Hausples launches new businesses on the back on ‘exponential’ internet traffic growth


The COVID-19 crisis has forced companies in Papua New Guinea to find new ways of doing business. Matthew Care, Chief Executive and founder of real estate portal Hausples, explains to Business Advantage PNG that his company has never been more innovative.

The location of Valkyrie Estate in Port Moresby, shaded green.

The property market in PNG has struggled because there are fewer international travellers coming into PNG, says Care.

The market contraction has affected his real estate portal, Hausples, but it has also led to new digital opportunities.

‘We are definitely innovating more than we ever have before because, to thrive at the moment, you have to,’ he tells Business Advantage PNG.

One new avenue is helping real estate agents boost their online presence.

‘We are going out to a lot of real estate customers that have old web sites and we are rebuilding them. Online is pivotal during COVID-19 and agents need a way to reach out to customers that is not physical. We have had some success there.’

Land sales

A more ambitious move is the launch of Port Moresby’s Valkyrie Estate which is ‘not just a website’ but an exercise in packaging a real estate development, says Care.

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‘The owner of the land came to us and said: “How can we sell the land?” We said: “Ok, if we are going to sell the land, we can help you do a really good job of it. What the market wants is not really land, they want a house.”

‘We have basically built Amazon and we have bolted it on to Marketmeri. We are saying: you can get your store on line and start transacting within a day.’

Hausples’ Matthew Care

‘So we said we would brand it and call it Valkyrie Estate. We found a builder who would build the houses. We got a mortgage broker who could handle the mortgages with BSP [Bank South Pacific] and we built the website, which is all 3D-rendered. You can walk through the houses on the block; you can walk down the street into a house. You get a 3D tour of the houses that would be built on the site. We virtually put the houses in; you get a 3D tour of the display home.’

Care says this approach combines three parties: the agents, the home builder and the bank.

‘We are expediting that whole process and we are in the middle of it. The leads come to us and we qualify them. By doing that, we are charging a percentage of sales. We are getting tons of leads and getting sales over the line.

‘I think online is going to become more critical in that market. With faster internet traffic, it is increasing nearly exponentially. It is changing the [property] market.’

Marketmeri Shops

Another Hausples innovation is Marketmeri Shops. Care says Hausples bought Marketmeri, PNG’s oldest classifieds website, six years ago. It has struggled to compete with Facebook, however, so it is being turned into an e-commerce business that can host online stores for other PNG retailers.

‘It is very expensive for retail businesses to get a website, custom build it, maintain it – the whole thing costs tens of thousands of kina. We have basically built and we have bolted it on to Marketmeri.

‘We are saying to retailers: you can get your store online and start transacting within a day: upload a retail spreadsheet of your inventory; upload your pricing of your goods and immediately start selling. We also handle the logistics and can deliver into central Port Moresby in the same day.

‘We built the digital platform and it is currently free to join. The service costs between five to 10 per cent of sales, which we think is a bargain considering it opens up a whole new market for retailers.

‘I think now is a great time to launch something like that. I think people aren’t going to want to risk going to the shops due to COVID-19. They will want the safety of having things delivered.’

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