Monday, 16 July 2018

Realtors - Employing Technology for a Personalized Touch

With technology improving by the hour, the entire real estate process has undergone a huge metamorphosis, as every step, right from property listing to finalization of the deal, has been impacted by its presence. The transaction process of buying or selling a property can be a tedious one but the right combination of a professional realtor and technology can make it a seamless one for you.

Devices like tablets and mobile phones are commonly used and customers can choose either, to transact and communicate with realtors and vice versa too. Realtors get a better insight to their business and have better control over day-to-day operations. It provides some fabulous opportunities of delighting the customers as new technology are equipped with tools to give great experiences to the customer and realtor. Realtors who employ technology in their business to boost their service quality, are able to provide top quality experiences to their clients, without compromising on a much-needed human touch. 

Providing Benefits to the Customer
Many realtor firms focus and spend a lot on digital marketing, lead generation, email marketing, sms blasts etc. in the quest to uncover potential customers and to reach them. However, although technology has its own benefits, it is a direct referral from a satisfied customer that still leads the way. Realtors who focus on giving a fulfilling experience to their customers during the entire process of buying or selling their homes, are more likely of getting references. Remember, buying a home is a hugely emotional experience for most customers and as a realtor if you connect well at this level, you have earned a client for a lifetime.

 While the human touch is important, customers love when things are simplified for them and technology does this quite efficiently and in a seamless manner. After all, they are using technology to simplify their lives, beginning with the morning coffee to booking flight tickets to finding life partners. Prudent realtors ensure that technology is used in the right context and quantity with the human touch. For example, although communication has many channels at its disposal, a face-to-face meeting serves many purposes and is preferred when the issue is complex. Use technology to exchange information and set up meetings. All this leads to a highly positive experience for the customer.

Treating employees as customers
As a professional realtor, you will have a team of sales agents who reach out to customers on the phone or personally. For successful running of your business, it is necessary to attract new talent and retain them too, as they represent your organization, its values and ethics. Provide them with suitable means of online communications in the office or when they are on the move, since this will help them to give your customers an experience that is garnished with the right amount of human touch.

 Keep the team interested and engrossed in day-to-day work by providing online training, a powerful communication device and the freedom to reach out to customers in the most suitable manner. Elaborate use of technology to keep the team connected between themselves and their customers is often the key to attracting talent and employee retention. 

Embracing technology for smooth running of business
Gone are the days when one had to sift through stacks of documents to review them or comply with the authorities involved. Technology helps us to store files, documents, signatures, deeds and agreements in the digital format and thus can be retrieved without a hassle. No paperwork is inaccessible as scanned documents can be easily forwarded or presented before the relevant authority in quick time. This provides a truly improved experience to the customers. Employees too, have more time on hand to carry out the tasks they are supposed to, and connect to more customers to sell real estate. 

 Technology helps realtors to market their business well and reach out to customers quickly, thus leading to more closures. The use of modern communication devices, CRMs and marketing techniques can be useful to a certain extent but remember these are only a part of the entire process. Adding the flavour of human emotions and face-to-face communications is necessary for realtors to give a personalized touch to probably the most important transaction of your customer’s lifetime.

Credit : Ramprasad Padhi
Founder & CEO – Mumbai Properties Consulting Pvt Ltd

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Realtors - Top Ten Creative Ideas to Give your Real Estate Marketing a Boost

Those who are a part of the real estate industry, especially Realtors who are involved in the buying and selling of property, will understand the challenges one faces in developing a unique competitive advantage. This is particularly true where there is a massive choice and carving a niche becomes absolutely critical.

