KE Holdings Profiil
KE Holdings Inc. (Beike) operates as an integrated online and offline platform for housing transactions and services.
In 2021, the company facilitated over 4.5 million housing transactions on its platform. It owns and operates Lianjia, China’s major real estate brokerage brand and an integral part of its Beike platform.
The company launched its Beike platform in 2018. Beike is an integrated online and offline platform for housing transactions and services. It engages in building the infrastructure and standards in the People’s Republic of China (China) to reinvent how service providers and housing customers navigate and complete housing transactions, ranging from existing and new home sales, home rentals, to home renovation and furnishing, and home services.
The company’s Beike platform is an open platform for participants in the housing related industry and ecosystem. It enables housing customers, including home buyers, home sellers, landlords and tenants, to enjoy housing transactions with real estate brokerage brands, stores and agents. The company’s platform serves as a sales channel for real estate developers and also enables other ecosystem participants, such as home renovation service providers to benefit from its technology, and customer and agent base. The company also offers various service modules to its ecosystem participants, which, along with Agent Cooperation Network (ACN), form the scalable infrastructure applicable and beneficial to the whole industry. These modules include software-as-a-services (SaaS) systems, customer front end, community-centric network, technology applications, training and recruiting programs and transaction service centers.
The company’s service offerings to ecosystem participants mainly include the following:
To Housing Customers: As a housing transactions and services platform, the company provides comprehensive services to satisfy the evolving needs of housing customers. These services primarily belong to three categories, including brokerage services relating to existing and new home sales and home rentals; signing-to- closing support that include contract service, secure payment, escrow, among other things; and home renovation and furnishing services. Together with the brokerage brands, stores, agents and other service providers, the company provides housing customers with access to the property listing inventory in China and handholds its customers throughout various phases of home ownership lifecycle.
To Brokerage Brands, Stores and Agents: The company’s infrastructure is open to all real estate brokerage brands, stores and agents joining its platform. It provides primarily two categories of services to the brands, stores and agents on its platform, including platform services, to enable the brokerage service providers on its platform to conduct automatic role-based commission allocation and use its infrastructure and its different modules in a collaborative manner, including SaaS, technology, training and recruiting, signing-to-closing service, among other things; and branding services, which allow small brokerage stores to join reputable brokerage brands and benefit from control and lead conversion.
To Real Estate Developers: Leveraging the company’s established infrastructure and a base of housing customers, its platform acts as a sales channel for new home projects, thereby reconstructing the value chain and transforming the way real estate developers discover and interact with home buyers. The company primarily offers comprehensive sales and marketing solutions to real estate developers that include brokerage services, sales planning, reception services, online marketing, as well as tools.
The company has three main revenue streams, namely existing home transaction services, new home transaction services, and emerging and other services. For existing home transaction services, the company generates revenues from its own Lianjia brand where it charges commissions for existing home sales and home rentals, and splits of commissions from other brokerage firms that operate brokerage stores on its Beike platform in collaboration with Lianjia agents to complete transactions; from brokerage firms, which own and operate brokerage stores on its Beike platform where it receives platform service fees, and those under its franchise brands, such as Deyou to which it charges an additional franchise fee; and by providing other value-added services, including transaction closing services, field work assistance, such as on-site verification, agent recruiting and training services. For new home transaction services, the company recognizes revenues from sales commissions charged to real estate developers. In addition, it generates revenues from a variety of other housing related services, such as home renovation and furnishing services.
Agent Cooperation Network (ACN)
At the core of the company’s infrastructure is ACN, an operating system that fosters reciprocity and bonding among various service providers, as well as enables them to enhance service efficiency and customer experience through collaborative efforts and commission allocation. The company designed its ACN to radically solve the underlying challenges faced by its industry. It serves as the operating system on Beike platform that consists of protocols and practices to specify roles in cooperative housing transactions and prescribe agents’ rights and obligations through commission allocation mechanism. Through ACN, the company standardizes authentic property listings, promotes cooperation and information sharing among agents, streamlines the whole transaction process, and enables agents to be specialized in a transaction process and knowledgeable in a particular region.
Real Estate Brokerage Brands on Platform
As of December 31, 2021, there were over 406,000 active agents and over 45,000 community-centric active brokerage stores on the company’s platform, representing 300 real estate brokerage brands. There were over 454,000 agents and over 51,000 brokerage stores on out platform. Through the agents, stores and brokerage brands on its platform, the company is able to effectively hone local market expertise, generate leads, and build relationships with its housing customers.
