Mumbai: Battling a slowdown, builders are now using the online platform to woo homebuyers; a move experts believe may not pay off as most consumers don’t book homes without a personal visit.
A leading portal, indiaproperty.com, had a special sale week with discounts for 20,000 apartments spread across their 200 projects. Other builders such as Tata Housing, Kolte Patil, XRBIA Developers, DLF, too, are offering incentives to boost online booking.
Ganesh Vasudevan, chief executive officer, indiaproperty.com, said, “We need to push sales for which online portal seems a great medium. Consumers can sit in their homes and go through the properties with a 3-D floor plan and virtual tour.”
The portal also tied up with financial institutions and furniture companies as a value-added service.
Experts, however, are sceptical. “Homebuyers make hundreds of inquiries from friends and experts before buying any property. Even NRIs first send their relatives to the construction site before buying a property,” said Ajay Chaturvedi, a real estate expert.
Tata Housing Development Company, one of the pioneers of the concept, claimed consumers have opened up to the idea of buying products such as cars and real estate online. “The buyer gets direct access to the company, without the brokers. We have integrated a secured payment gateway to enable ease of transaction and safety of our consumers across the globe,” said Brotin Banerjee, managing director and CEO, Tata Housing Development Company.
XRBIA Developers said online portals are popular among IT professionals and NRIs. “We have started a 24x7 chat facility so that buyers, especially NRIs, can get their doubts cleared,” said Dheeraj Kochhar, vice-president, L&D, XRBIA Developers.