If you are looking for inspiration and want to indulge in creative marketing, then here are a few top-of-the-line real estate marketing ideas to jumpstart the process:

1.      Weave a story around every property: As the tagline of a popular advertisement says “Har Ghar kuch kehta hai”, you could create a brand around every property you have in your list. Showcase a property by highlighting its most stunning features and use terms and phrases your client could easily connect too. Talk about inspiration and creativity if you know the prospect belongs to a relevant industry. Send him so carefully-selected images of the property or a professionally done video on WhatsApp to whet his appetite before showing the property. This will help in creating a positive image before the actual showing and will boost your chances of selling/renting the property

2.      Choose a special feature and highlight it: Although there are many financial implications of buying a home, the decision is mostly an emotion-driven one. As a realtor, identify a specialty of the home you are showcasing and make it a highpoint while presenting it to the client. If the residential complex has a huge, green garden as an amenity, highlight this when you know the client is a nature-loving one and wants to spend time away from the hustle-bustle of the city. If the couple have kids, paint a verbal image where they can see the little ones playing in the garden and using it as a playground.

3.      Advertise in the vicinity of good-looking homes: When you are searching the city for a place of your own, you often come across a gorgeous home or an attractive property that makes you wish you lived there. Flyers and posters near some of the beautiful homes in the city with a message that says “Want to live in a home like this one?” are enough to trigger an action in home seekers. Don’t forget to wait by the office phone as it will soon ring off the hook when you advertise in this way!

4.      Don’t miss your client’s housewarming party: After you have managed to crack that deal for your client, it is time to bask in its glory. If your client has organized a party or a puja, make sure you are invited to it. This is the time to let the select gathering of family and friends know that you are the guy who made this win-win deal possible. Your client is more than likely to introduce you to the guests and recommend your services to those who are on a house-hunting spree themselves. You could also offer to sponsor a portion of the party as a goodwill gesture and promote your services in a discreet manner.

5. Connect to an NGO: Every time you make a sale, donate some portion of your commission to an NGO or a charitable organization. Spread the word that you are associated with an NGO that works for the homeless or for orphans. Your client will feel proud to be associated with a realtor who takes CSR seriously and will gladly recommend your services to others. It could prove to be a tipping point if your client is torn between two properties and is quite close to taking a decision.

6.     Organize an event for new buyers: Home buyers are keen to get their queries solved about the home buying process, the legal formalities, moving into a new town or getting qualified for a home. Invite all your prospective clients for an informal do where their queries are solved by a living, breathing person and not a property website. Give a small talk about the things they need to consider while buying or selling or renting a place. Collaborating with interior decorators, home loan agents or movers & packers is a way of dividing costs since the target audience is the same for them too.

7. Drive the client to the property: It is a good idea to pick up the client from his home or a nearby locale while showing a property. It creates a good impression on the client and takes out the hassle of taking the public transport or use his car. It also gives you time to connect to the prospect and bond a little while you reach the destination. Arrange a car on hire if you do not have one and it will have a good impact on the client for a lifetime.

8.     Offer help with related things: Home hunters have many things on their mind while they are out looking for a roof on their head. Home loan, interiors, relocation, furnishing and school admissions are just a few that top the list. Provide as much help as possible especially if your prospect is new to the city. This will not only help you to close deals quickly but will generate a lot of goodwill too.

9.     Highlight pain points: While showcasing a property or advertising locally for it, focusing on the probable pain points your clients may face can draw attention. A paying guest will love to be freed of pesky landlords, strict rules, long commuting hours and congested homes. Target these areas while speaking to prospects and show them the brighter side of life to help them switch.

10.     Sponsor events when possible: Identify a few clubs in your city and sponsor a few events through the year, according to the client profile you cater to. If HNIs form a large portion of your client list and luxury apartments is your forte, then choose that exclusive club as your target. If you are a specialist with rental homes and budget apartments, the local club can be a wonderful place to be seen at. Decide on a budget and use it to connect to prospects where they are relaxed and unhurried.

It’s time to take a different approach while attracting clients since competition is growing by the day. Unique ways of connecting with prospective clients will certainly draw a lot more attention than traditional methods. So go ahead and try them out today!

Credit : Ramprasad Padhi
Founder & CEO – Mumbai Properties Consulting Pvt Ltd

Monday, 25 June 2018

Realtor to repay premium for not delivering promised view

The complainant homebuyer had booked an apartment in the developer’s project Xrbia Eiffel City Chakan PH2 situated at Chakan in Pune through a provisional allotment letter

MUMBAI: If a real estate developer has charged a premium for a specific view and the view no longer exists, the developer will have to refund the amount to homebuyers. In most property markets, realty developers usually charge an amount for this, implying an additional service provided to the consumer.

