Developers Cast Wider 'Net' for Home Buyers

The real estate industry’s shift to e-commerce is gaining momentum, fuelled by builders’ needs and customers’ convenience. A township in Chennai put up for sale on SnapDeal last week is perhaps the latest

Published: 28th July 2015 04:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2015 04:45 AM   |  A+A-

Developers

CHENNAI: Last week saw one of India’s largest real estate development firms put up plots in a 240-acre township in Chennai for sale on SnapDeal - the multi brand, multi product e-commerce retailer. While SnapDeal is the only multi-sector e-commerce player to have ‘Apartments’ as just another thing it sells, the real estate industry’s shift into e-commerce is gaining speed - fuelled by developers’ needs to reach a large market, cost effectiveness and buyers’ convenience.

Chennai has more than 11 projects listed in SnapDeal’s apartment listings, including Mahindra Life Spaces, Unitech and the Santorini project of Tata Value homes. Booking prices range from anywhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000.

Unitech’s own 240-acre Aspen Greens Township situated between OMR and GST Road is a prime example of what’s driving online listing and transactions for real estate — reach and customer convenience. “The idea behind collaborating with an online marketplace portal like SnapDeal is to not only reach a wider audience but also to make real estate purchase a simple and smooth affair for our customers,” said Praveer Shrivastava, head of marketing, Unitech.

The developer, which sees 10per cent of all its converted enquiries generated online, is also planning to put other projects in other cities on marketplaces like SnapDeal.

“We are planning to bring the number upto 25 per cent in a year’s time,” said Jaideep Singh, senior VP, business development. There will also be discounts for people who buy plots on SnapDeal though the figures aren’t disclosure yet, said Unitech. 

With residential demand for space slowly but steadily rising over the last few months after a very bad year, real estate developers want to take every advantage available to them.

All through last year, real estate players have put a humongous amount of property up for sale online - primarily through property fairs like those conducted by online real estate portals Indiaproperty, Commonfloor, Squareyards and most recently Magicbricks and through normal listings on sites like SnapDeal, housing.com and 99acres.

The conversion figures for these fairs, with discounts and virtual realty platforms giving buyers a trip through what their homes would look like, has been fairly decent - considering the fact that the most that online platforms offer on the transaction front is a booking amount.

Take Squareyards.com’s sale of July 5 for a real estate developer called Antriksh. The hybrid sale, with both online and on-the-ground elements, saw nearly 350 transactions worth

$40 million carried out for properties put on sale. The costs involved in online booking mechanisms and fairs are quite low compared to traditional brick and mortar models.

According to industry sources, the cost of putting up an ad or organising a fair doesn’t cost less than Rs 15 lakh.

Online platforms are also offering customers increasingly sophisticated viewing options. According to Realty Compass.com’s CEO Nimesh Bhandari, pretty much everything being offered on the ground can be offered online. “This is augmented by the convenience of browsing your choices from home through video conferencing with builders, live feeds of project sites and so on,” he added.

Keep These in mind While Booking Plots Online

  •   Check if booking amount is refundable and within what time frame.
  •   Check on advertised payment schedules and what the developer is offering currently.
  •   Site visit mandatory before final confirmation
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