I was sitting with a friend who was house-hunting and calling various listings on a site – every phone conversation started with ‘Are you a broker or the owner?’ Eventually it got so irritating that I finally had to ask – ‘if it is so important for you to talk only to the property owner directly, can’t you only call listings where that’s clearly mentioned?’ He quipped back: ‘all brokers pose as owners to attract callers’.
The more fundamental question of course is: ‘why not talk to the broker?’ Isn’t that the industry structure – developer or owner produces or lists and the broker sells? Well, think about a time when there were no internet listings and no easy way to gather information about properties – the broker added significant value across several aspects: (1) sourcing (knowledge/ awareness of market landscape), (2) matching (filter properties that fit your preferences and budget), (3) validating (clear title, property condition), (4) executing (agreements, handover), and (5) after-sales support (more important in leases by playing mediator with developer).
The broker was therefore your much-needed bridge.
Technology has disrupted a lot of those pieces and therefore the value added by the middleman is quickly replaced by technology tools performing the same function but in a different avatar. Of course, I am generalizing a bit here and there is significant value added by agents in a cluttered and still somewhat opaque real estate industry – more in some geographies than others. However, my friends who are in real estate will agree that the fundamental nature of how the industry operated has evolved and so have their operating models.
You still need the bridge, a very different looking one however.
If you now try to draw a parallel with what we are trying to do at kaam.work: historically, you needed a bridge – either an IT Services or outsourcing umbrella or your own captive office (or more fancily called Global In-house Centers or GICs) to access talent in places like Bangalore, India. There’s a lot that’s evolved over the years on both the technology (more agile, lego-block style build) and the talent (desire for meaningful integration into teams, better engagement) that requires for this bridge to look different – our vision of that different bridge is kaam.work.
There is tremendous value the existing Services or GIC/captive models provide and we are not debating those – rather leveraging technology to enhance services like sourcing, matching, and skills validation through the SkillMirror technology and services like onboarding execution and engagement through remote-first technologies and training. A lot of the inefficiencies in the current bridges resulting in peanut salaries to the talent and bloated costs for the companies themselves are solved through the transparency and scalability of the platform.
Our current focus is Data Science including analytics, engineering, and machine learning but the vision is very much to create a recipe for building this ‘new’ bridge for any role/function/domain. Economically, both sides are significantly better-off as well: most of the dead-weight overhead companies have to pay for today (excluding the time and energy) gets transferred to the talent, giving them what they truly deserve.
But the reality is that even when candidates on the platform get direct full-time offers from global companies, the immediate questions are rooted in the fear of experiences of the past – am I employed directly by the company or kaam.work? who releases the offer letter? who processes payroll? These are symptomatic questions for the root fear of not being stuck in the Services model.
We are not the broker posing as the owner 🙂
Listen to one of our members Harshit Anand talk about his experience getting a job with Paradata on the kaam.work platform.
But maybe you can advice us on better communicating our message?