In a unique case, a homebuyer had filed a complaint with Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) against realty developer Xrbia Group stating that the developer had charged him a certain amount for premium view of a garden and other amenities.

The complainant homebuyer had booked an apartment in the developer’s project Xrbia Eiffel City Chakan PH2 situated at Chakan in Pune through a provisional allotment letter. However, the view now no longer exists as another building is coming up on the said location.

While the regulator has not passed any order specifically on this matter, the developer finally agreed to not charge the amount towards premium view from the homebuyer.

The developer submitted to MahaRERA that since the said premium view is not being provided, he will not charge the said premium amount towards the consideration price of the said apartment. The complainant homebuyer also agreed to the reduction of the premium amount from the balance consideration price.

Monday, 11 June 2018

BMC's new policy on dilapidated buildings in Mumbai may boost redevelopment

The new policy lists detailed guidelines for declaring private and municipal buildings in the city in C-1 category (dangerous and unsafe)

MUMBAI: The BMC has uploaded its new policy on dilapidated buildings on its website, which civic officials say will speed up the redevelopment process. Disputes between tenants and owners often lead to a delay in vacating a building and redevelopment drags on for years, said civic officials

The new policy lists detailed guidelines for declaring private and municipal buildings in the city in C-1 category (dangerous and unsafe); it doesn’t cover Mhada buildings, cess properties, and port trust and defence properties.

Under the new policy, the BMC will grant sanction for redevelopment—intimation of disapproval—only after an agreement providing permanent alternative accommodation in a new building or a settlement is arrived at between the tenants and landlord. No commencement certificate will be issued too till then. Also, if a BMC employee refuses to vacate a C-1 category building, despite alternative accommodation being provided, a departmental inquiry will be conducted against him for endangering the life and property of himself and others, and he will be suspended from service, pending inquiry. In case the occupier is a tenant, the agreement licence with BMC will be terminated and he will be evicted.

The BMC also introduced five technical advisory committees for the suburbs, the island city and municipal buildings to expedite the process of resolving disputes between tenants and owners over structural audits. Currently, there is only one such committee.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Cabinet clears amendments to insolvency and bankruptcy code

Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, briefing reporters after the Cabinet meet said, "I cannot disclose anything because it's a new legislation except to reinforce that the Cabinet has approved it"

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet today cleared amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), incorporating changes suggested by a government appointed panel.

Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, briefing reporters after the Cabinet meet said, "I cannot disclose anything because it's a new legislation except to reinforce that the Cabinet has approved it".

Asked if the Cabinet has cleared some relief measures for home buyers as per the recommendations of the panel, Prasad said, "there is something called constitutional protocol. An Ordinance till it is approved by the President, I cannot speak about the details".

A 14-member Insolvency Law Committee had made suggestions to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, including addressing woes of home buyers and making recoveries easier for lenders.

The panel had suggested that home buyers should be treated as financial creditors, which will allow them to equitably participate in an insolvency resolution process.

The panel has also suggested relaxations for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) under the IBC.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Only 10% registration of brokers bugs MahaRERA

A year after the implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), only 14,000 real estate brokers are registered with Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA)

PUNE: Concerned over the dismal registration figures of realty agents, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority has approached the Confederation of Real Estate Brokers’ Association of India to push up the numbers.

A year after the implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), only 14,000 real estate brokers are registered with Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA). With more than a lakh of brokers in the state, the number of registration is less than 10%.

MahaRERA secretary Vasant Prabhu told TOI that the dismal number of registrations was a concern for the authority and they wanted the Confederation of Real Estate Brokers’ Association of India (Crebai) to ensure that all their members registered, either individually or through a company, with MahaRERA.

Prabhu said, “We have directed Crebai to ensure that all their members associated with the ongoing projects register with MahaRERA. Citizens should go for deals with a MahaRERA registered broker only.”

MahaRERA has mandated that any broker who wants to sell apartments in a registered project needs to be registered with the real estate authority.

