Realty Check | Day 16 | Nimesh Bhandari: How Technology can aid home buying process?… Powered by Bloomberg TV India

28 Aug,2014

By Nimesh Bhandari
Co-Founder and Director and Chief Operating Officer, RealtyCompass.com

 

For many people buying a home is once in lifetime experience. The dream process of buying a home will become a nightmare if adequate attention is not given for the whole process of choosing the right builder, location and project.

 

In the last 20 years, the landscape of home buying has completely changed with a large number of young home buyers and umpteen supplies of new homes. Also, technology is playing a critical role in changing the whole home buying process and addressing some critical problems which are otherwise unaddressed.

 

In this article let us look at what has changed in the last 10 years in real estate, and how technology is changing the process.

 

Rapid Growth of Condominium Culture

Riding on the liberalization wave and on sustained economic development, the realty market in India has expanded leaps and bounds in Metros, Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. Most of urban India (except Mumbai), lived in independent houses in the 1990s.  But the shortage of urban land coupled with rocketing rates of land made apartment is the way to go forward. Gated communities, condominiums and integrated townships have become the buzzwords of home buyers.

 

In less than 10 years, the number of builders has swelled from couple of thousands to over 20,000 builders across India. The real estate sector contributes over 6.3% to GDP and more than 7.6 million jobs per annum. Real Estate is second largest employer next only to agriculture. Regional builders are consolidating their position in a region and expanding their footprints to other regions. With over 81 million new homes required by 2030 for Urban India, the sector will witness robust growth.

 

More Choices creates maze of complexity for consumers

With an amplitude of choices in terms of builders and projects, consumers no longer can depend on their friends and relatives to figure out the best choice.  Consumers today are being bombarded about the new launches every week via Newspapers, Billboards and Radio. Though more choice is good for consumers, it is difficult for them to make a decision without proper guidance. Take for example a market like Bengaluru which has about 4000+ ongoing projects from over 1500 builders and it is impossible for a consumer to take a stock of all the projects without the help of a technology. Even if the consumer’s preference is limited to 2-3 localities, the consumer has more than 200 projects for the budget range to choose from. As a result, either the consumer is forced to settle down with a house which not necessarily is the best choice; or they end up searching the house for a long period of time. The search cost of buying home is very high and risk premium sky rockets while considering buying a home from non-reputed builder.

 

Technology as an aid to cut the clutter

The power of technology, internet and mobile can relieve the consumer from the pain of searching home in a big way.  India already has over 200 million Internet users and is set to cross 240 million mark by June 2014. Bulk of the internet users in India are mobile users – 150 million, while just 50 million are desktop/broadband users. The internet gives the power of search and comparison in user’s hands.

 

User can search, compare and refine the projects based on preferences and quickly shortlist the projects.  Saving projects for future discussion with friends and families is convenient. Technology also provides an option to search using multiple devices and from different locations with ease. With the help of technology, internet portals can also recommend projects to the users based on his past behavior. Technology empowers the portals to capture complex buying behaviour of user and create intelligent algorithms to recommend the right property.  All this helps the user to shorten the purchase cycle and compare and evaluate more options in short nick of time.

 

With smart mobile devices in consumer’s hands, they can even enquire about a property on-the-move. They can do an on-site comparison of nearby projects and mobile can help them navigate to a nearby project.

 

We have still scratched a surface of what a smartphone can do to a home buyer, and there are a lot of interesting use cases which people are working on. As augmented reality evolves, it will open new avenues for the users. They can not only know the history of project/builder, but can also get a futuristic 3D view of the nearby area by zooming in time.

 

Social Recommendation about the projects

The hyperconnected digital world also enables the user to check user reviews and recommendations about a builder/ project. Consumer today can ask questions in a social forum and can get different perspective from other consumers and experts. Technology has enabled the whole experience of property buying so transparent where consumer can get all information in an unbiased way and can also check for the reference/recommendation with the help of technology and social media.

 

The digital era has transformed the home buying experience, buy making it more exhaustive, methodical and efficient. The graphic below summarizes the benefits of digital medium compared to traditional platforms

 

 

Let us take a real life example where Ramesh had a budget of 50 lakh and he starts looking for a home in Bengaluru. He is not sure of the exact location, but wants to have ready-to-move-in apartments. Ramesh goes online to realtycompass.com and starts exploring Bengaluru and sees that there are 76 ready-to-move apartments in his budget range.  He then digs further, and finds that there are large number of ready apartments in Whitefield and Electronic city in his budget.  He starts researching about the locality with respect to upcoming infrastructure, amenities and deals in both Electronic City & Whitefield.  He comes to conclusion to buy a house in Electronic city and then looks at toprated projects in his budget.  He identifies six projects which have ample units left and have very good accessibility rating.   He then compares these projects with similar projects in the area and identifies 3 projects where he wants to go for a site visit.  When he is near the site, he compares the project with nearby project in front of the builder and is able to negotiate with the builder.  Builder offers a good deal. He immediately checks out the review of the project and talks to few other people who have enquired in this project. He gets positive review about the project and is books his home in it.

 

As you can notice here, technology helped Ramesh cut down on his time spent, travel and phone bill by being able to quickly identify the location and projects where he wants to go for a site visit.

 

Coordinated by Shobhana Nair

 

Post a Comment 

2 responses to “Realty Check | Day 16 | Nimesh Bhandari: How Technology can aid home buying process?… Powered by Bloomberg TV India”

  1. Rise Resort Residency says:

    Thank You for sharing such a good and informative post with us all. I really appreciate your work.
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  2. rishitha says:

    According to me buying a home through online is the best option.Buyer can enjoy immense benefits like visiting many properties from the comfort of their home.I really like the feature – project analysis in the https://www.realtycompass.com where it gives accurate results.

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