Dardingli is the brainchild of Beatriz Rodriguez Sanz and Xabi Rivera, two people from very different professional and personal backgrounds. They struggled to find a home, a common problem in Malta, so they decided to solve the island’s real estate woes. Inna Korchilava from THINK magazine finds out more.
Trying to find property online is challenging. Jumping from one real estate website to the next makes it a tedious endeavour. Dardingli (housed at TAKEOFF, the University of Malta’s business incubator) has created a service that places properties from real estate agents and owners under one roof, making it simple.
The concept of Dardingli was born in 2019, when the founders, Beatriz Rodriguez Sanz, Chief Executive Officer, and Xabi Rivera, Chief Experience Officer, struggled to find a house that met their expectations. The chaotic market offered many options; however, navigating the endless listings quickly became tiring. This experience unveiled a gap in the market: the lack of a specialised service that would help narrow down the search.
Beatriz and Xabi decided to combine the strengths of the two most volatile industries, technology and real estate, through Property Technology (Proptech). Proptech is the technology that helps maintain consumer experiences. The tech ignited the possibility to create a whole new experience for property owners, agents, and property seekers. What the local market needed was a centralised online database of property listings.
The creation of Dardingli depended heavily on two main components. First was business, which Beatriz took on by relying on her long-term business experience and entrepreneurial attitude. The second was the actual platform. That was taken on by Xabi, who combined his knowledge and experience in UX design to build the Dardingli platform creating a new real estate experience within the Maltese market.
Filling a gap in the market
The real estate market has always been important to Malta; however, the creators of Dardingli noticed a disadvantage when compared to other European countries. They found an immense division within the property market: almost 200 agencies, several freelance agents, and multiple social media or classified pages. This makes the search for the right property seem an impossible mission. It was clear to Beatriz and Xabi that this needed to be improved. They brought their experience in Spain to Malta. Beatriz and Xabi adapted a technological system together with a business model to meet the needs of the Maltese property market.
The platform is based on a classified advertisement website. There are no direct sales on the website. Their main service is to directly connect property seekers with owners or real estate agents.
Consumer interaction with businesses is being radically changed by digital technologies. For Beatriz, ‘technology is the tool which optimises and improves the processes of buying, selling and renting properties.’These technologies help businesses make better decisions that improve performance and mitigate risks. Dardingli focuses on adjusting their platform to an ever-changing market and user habits.
Beatriz makes it clear that ‘clients and users are our focal point.’ They recognise that placing customers’ needs first is crucial in order to forge a relationship that will contribute towards growth and long-term sustainability.
The company aims at striking a balance between the social, economic, and environmental aspects of an organisation. Every day, Dardingli looks towards creating actions to establish a relationship between society and their company. This is done in two main ways: managing impacts through corporate social responsibility and community collaboration. The most recent example is Dardingli’s Covid-19 free or reduced rental campaign. The company’s goal was to help provide apartments to vulnerable sectors and healthcare workers helping battle Covid-19.
A growing team
The Dardingli team is small, young, and dynamic. The company promotes an inclusive environment where differences are valued, and employees can innovate to drive the business forward. Their team includes professionals and consultants with the technical knowledge and managerial experience for such an ambitious project.
Beatriz commented that ‘sometimes the solution is not only having the best technology, but the one that best suits the circumstances.’ Since its inception, the company has grown to over 30,000 online listings, and it continues to work with the goal of ‘positioning itself at the benchmark of the sector in Malta.’ The company provides a complete package for owners, helping them with photography and video production to represent their property for sale or rent. They provide a ‘full-360 real estate experience.’
Beatriz and Xabi set up the company to be easy, effective, and ethical. They have a sophisticated property search tool that is free, with no hidden costs for buyers.
Beatriz and Xabi set up the company to be easy, effective, and ethical. They have a sophisticated property search tool that is free, with no hidden costs for buyers. The tech behind it all, Proptech, is relatively new to Malta. Beatriz feels that when looking for a new property, people are only given ‘a scattered offer based on limited and outdated technology.’ The traditional property search and property listing system uses non-specialised portals, social media networks, and individual websites, creating frustrations for the consumer. Beatriz explains that real estate agencies invest a huge amount of money in marketing on unrelated channels to try to reach their customers. They also spend a huge amount of time uploading sale and rental properties ‘that often end with little or no results.’ Dardingli also tries to cater for smaller clients with one free listing for owners.
Rather than having to hop from one website to another, Beatriz, Xabi, and their team have found a way to bring owners, agents, and developers under one roof. And in Malta’s chaotic property market, that means finding a home has become that little bit easier!