According to Crebai, MahaRERA has brought a form of regulation for the brokers. But of the 1.5 lakh brokers, nearly 80% are dealing with re-sale properties, who do not fall under the ambit of MahaRERA.

“Some kind of security measure should be given by MahaRERA to ensure that all brokers register. Also, our demands of standardizing the commission should be addressed by MahaRERA,” said Milind Kamdar, the president of the Maharashtra branch of Crebai.

“Though we are made liable for any violation, no rules have been made to protect our rights. Many a times, builders and buyers do not pay us our brokerage and there are no provisions to penalize them,” said another broker.

MahaRERA officials stated that they would be following up with Crebai regularly to ensure that the number of registered brokers increased. They would also conduct awareness drives to ensure citizens approach registered brokers only.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Residential sales in top 8 cities grew 13% in 2017-18: Report

Affordable housing continued to be the mainstay of the demand as the contribution of this segment to the overall sales in tier I cities

MUMBAI: Residential sales across top 8 tier I cities of India has grown 13% during the financial year 2017-18 (April-March) with Mumbai Metropolitan Region witnessing maximum growth of 25%, showed data from Liases Foras Ratings & Research.

Affordable housing continued to be the mainstay of the demand as the contribution of this segment to the overall sales in tier I cities including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad stood at 18% during the fourth quarter.

The government has been pushing affordable housing through various schemes and incentives. Lower home loan interest rates and necessary impetus by the government to affordable housing has played a key role pushing sales in this segment.

The government has supported the housing sector through affordable housing fund, lower Goods & Services Tax (GST) rates, increased tenure of loans under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and extended income tax benefits to apartments of carpet area of 645 sq ft.

Mumbai was followed by Delhi-National Capital Region with 19% increase in sales for the year. In south zone, Chennai and Bangalore have shown a slow down with sales numbers showing a drop of 15% and 5%, respectively while Hyderabad witnessed a growth of 17%.

On year-on-year basis, new launches across these top 8 markets have declined in most cities except in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata where launches grew 42%, 53% and 29%, respectively.

With a growth in sales and drop in new launches the unsold inventory in the tier 1 cities have dropped by 3% from a year ago to 9.29 lakh units as on March end.

During the fourth quarter ended March, residential sales across these tier I cities increased by 14% with Hyderabad emerging as the leader with a 33% increase followed by Bangalore with 30% rise, MMR with 19% growth and 14% increase in Pune. Kolkata is the only city that witnessed a marginal decline of 1%.

During the fourth quarter, sales in affordable segment with price tag of less than Rs 25 lakh increased 24% from a year ago. Sales in the cost bracket of Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh increased by 4% on an annual basis. Sales in the cost bracket of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore increased by 17%, while sales in luxury segment with Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore rose 13%. Sales in ultra-luxury segment above Rs 2 crore rose 13%.

Weighted average price across tier I cities witnessed a muted increase of 1%. Marginal decline of 1% was observed in Pune and NCR while prices dropped by 4% in Chennai. Prices in Ahmedabad witnessed no change while a slight increase of 1% was observed in Hyderabad , Kolkata , MMR and Pune each, the data showed.

NCR led with the highest contribution to sales in the affordable segment with 26% followed by MMR with 23%, Ahmedabad with 20% and Pune with 15% of total sales in this segment. All 8 cities cumulatively sold highest in cost range of Rs 25 lakh – Rs 50 lakh, with sales of 35% of total sales, followed by cost range of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore at 30% of total sales.

Among regions, MMR contributed the highest to overall sales at 17,143 units or 25% of total sales followed by NCR at 15,326 units or 22% of total sales, the data showed.

During the quarter, MMR added the highest new launches, with a contribution of 25% followed by Bangalore 17% and NCR 11%. Among various cost segments, the cost bracket of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore witnessed maximum new launches amounting to 39% of total new supply followed by the cost brackets of Rs 25 lakhs to Rs 50 lakhs with 36% contribution.

The Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore segment of MMR witnessed maximum launches of 5,545 units contributing 11% of the total new launches across eight tier 1 cities. Kolkata contributed 29% of the new launches in the affordable segment with less than Rs 25 lakh followed by MMR 25% and Pune 24%.