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INSTANTANE: “we Suspend Fraudulent Agents Indefinitely”

Peter Djomga, Koutchoumi Platform Coordinator

What prompted the creation of a platform like this ?  After school we found ourselves in Douala and started looking for an apartment to rent. It was very difficult and the ICT engineer that we are, we decided to put a platform in place where people will not walk to get houses but have some facilitation. Do you work with real estate agents ? When we started the adventure, we identified serious real estate agents in big towns like Douala, Kribi and Yaounde and gave them access to the platform to publish their announcements and available houses. We assured customers that the real-estate agents are credible since we have worked with them. We do not allow access to everybody because there are guys who dupe and are still duping people of their hard earned currency. Some will ask for a sum of  between FCFA 5,000 and FCFA 10,000 to customers who just want to visit the house not even taking into consideration whether the person will like the house or not. Should the person finally get engaged in the house, some of the agents ask for a rent of two months as commission which entails FCFA 200,000 if the house rent is FCFA 100,000 monthly. Same goes with a piece of land; they ask for a percentage of the selling price say five per cent which is equally huge. What are the procedures to get a house through Koutchoumi platform ? The client just has to go to google then type koutchoumi.com and the platform will surface. While on Koutchoumi page, the client will see questions like if he/she wants to buy or rent a land or an apartment/house and where (Douala, Kribi and Yaounde), how many M² of land and other specifications after which the client clicks on “trouvé”. After that, a variety of choices appear on the monitor for the client to see details and if interested call the number on the page and get in contact with the real estate agent. We don’t get in contact with the client, but some of them after getting what they wanted send us feedbacks through the platform. Should we notice anything fishy like extorting money from client, we immediately suspend the agent indefinitely.

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