By Ankit Kansal:
The hitherto unorganised brokerage space began witnessing massive changes in the latter half of the previous decade when numerous search and discovery platforms emerged on the Indian realty landscape. Equipped with super-powerful algorithms and high-end analytics, these websites assimilated large databases of real estate information on integrated platforms. Coupled with easy and attractive user interfaces, users could access large chunks of data with a few clicks.
However, they were still unable to solve one of the biggest challenges in the real estate transaction cycle — to enable end-users purchase properties. At the onset of the present decade, a host of consulting companies began to facilitate this and offer a wide range of other services under one umbrella. Besides advanced technologies, these advisories had high-quality manpower that helped in handholding the buyer throughout the transaction cycle.
Modern real estate consultants connect the dots across the entire value chain. They take special care to conduct due diligence before entering into an agreement with developers. This ensures that they seal deals only with developers who have a strong track record of on-time delivery and regulatory compliance.
Modern transaction advisories invest a lot in developing state-of-the-art user interfaces to showcase properties in a digital manner. They also give importance to analytics while developing benchmarking tools that help users navigate across numerous properties, compare them and identify the right project fit.
The contribution of the digital interfaces is augmented by the efforts of an on-ground sales force that helps buyers map their property requirements and identify suitable projects. The team comprises seasoned property experts who have an in-depth understanding of their respective local markets. Acting as relationship managers to individual clients, they assist them in mapping their individual needs, arranging iterative site visits, evaluating numerous options available and finally zeroing in on the best property fit.
However, the role of property advisors does not end here. To ensure consumer convenience, dedicated CRM (customer relationship management) teams are set up to handhold buyers through the documentation and legal process, thereby ensuring a hassle-free experience from start to finish. Advisories are also helping buyers in securing home loans, as they have tie-ups with banks and other financial institutions.
As the real estate sector becomes more organised, the advisory space will gain further momentum. Currently, the primary residential brokerage space in 10 major Indian cities is valued to be around $3 billion (Rs 212 billion). More than two-thirds of the market share is controlled by individual brokers, whose number is estimated to be slightly over 200,000 in these cities.
In the light of policy overhauls such as RERA, the demand for professional advisories will continue to grow. In the next five years, it is estimated that nearly half of the transactions will be facilitated through organised consultants.
New-age consultants are embarking on active channel partner programmes, wherein they are empanelling individual brokers on their platforms. In the newly-evolving symbiotic relationship, while brokers will share their contacts with the bigger advisories, the latter will offer professional support to individual brokers in the form of access to deals with larger developers, marketing support and training programmes, etc. As RERA compliances are becoming mandatory, smaller brokers will further try to align themselves with bigger advisories to stay afloat in a dynamic market.