Men look at buying a house as an investment too: Rajeeb Dash

21 Oct,2013

Decisions related to housing and real estate, primarily have been domains governed by men. If women are getting involved more into the decision making of the type and location of the house, financial decisions in investing into the house are still largely taken by men. Or do we think so? Rajeeb Dash, Head of Marketing, Tata Housing, speaks to MxMIndia on how men have evolved when it comes to buying and investing into a house.


While we talk about the evolution of women a lot, have men too evolved in the last decade in the sense how they shop?

In developing markets around the world, the purchasing power of consumers is rapidly changing the way companies and marketers respond. The decision making power is still dominated by men who is the CWE (Chief Wage Earner) in India as women comprise of only 16% of working professionals in India.


The basics of men shopping continue to remain the same. They are very clear in what they want and as a consumer they are well travelled out to make proper decision as per their taste. Most men only shop when they have to, which is mostly need driven and the shorter the time, the better. The average shopping trip for a man is 72 minutes, for a woman it is 1 hour 40 minutes *.


With changing lifestyle and increasing global exposure, there has been a change in the way men shop. Men today are increasingly spending more time and money on clothing, grooming products and technology gadgets etc. Being well traveled they realize the importance of carrying oneself as a professional and being participative in the overall dynamics.


However, it also safe to say that men are increasingly paying attention to the physical aspect of dressing up and are not merely focused on the comfort factor. This has led to a surge in products that cater to these needs and increased marketing of the same.


In Real Estate they play major role in terms of making the buying decision and also being the focal point in the family to influence others as real estate is always being the high ticket item purchase. Being exposed to the global market, the current trend among the HNIs is to buy second home which becomes weekend destination / holiday home. As per their life style they choose the product. To cater to this high flyers and new affluent segment, Tata Housing has launched luxurious villa project in Kaushali near Chandigarh. The project is designed on the theme of biophilic / bio-diversity architect so as to


How’s men’s approaching in buying property changed in the last few years? Or is it the same? What was priority for them a few years ago, and what’s now?

In recent times, growth in residential sector in the last few years has been driven by healthy demand for properties across price segments from working population of people in the age group of 27-45 years. In the past, people who purchased a property were below 45 years. The age of a home buyer has drastically decreased over the years today.


Men today consider several points before investing in property. In the past, men in India felt a matter of pride to own a home. Now, as the demographic investing into real estate has changed, men don’t buy to own a home alone. They look at it as an investment, evaluate long-term benefits of buying versus renting etc. in a nutshell, they look at the overall picture and the buying decision comes from what is beneficial to the buyer in a holistic way. Currently they are more focused towards long term investment rather than short term


Do you think, men involve their family more in buying a house, than what they would say 10 years ago? What’s bringing in this change?

The decision to purchase a house is embedded within a set of economic and socio-cultural processes. It varies from different property markets across the globe. While the act of purchasing a property constitutes a significant economic event for a family, the process of purchasing a house is an inherently social activity, involving setting goals, discussing and negotiating family needs. Depending on the region/area of the buyer, home buying defines the roles for each family member in the decision-making.


Being the head of the family, the man will always consider the needs of his family before making a purchase. However, the direct involvement of the other family members depends on the mind-set and often the economic dependency of the partner. The more economically independent, the more likely she is to be part of the decision making. Also the property buying always involves the location, the kind of amenities & facilities been provided.


How do men look at buying a house in factors – financial asset, a genuine need, emotional? What takes precedence? And would the order of precedence be the same for women too?

For men, the decision of buying a house depends on various factors. It depends on whether this is his first home, the age of the buyer(s) and then the purpose of buying the house (Investment etc.) Typically a man will go with a genuine need, followed by – financial asset and then wrap it up with emotional attachment.


For women, the order of preference may or may not be in the same order, however, given their inherent aesthetic nature the emotional quotient in the decision making is much higher.


How would you approach at the spot (construction site/property site) in dealing with a man differ from dealing with a woman? What are the attributes of the house/property you would play up while dealing with a man and what would be the attributes you would play up while dealing with a woman?

According to the National Association of Realtors, a US-based organization, since the mid-1990s, single women have purchased homes at nearly twice the rate as single men.


Similarly, data collated by global real estate brokerages also suggests that how female buyers’ preferences and behaviors differ from those of single men. For men, preference is given to buying foreclosures with an intention to invest, while single women buy homes they love.


Men would automatically look for parameters like access to office, bus stops, railway/metro lines and availability of parking lot etc. They would pay intricate attention to room size, carpet area, the populace in and around that area, safety issues etc.


Women, on the other hand, would typically look at access to schools, nursery, day care, supermarket, temple, medical care, other neighboring social amenities, and of course pay equal attention to safety.

Needless to say, developers will play up these attributes accordingly.


Property buying has always has been something wherein the right part of the brain conflicts with the left part while making a decision. There are two sets of consumer segment – one would like the external aspects of the project like the project master plan, building look / elevation / perspective, landscaping, club house etc; while the second segment would like the internal aspect like the efficiency of the room – there has to be more carpet area, the rooms need to be bigger, kitchen has to have dry balcony, privacy for the bed room and light & ventilation etc So, as a developer, we need to give the best of both world in order to satisfy both these sets of consumers.


Is there any difference in the aspirational behavior of a small town man and a metro man?

There is certainly a difference in the aspirations of a small town man versus a metro-bred man. The exposures and influences are different and hence their need and understanding of ‘luxury’ different.


The former would be what we call a Rural Aspirer, aspiring to achieve a status which will put him in the middle class bracket; while the latter can be safely termed as an Urban Aspirer, who on the other hand, is aiming to work hard in order to bracket himself as an upper middle class and more so lifestyle oriented.


Both have aspirations and some might mimic each other, but at the end of the day, both want to aspire for a better lifestyle. A simple illustration would be buying a home and buying a weekend home.


When it comes to financing the property, do you think the Indian male is taking more risks than what he would ten years ago? Can we the same for women too?

Property buying has become extremely organized now as more and more consumers are opting for home loans, a process which demands significant levels of transparency, both from the buyer and the developer.


While buyers are now increasingly opting for lavish homes that are expensive and are willing to take a Rs 80 lakh home loan for a tenure of 20 years; this cannot be interpreted as taking more risks because a financial institution is involved which is keeping close track on both the buyer and developer.


Moreover, men are increasingly buying more property and at an earlier age, but this is an investment decision taken with a lot of precautionary care and after clear financial assessment.


Therefore, the risk-taking aspect has actually gone down, because the purchasing power has gone up and so has the financial intelligence of buyers.


Are marketers keeping pace with this evolution and is there enough study on men’s buying behaviour?

Marketers are trying to be in sync with changing needs and expectations of consumers as much as they can, but more research and understanding of consumers’ buying patterns will certainly aid marketers in reaching out to consumers in a more effective manner.





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One response to “Men look at buying a house as an investment too: Rajeeb Dash”

  1. Sunil Thakur says:

    Right said Rajeeb. Mostly home and property buying decision are taken by men not woman. But I hope in future we will see change.