Early September, despite being very busy with meeting schedules to prepare for the official launching of the international proptech company named Levitate on September 29, former COO of Lazada Vietnam Fabian Wandt was excited to spend hours with any guests who wanted to learn about his new project.
After many years of holding C-level positions at such large companies as Lazada and Vietjet, it was time for him to conduct his own mind-blowing ideas.
Keep saying the same thing to different people, Fabian didn't lose his excitement as he and three other co-founders including former CBRE Vietnam general manager Marc Townsend, founder of Fusion resort Marco van Aggele and Cititech co-founder Son Tran were ready to "give birth" to their "child" after more than a year of preparation.
“Our goal with Levitate is to enable homebuyers to design unique and highly personalized living spaces at an affordable cost,” said Fabian.
According to a 2021 survey by market research firm Cimigo, 99 per cent of new homeowners spend an average of 12.1 per cent of their home's sale value on immediate after-market remodeling to adjust and replace the stuff they already paid for.
For the majority of new homeowners, handover day is merely the start of the journey. From repainting to rewiring to tearing down walls and fitting new kitchens and bathrooms, owning the home they truly need and deserve is still weeks, months, or even years away. For too long now, post-purchase remodeling has been a long, expensive, and unavoidable inconvenience for homebuyers.
Based on that pain points, four entrepreneurs gathered to solve two existing problems in the real estate market. Levitate swaps “cookie cutter” housing for tailor-made homes, supporting property developers in delivering competitive yet highly personalized products designed for and by their end users.
With the intuitive AI-driven process, homebuyers can swap the costs, delays, and headaches of remodeling for easy, intuitive, and time-efficient pre-modeling.
Through a single online portal, Levitate allows buyers to choose, design, layout, furnish, and finance a home that is as unique as they are. Meanwhile, the money they’d saved up to upgrade and personalize their purchase after handover is captured by the developer before handover.
After browsing projects and seeing a short demonstration of the Levitate system, homebuyers would answer a few simple questions. From there, AI determines the optimal project, the best apartment, and the most appropriate layout for their needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Guided by Levitate’s online design guru, buyers are allowed to explore a highly realistic 3D virtual model of their chosen home while changing and adjusting almost everything and anything in it.
With Levitate’s global supply catalog, plus real-time availability, fixed pricing, and AI-driven furniture and furnishing suggestions, buyers can upgrade, downgrade, and fully personalize their products. From upgrading the kitchen to swapping the cushions on the couch, it’s all done in a matter of clicks.
In conjunction with banking partners, Levitate’s finance module gives buyers the financial freedom to pay for their creation with a personalized mortgage.
“And because we do this before handover, we’re able to facilitate this with fixed prices and attractive financial packages,” said Fabian.
Son Tran added that, by allowing buyers to design and shop online, Levitate creates an "e-commerce experience journey" for homebuyers. Dubbed “the Amazon of housing”, Levitate's physical and online sales portals replace the traditional role of a real estate broker. Its online-to-offline sales service allows buyers to virtually finetune their dream home to the very last detail.
Levitate builds an ecosystem where all parties including customers, property developers, interior designers, contractors, retailers, and Levitate itself can reap the benefit.
“Our main source of income also comes from providing furniture to customers, being a project consultant, developer, and manager,” said Le Trong Long, Levitate Chief Counsel.
Although headquartered in Singapore, multinational real estate technology company Levitate is developing its first project in Vietnam. Currently, Levitate is joining hands with Hodeco to launch Antares Beach Vung Tau, a $200 million entertainment hub.
Levitate co-founder said, for at least the next three years, the company will accompany investors as a project co-developer. It is expected to implement six projects within the next 12 months.