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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Online real estate business likely to grow: experts
Mumbai: With a rising number of property portals entering the market, the online real estate business is expected to improve gradually as these websites bring transparency by providing high quality information about projects, according to industry experts.

Property portals are increasingly becoming a tool for research on buying, selling and leasing residential or commercial properties in many parts of the country, as the amount of information listed on these sites is increasing.

"By increasing the quality and quantity of information available to end-users, we attempt to bring in greater transparency to the entire gamut of buying/selling properties. It is our constant endeavour to increase the amount of information listed about a particular property and to avoid spam or incorrect listings," Magicbricks.com business head Sudhir Pai told PTI.

According to experts tracking the realty sector, sites such as Magicbricks.com, 99acres.com, Makaan.com, IndiaProperty.com and CommonFloor.com are fast becoming the choice of consumers looking for renting a property, as well as for developers.

"The online real estate market is yet to reach an inflection point as seen in the travel or e-commerce sector. However, with the penetration of internet more and more consumers in the urban areas have started using this medium as the first point of search for all their real estate needs," HomeShikari.com chief executive P Sunder said.

Currently, the size of the property portal market is around Rs. 250 crore going by the topline of some of the listed portals in the country.

This market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50-100 per cent in the coming years, mainly on the back of increased focus on this medium of communication by buyers as well as developers. This model also helps decision-making faster for buyers.

"The internet and consequently the evolution of e-mail, the company website and the onset of property portals has transformed communication between the developer and potential customer radically and for the better," Poddar Developers managing director Rohit Poddar said.

It has led to the democratisation of information in the real estate space and evolved as a significant communication tool with the customer. Besides, it is highly cost-effective," Mr Poddar added.

However, Devang Varma, director of Omkar Realtors and Developers, said that though such portals bring transparency, they work best for small ticket transactions only.

"Marketing property through web platform helps in reaching out to a large size of consumers who are keen on instant product information," My Varma said.

"Internet has evolved as one of the crucial platforms in sharing information to clients. For engaging your audiences, it is an extremely transparent channel. But these work best in low size transactions between Rs. 10 lakh an Rs. 80 lakh," he said.

In the relatively high ticket size property, this channel becomes rather ineffective, Mr Varma maintained.

Courtesy: NDTV Profit