“We want to help people save money on their homes”
Buying a home is no small matter and with the property market in flux it could be one of the most stressful things you do in life. Two sisters are riding out the wave with OhMyHome, an app that connects HDB buyers and tenants directly to potential sellers and landlords, without the need for any agents, to save future home owners some big bucks in the process.
Empowering Buyers: “No matter what industry you’re in there’s always a way to innovate and make things more efficient. We were already involved in the real estate business but when tech became a big thing, we started brainstorming and that’s how OhMyHome was hatched. We realised that there wasn’t a dedicated portal where people could post their HDB sale notices for free and search for homes for free. Up to 82 per cent of Singaporeans live in HDBs, so we wanted to help them save money.”
Savings Galore: “Our app definitely helps makes people’s lives easier. We have over 100,000 people on our database currently and we’ve managed to help people save more than $300,000 in commissions through our agent services alone. The app is free and any transactions made are between buyers and sellers only, but we do provide agent services for a flat fee, which is much less than the agent’s commissioning fee you would have to pay otherwise.”
Users First: “We’ve only been around since 2016 and we’re not making a profit yet but that’s not our goal right now. Our core driving motivation is improving lives. We’re still trying to improve our app, improve our execution and improve our range of services. In fact, OhMyHome is getting a brand new update at the end of May but users will have to re-download the app to enjoy the new benefits. We always ask ourselves if we are making things more efficient for users. We could potentially make a profit from the updated services we add on to our portal but it should never compromise our users. Our users will never be paying for overprices services because the bottom line is that we want to bring them savings and value.”
“My goal is to create one million happy marriages”
It was 2004 when Violet Lim saw a business opportunity in matchmaking. The spark? Complaints from her single friends that they couldn’t find Mister or Miss Right. Observations that people had little to no time to try and actively find love all but cemented her decision to start a dating service with her now husband, Jamie Lee. The result? Lunch Actually, Asia’s biggest premier dating company.
Keeping Things Fresh: “Over the past 13 years we’ve added different products and services to help singles find love because we realised that going into a brick and mortar establishment to sign up for a dating profile might not be for everybody. So we went into online dating with Eteract in 2007, which commercially was not a success. We were too ahead of our time! We’ve also launched LunchClick, a mobile-based dating app, which is unique in that it doesn’t have chat feature like the other apps available in the market.”
Not A Copycat: “Our app caters to the serious dater. Think older singletons or divorcees who are looking for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage. With LunchClick, users are only sent a limited number of matches a day. We focus on quality not quantity. Also, people tend to get confused when they are presented with too many choices. In this sense, technology can both help and hinder when it comes to love. That’s why we don’t have a chat feature. Chatting can sometimes nip a budding romance in the bud. Conversations can turn stale or something wrong is said that there’s no turning back from.”
Eye On The Prize: “We also started Lunch Actually Academy to coach people on how to certain aspects on dating. For example, we have a class on WhatsApp etiquette for people who get nervous when texting. Ultimately, we want to keep disrupting our business model so that we can continue to help singles find love. From day one, I never thought that Lunch Actually would be the perfect dating platform. There’s no such thing, because different things work for different people so we have to evolve. My ultimate big, hairy, audacious goal is to achieve one million happy marriages!”
“We aim to disrupt the ageing experience”
As a “super-aged” country, where data from the National Population and Talent Division shows that one in five people are aged 65 or older, access to in-home elderly care is more important than ever. Enter Homage, a Singapore-based startup that wants to help by connecting quality healthcare givers to families who need assistance with seniors.
Subverting Stigmas: “Healthcare is not purely medical. I think a lot of people think that healthcare and wellness is just medical but medical science doesn’t equip us to know how to deal with ageing and how to age well, by that we mean not just staying alive but being alive. Really what we’re trying to do with Homage is to make people more aware of what it means to remain independent and be autonomous, because as you age there’s a sort of stigma if you’re old and you have issues you should stay at home and not talk about it.”
Women On A Mission: “We hope we are disrupting the healthcare sector but at the end of the day it’s about the quality of care. What we want is to provide the best and the safest care to anyone and everyone’s loved ones. Lily worked in hospitals for a long time prior to Homage and what she found was that people weren’t coming in because they were critically ill, they were coming in for social conditions like dementia and high blood glucose levels, which could be managed from home.”
On Demand Care: “A lot of what our carers deal with are daily activities that people need assistance with like eating, feeding, showering, medication and so on. Its things that you and I take for granted every day because it’s so easy for us but you can hit a stage in your life, whether you’re young or old, where you can no longer have that luxury. So what do we need to be able to have that control over our lives? We need more people who can assist us. So it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when home-based care will become completely mainstream.”
(Photo: Alexander Ow/Nyen/SPHM / Styling: CK Koo / Hair: Ash Loi using La Biosthétique Paris/ Makeup: Ginger Lynette using Clarins)