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This Young Malaysian Duo Is Disrupting The Property Scene With Their Crowdsourcing Startup

Both co-founders are still in their twenties!

Cover image via SAYS

Have you ever visited a show unit and loved everything about it… except one tiny detail?

"If only the tiles were white", or "I wish I could lift the tap lever up instead of having to push it to the left".

Now, you can make your voice heard with dto - Malaysia’s first crowdsourcing platform that lets you be part of the building process

dto co-founders Marie Leong and Tee Ee Lynn

Image via SAYS

Founded by Tee Ee Lynn and Marie Leong, dto is a newly-launched startup within Sime Darby Property that aims to transform the future of property buying in Malaysia.

Pronounced as 'ditto', dto is also an acronym for 'determine the outcome.' Through dto’s online platform, you get to vote for aspects like the building colour, gym equipment, type of doorknobs, and more. Based on the result, Sime Darby Property will build the property accordingly, resulting in a home that people actually really like.

dto uses a co-creation model that hands the decision-making power back to consumers, the actual people buying the home

Image via SAYS

When developers build a property, almost every decision is done by the management in the meeting room. What dto does is to bring that meeting room out into the open, and involve the public in the process of co-creation.

We spoke to dto co-founders Ee Lynn and Marie to find out more about how it all started and their vision behind the project

Image via SAYS

At first, both Ee Lynn and Marie were working in separate departments within Sime Darby Property. The duo came together and birthed the idea of dto for the PNB Group Innovation Challenge Idea in November 2017, where their team won sixth place.

However, it took a good half year before they managed to convince the entire Sime Darby Property management to get on board with the idea. After all, they were initiating a change that would affect the work process for the entire company.

In May 2018, dto received its seed funding and began operations with the full support of the Project Sponsor, Gerard Yuen, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer of Sime Darby Property.

"Before we started, we had two conditions - it had to be either both of us or none of us. Secondly, we wanted Gerard to become our mentor."

Gerard Yuen, Marie Leong, Dato' Wan Hashimi Albakri, Tee Ee Lynn

Image via SAYS

"Gerard has many years of experience in property, and we needed his guidance and advice. So when he agreed to become dto's project sponsor, we decided to go for it. If it wasn't for him, I don't think we would have gotten this far, this quickly," says Marie.

Image via SAYS

The results for dto have been encouraging, with already more than 3,000 users on their online platform. The cool thing is that apart from voting online, you can even visit dto's material display exhibition to touch and feel various aspects of the building in real life, from tiles and door knobs to bathroom sinks and toilet bowls.

Image via SAYS

Sime Darby Property has launched two residential projects on the dto platform, with the first being a high-rise in Subang Jaya, slated to be launched later in 2019. If all goes well, you may be seeing more future Sime Darby Property developments going through the dto platform, and the team hopes for it to become the new norm.

Right now, the people spearheading dto are all in their twenties. Here's what they had to say to young Malaysians who are passionate about sparking a change in their workplace:

Image via dto
"Trying to push your idea can be lonely at times. But keep on finding people who will believe in you, one by one."
Tee Ee Lynn, co-founder of dto
Don’t give up! If you believe in the concept with the end goal in mind, you can definitely achieve it.
Marie Leong, co-founder of dto

Want to make your voice hear? Head over to dtolah.com today to vote for their upcoming developments

Image via SAYS

You can also pay a visit to dto's material display exhibition at the SJCC Sales Gallery, Subang Jaya to get a firsthand experience of "dto-ing" your future home! If you want to find out more, then make sure you don't miss their launch party happening this weekend, here are the deets below:

Image via dto

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