Jipingmi.com, a real estate search engine in China, officially launched an English version of the site yesterday. English.Jipingmi.com collects real estate property listings from a variety of English property listing sources and organizes the results into a single search platform.
The sophistication of the search engine falls somewhere between Craigslist and Craigslist, with a 2-D Google Maps thrown in. Tremendous opportunity remains in the Chinese real estate market online.
Since the launch of Jipingmi.com (Mandarin for "How many square meters?" or "A few square meters") in late 2007, Jipingmi.com has become the stripped-down Zillow or Trulia of the Chinese real estate search engine market. Jipingmi.com now hopes to open the platform to international users.
Jipingmi Co-founder and VP Strategic Development, Alex Farfurnik said English.Jipingmi.com will organize the foreign real estate market in China:
"There are over 6 million foreigners living in China, and the number is constantly growing. All these people need housing solutions and often turn to the internet to look for related information. The number of websites that provide real estate listings is increasing rapidly as well. There are more and more Chinese and foreign companies aiming to target foreign clients.
"Currently the foreign real estate market in China is very fragmented and there is a growing need to organize this market. Altogether, this makes it a perfect time for Jipingmi to come in and assist the market by using its superior technology and industry knowledge to help and connect all sides: home seekers, foreign targeted companies and English websites in China." Mr. Farfurnik said.
Jipingmi Co-founder and Co-CEO, Guy Sivan said English Jipingmi.com is designed specially to suit the unique needs of the foreign real estate market in China.
"The English version of Jipingmi.com was designed with the target market in mind. Understanding that the local knowledge of many foreigners is limited, English.jipingmi.com provides several creative features to assist home seekers including map-based navigation and housing complex information for housing complexes that are most relevant to foreigners. The Interface of English.Jipingmi.com was completely redesigned and looks entirely different from the Chinese website in order to answer the unique needs of the foreigners In China." Mr. Sivan said.
English.Jipingmi.com is plans to provide special features for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, such as short-term rentals. An estimated 500,000 foreigners will stay in Beijing during the Olympics.