It is a known fact that the online portals have revolutionised the shopping experience. People get to know about various models, brands, prices and compare them with a click of the mouse and take a decision. This seemed to be easier instead of visiting the shops and going through the tiresome process of asking the salesman to show different varieties which in times, due to over exhaustion, had resulted in bad choices. This trend has now shifted to real estate business. It is unbelievable since the stakes are high and huge investments are involved. But it is happening.
News and facts:
There are some exciting news about what is really happening in the online portals. Lodha group has promoted a township in Navi Mumbai. Sales from online portals alone have contributed for the sale of 100 flats which is a new trend that is to be entered in the history books as a mile stone achievement. The surprise doesn’t end here. Tata Housing which is a subsidiary company of Tata Group sold over 200 flats. This was triggered by an online campaign that lasted for just 5 days. The same company had registered a sale of 50 flats from online portals during the Google online shopping festival.
Tata Housing had in the past 4 months registered a whopping sale of 450 flats through online portals. This is a trend setting change that is going to alter the marketing strategies of all builders.
Scenario of the past:
Before this major change in the mind-set of the buyers, there were lots of indications that this trend is going to step in to the market. According to a survey conducted by Google more than 8 million people search for real estate options in India. Making a research for property through internet had considerably increased in recent years. It is found that 70 % of the property buyers come well equipped with information about the property, prevailing rates, quality and the services featured in the township.
This is the tendency that gave a kick start to the real estate business through online portals. But, initially, buyers used the online portals and search engines to research various property options. Net searching provides a wide range of probabilities that could be used to compare the price of properties. One can also compare the facilities and features offered by different promoters with ease and could take firm decision on what they want. Jobs of the portals and internet searches stopped here in the past. The buyer who has done a complete research then would approach the promoter with full knowledge about what to expect and what to ask in the process of buying a property.
Change in the mind-set of the buyer:
The past trends started taking an about turn as various portals anticipated the change. They started offering more information and data that would help the buyer take a wise decision about a property. The increase in sharing of information and data accelerated the searches for property deals. Financial institutions also joined hands with the portals and builders. Financing of property procurement is made easy and is made available over the net portals. Eligibility criteria are assessed online. Those having a healthy bank account and working in big organisations are given top priority and are targeted.
Demand for properties:
Most of the builders promote their property at the construction stage itself. So there is nothing that a buyer could gain in making a visit to the site to give a personal inspection. But, you cannot just wait for the construction to get completed to assess and select a property because almost all flats get booked even before the construction is completed. Such is the demand for flats in prime localities.
Property research through online portals:
This offers no other option for the buyer than to go for an internet research. Here you can see the location of the flat, proposed facilities offered and the nearby locality even. You can also have a look at the floor planning and flat layout. You can sit in the comfort of your house with your family surrounding you and take a decision. You can discuss the locality with your wife and the offered facilities with your children and even select the appropriate layout that suits all your family members.
Why online booking?
OK. You have selected the builder and the property you are going to buy. Is it necessary to visit the promoter and make the booking? No, online portals offer a one click option to make the booking and then comes the payment option. You are going to make only an advance payment that could be easily managed from your regular bank account or from your credit card.
Role of financial institutions:
Then comes the option of managing the entire purchase of the property. Here the banks and financial institutions come into play as explained earlier. The combined efforts of the promoters, online portals and financial institutions had bought about a change in the mind-set of the buyer.
The change in trend is still at the beginning stage and a lot of ground work needs to be done to make this change permanent and to take it to the next level. There are some encouraging news though. Searches through net about real estate is increasing by a whopping 35 % every year. About 50 % of the buyers are influenced by the information and data provided by the portals and real estate consulting sites.
Future promotion methodology:
Technological advancement is also playing a role in the process. Builders post the daily progress of the construction with photos that keep the buyer engaged. Some of the portals even offer direct live telecast of the progress of the construction. These initiatives increase your curiosity and induces you to again and again visit the portals to see the progress. Such online live displays not only tell about the progress of construction but also would tell lots of stories about the construction activity. You can see the way construction is planned and executed. Whether the activities are organised or not? Whether the Engineers, Supervisors and workers are efficient at their work and how they are treated and to what results.
Sharing such vital information could be turn negative for the builder if something wrong happens and gets transmitted online. But still the builders are prepared to take the risk as they want the online research to increase that would pave the way for a conversion of the viewer into a customer either through online portals or by person.
The influence of online portals have come to stay in the property business and this good news for the buyers as they could gather all information, take a decision and make the purchase without any strain.