Brokers in NCR region integrate to grow in relevance
Jan 31, 2014
Source : The Economic Times


DELHI: A large number of Delhi-NCR based small real estate brokers are joining popular platforms to get a wider bottom-up reach. While these big platforms are educating the nuances of modern day practices adopted by the industry to small brokers, apart from giving them the brand value, the former too is benefiting by getting more penetration into the micro markets.

Experts believe that adopting technology and remaining connected is the only way out, working in isolation would make them obsolete.

Amit Gera, director of Noida based Better Option Propmart (BOP) said, "In an age, when the end user is so savvy and has access to all the information, it is imperative for a broker to be relevant to the demands of the customer."

Endorsing Gera's observation, Sudhir Pai, business head, said, "Agents are becoming digitally more aware and increasingly adopting portals like ours, to reach out to the audience on the internet." He added, "The number of 'active paid brokers' using Magicbricks has grown by more than 50 percent in the last one year. We have close to 40 percent market share on traffic; and we believe that it would be of a similar order for agents too."

Gera called BOP a more sophisticated and evolved form of brokering firm, that has not only engaged small brokers but also helped developers reach smaller markets in the Delhi-NCR region through its network. The four-year-old company which boasts of clients like DLF, Wave, Jaypee Group, Mantri, and IREO is an 'underwriter' firm, a term used for companies who act as distribution channels for developers for the entire project or a major chunk of that.

"We have a team of 700 brokers under us across the country. We sell property through these brokers.They get 2 percent commission from us, which is an industry average. It is a significant amount considering that we work on exclusive projects," said Gera.

"Agents are locality specialists - who provide a human touch. The level of personalised advice, guidance, information and service that agents provide is unmatched. Agents are aware of the intricacies of local property deals and rely on us to provide them with leads and business opportunities," said Pai elucidating on how integration was of mutual interest.

Gurgaon based RealtoExpress has also jumped into the bandwagon, designing its own platform called 'close my deal' (CMD) to integrate big and small brokers across Delhi-NCR region. CMD is an enterprise software solution for the real estate sector. Anupam Saha, co founder and business head,RealtoExpress said, "CMD is currently being offered as a free tool for the existing clients and their associate network. Apart from the complete business solution that the software offers, its ability to integrate agents, developers and end users alike is its USP." Kamal Anjana, director of Axiom, a real estate broking firm, spoke on how platforms like CMD are becoming critical for their business. "Over a period of one year, since we have synchronised our website with the CMD platform things have become more organised.

It has been useful in campaigns where we have got the lead on responses generated by that campaign. We have also been able to track the performances of employees as well as brokers under us. Every information, be it sales, meeting or presentations made to the clients is logged, which is a determinant of the salary or cut (in case of brokers)."

Saha added, "We wanted to create a platform where a broker sitting in Bharatpur or Mahendragarh would be able to sell a property to his client in the smallest pocket of say Ghaziabad in the most transparent manner." Brokers were of the view that the commissions were divided as per the understanding between them.

This also helped them get clients from other areas apart from the clients in their respective areas.Gera further added, "We are working with 30-40 developers at any point of time so the variation we offer to brokers working for us generally fits the specific requirements of the customer. They don't have to look out for those requirements of customers elsewhere."

Rajeev Sahni, managing director, All India Real Estate Agents Association (AIREAA) believes that besides the business opportunities, bigger platforms have made smaller brokers more accountable.

"AIREAA like any other online platform has made sure that there is no misinformation or wrong information from broker's side. The customers can even tell their experience about a particular agent. This would not only keep a check on the conduct of a particular agent because everybody will now be able to know about the agent on the internet through the integrated social media tools incorporated in platforms, but also reward him (as more clients might refer him) in case if he is getting more likes or recommendations," said Pai and Saha equivocally.





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