, the free app is now available on Apple App Store and Google Play (http:onelink.to/aqoman).
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Mahruqi, who is also a member of the Real Estate Development and Construction Committee at Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said “The idea for the app came after I had difficulty getting real estate offers easily in the local market. During my study in Britain, I noticed how the world was transforming digitally, whether for hotel reservations or hailing a taxi. So I thought of an app that serves the real estate market. The app took five years to develop and was launched in mid-October.”
Aqarat Oman caters to real estate in the sultanate, aiming to save time and money for buyers and sellers and providing them options. It also aims to revive the brokerage sector that has been affected by the current economic downturn. “It will help buyers find sellers and vice versa and facilitate the technical transformation of the real estate sector in the sultanate,” said Mahruqi.
“The app includes a feature to display land or real estate for sale, in addition to area measurements, price, number of rooms and location via Google Map.”
The app also allows real estate companies and individuals to create accounts for themselves, access the latest real estate news in the sultanate, and information to communicate with users to inquire about any specific property.
About the challenges he encountered in designing and launching the app, Mahruqi said, “It was not easy to change the traditional attitudes and approach of the real estate sector into an organised electronic process, starting from the real estate broker to the buyer, seller and tenant. Convincing them that an electronic service like Aqarat Oman will help in optimising profits, especially in light of the current crisis, was difficult. We also faced some technical difficulties, but those were easier to solve than the other problems we faced.”
Mahruqi hopes for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning’s cooperation in operating the app. “We need real estate brokers to join hands with us to enlist their properties and offers on a daily basis. It’ll stimulate the real estate market.”
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