The company started to operate real estate brokerage business under ‘Lianjia’ brand in housing transactions and services industry in 2001. Through Lianjia, the company provides brokerage services to housing customers, offers marketing and sales services to real estate developers for new home sales and extend brokerage business to home rentals. Leveraging its online and offline operational capabilities, the company implemented through Lianjia a series of industry ‘firsts’ and developed rules, operational know-hows, artificial intelligence (AI) and technology systems.
As of December 31, 2021, Lianjia had approximately 108,000 active agents and over 112,000 agents; and approximately 6,900 active offline brokerage stores across 29 cities in China and approximately 7,300 brokerage stores. Lianjia had over 26,800 and 20,700 active agents, as well as over 1,400 and approximately 1,000 active brokerage stores, in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively.
The company owns Deyou brand, which is offered for connected brokerage stores that seek for the branding effect and access to solutions offered by Beike platform.
As of December 31, 2021, the company’s platform connected 299 real estate brokerage brands other than Lianjia, which operated approximately 38,000 active brokerage stores with approximately 299,000 active agents. Approximately 86% of the existing home listings on its platform were posted by agents affiliated with connected stores, including stores operated by its franchise brand Deyou. In 2021, approximately 64% of the gross transaction value (GTV) of existing and new home transactions on the company’s platform was generated by connected real estate brokerage stores and the sales channels it specifically procured for new home transactions.
Home Renovation and Furnishing Services
Leveraging connection between the company’s agents and housing customers, it started to provide home renovation, re-modeling, and home furnishing services to its customers. The company officially launched its home renovation and furnishing services, Beiwoo, in April 2020, aiming to offer an one-stop solution to give housing customers access to a comprehensive range of home renovation and furnishing services, ranging from interior design, renovation, re-modeling, furnishing, supplies, to after-sales maintenance and repair. The company explores its customers’ needs for home renovation through its online platform, brokerage stores, and experience centers.
In its Beiwoo mobile app, customers may browse through portfolios of various independent interior designers and explore their personalized renovation plans. The company also uses VR to virtually show its customers what their homes will look like in the future through RealSee VR technology, which features a realistic experience. During the actual implementation of the renovation plans, the company has established standards and practices for each step of the core service process and use technology tools and AI algorithms to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the renovation process. The company cooperates with qualified and selected contractors and directly controls the supply chain. The company has also implemented multiple service commitments to its customers, including among others, providing four visits for on-site maintenance and repair services within two years after the completion of renovation and paying damages for unreasonable delay.
In July 2021, the company entered into an acquisition agreement with Shengdu (Shengdu Home Renovation Co., Ltd. (together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, ‘Shengdu’)), a full-service home renovation service provider in China. The proposed acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.
Home SaaS for Renovation and Furnishing
The company launched Home SaaS for renovation and furnishing, an all-in-one SaaS that empowers home renovation professionals to manage the entire lifecycle of their projects in one place. Its system enables them to capture sales leads, manage customer and supplier relationship, perform managing and supporting functions, design the remodeling plan, sign contracts, schedule payments, implement the construction plan and manage the supply chain.
Craftsman (Jinggong) Academy
The company established Craftsman (Jinggong) Academy in September 2021, a full-service vocational training base to provide a comprehensive step-by-step training system that caters to renovation service providers’ upskilling needs. Located in Beijing, China, Craftsman Academy occupies over 2,000 square meters and features six lecture rooms and nine training labs, designed specifically to replicate the real-world residential renovation sites to provide participants with a practical learning experience.
As of December 31, 2021, the company’s Housing Dictionary covered approximately 257 million properties. Agents on its platform can browse information relating to their own cities in Housing Dictionary through its SaaS systems. Agents can supply new property information or raise amendment through mobile app, Weixin mini program and other entrances. Through Housing Dictionary, the company verifies the authenticity of property listings, supplement real estate information on its platform and offers property valuation services based on property information and past transaction history.
As of December 31, 2021, the company had 874 patents registered and 1,091 pending patent applications. It also owned 5,538 registered trademarks; 1,307 pending trademark applications; copyrights to 612 software programs developed by it relating to various aspects of its operations; and 113 registered domain names, including ke.com and Lianjia.com.
Research and Development
The company spent RMB3,194 million (US$501 million) in research and development in the year ended December 31, 2021.
KE Holdings Inc. was founded in 2001. The company was incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2018 under the Cayman Islands Companies Law as an exempted company with limited liability.