UEM Sunrise has unveiled three brand new hUb-themed mobile apps - hUb Home, hUb Mall, and hUb Life - which are a continuation of its first mobile app hUB series, hUb Prop, which was launched in 2019. It was previously conceived with the aim to serve UEM Sunrise's loyal customers, also known as Trésorians and future homeowners, as a one-stop platform for their property buying experience. More than 4,000 customers have since downloaded the hUb Prop app.
The apps will be managed by UEM Sunrise's digital arm, Rise Digital, which was established last January as part of the company's commitment to its digital transformation agenda. Rise Digital will also be collaborating with various startups to offer better convenience to their customers and the public while aligning with the company's core property business.
The hUb Home app serves as a marketplace that provides residents with a wide range of services by professionals to assist with their daily chores and errands. It works alongside local service providers such as Kaodim, Maideasy, BungkusIt, Bateriku, Zepto and MyGroser. The app was first available for download for loyal customers and is now public.
Meanwhile, the hUb Mall app is a multiservice platform encompasses news and upcoming announcements of Publika Shopping Gallery, but also serves as a loyalty redemption programme where users can earn hUb Mall points for every purchase and redeem them for attractive rewards. With 27 merchants already onboard and more to come, users are able to locate the best deals and latest promotions through the "E-Mall" section. It will soon expand to enable parking reservations and other appointment reservations with Publika merchants.
Lastly, hUb Life aims to be a one-stop solution for condominium management services such as visitors’ access, facilities booking, digital ID for residents which later on can be expanded to include licence plate recognition. For this mobile app, UEM Sunrise is working together with its technology partner, Kiple, a green packet company, to enable hUb Life at identified condominiums in and around Mont Kiara. According to UEM Sunrise, two condominiums in Mont Kiara are already onboard and the company is targeting at least another 13 to be onboarded by the end of 2021.
UEM Sunrise director of digital and incubation, and founder of Rise Digital, Hasniza Mohamed, explained to A+M that the idea of creating an app for its customers came as it was looking for solutions to address customers' pain points. It was also one of the company's goals to embrace the digital-first strategy.
The ideation and conceptualisation for all three new apps - hUb Home, hUb Mall and hUb Life - started in the third quarter of 2019. Development for hUb Home began in December 2019 and was rolled out to Trésorians lsat May. For hUb Mall, development started in May 2020 and it was launched to the Trésorians and UEM Sunrise staff in October 2020. Lastly, development for hUb Life started in July 2020 when it signed a partnership agreement with its technology provider, Kiple, a Green Packet company. On average, Hasniza said it took the company less than six months from development to roll-out for these apps.
The apps seek to target seasoned homeowners and fresh graduates, as well as young professionals and young families. To promote the apps, Hasniza said UEM Sunrise will be intensifying its reach to potential customers through OOH advertising in strategic locations that they would frequent, virtual and eventually physical campaigns and roadshows. It will also invest in digital marketing on social media to target specific audience segments, including prospects seeking to buy a new home.
"The new hUb apps tie in with our objectives of being a Company that truly believes in helping our customers in ‘finding their happy’, as is our tagline. Buying a house can be a very daunting and stressful process, not to mention being the biggest purchase that most people will make in their lifetime. We want to be able to provide them with a positive and ‘happy’ experience at every step of the way and beyond. We’ve identified the challenges and weaknesses that they face, and this presents us with an opportunity to innovate with more thoughtful offerings," she explained.
UEM also wants to offer a more digitalised and customer-centric experience for homeowners and the public. Apart from that, it also wants to collaborate with various startups in the country. The hUb Home app in particular, works alongside local startups and businesses to provide services for customers. This also demonstrates that the company supports the local startup ecosystem and hope that they will grow with it.
CEO Sufian Abdullah said during a Facebook Live session this morning that Rise Digital allows the company to gather data and analytics as well as explore digital solutions for potential products it is looking to launch. "We see this as a way forward of understanding how we operate as an organisation, how we can interact internally and how we are able to deliver the products that consumers want," Sufian said.
He added that UEM Sunrise also wants to hear more from startups and respond to their needs. "We want to be able to curate the kind of services they want to subscribe to. It's easy for me to build a two-storey shophouse and hope someone can rent it but that's not everyone's cup of tea. We need to understand the evolution of the business, the gig economy and startups when it comes to how people earn money these days. It's our job to explore how we respond to that physically, especially when it comes to the physical representation of the premises," he added.
According to Hasniza, the Rise Digital team currently has 10 individuals. Half of them are developers and UI/UX designers while the other half handles business development and customer services. "Rise Digital's initial investment was only RM1.5 million over three years, and this does not include the cost of acquired technologies and overheads, most of which are still absorbed by UEM Sunrise due to the current hybrid stage," she said.
It is currently on the look out for individuals with a start-up mindset. "We are looking for agile, innovative people and someone who can bring a completely fresh perspective to the company. In short, we are looking for people who can disrupt us," she added.