Mumbai: After checking out a dozen plush new residential properties, Nikita Chhatbar finally zeroed in on one. Interestingly, it was not the swimming pool, club house or gym that tipped the scales but a chance to go on her daily morning walk 300 feet above the ground.
No longer would she have to navigate dirty pavements, potholes, uneven roads uncollected garbage and dog poo every morning. Instead, she could get her daily constitutional with the added bonus of a great view.
Tapping into the needs of aspirational buyers like Nikita, developers such as Omkar Realty, Nahar, Nitesh Estates, Mahindra Lifespaces and Tata Housing are offering new-fangled features, including rooftop jogging tracks, rooms for chauffeurs, automated car-wash facilities, infinity swimming pools (where the water flows over the edge), cafeterias, cricket pitches, golfing, virtual gaming halls, and even a dog spa.
Omkar, which is launching four new projects in Mumbai with similar features in the next two years, has a dog spa planned in all of them . “We interacted with prospective buyers and tried to understand their challenges. Many buyers with pets faced problems going out, so we decided to have a pet centre with a spa,” says Bharat Dhupar, Chief Marketing Officer, Omkar Realty.
Developers say these are not just marketing innovations to differentiate their product from competition but also a way to meet the needs of increasingly choosy buyers. These properties, which cost up to 25 per cent more, are priced between Rs 1 crore and Rs 5 crore, depending on the size and locality in Mumbai.
According to Ashutosh Limaye, Research Head at Jones Lang LaSalle, developers are increasingly feeling the need to do something beyond the ordinary to lure buyers at a time when sales are stagnant.
Tata Housing launched luxury housing project Amantra on the outskirts of Thane in October 2011, with facilities such as a jogging track on the 14th floor. It has sold all the 700 flats in the first phase and opened bookings for the second phase of the project, which has 565 units.