BENGALURU: Online realty portals that are competing in a fastgrowing market are banking on developers spending more on online marketing and new property sale, boosting a stream of revenue for these companies that aim to grow beyond listings alone.
"We are seeing more and more builders want to list their properties online as well as sell online," said Advitiya Sharma, cofounder, housing.com -- a SoftBank-backed company. Housing recently collaborated with Tata Value Homes to sell four of their properties exclusively on their website. "We have got thousands of requests from developers all over the country who want to exclusively sell houses online with us. We will be doing many such campaigns all through 2015."
Developers see the online medium as a new lifeline. "Traditional ways of marketing projects didn't work for us, so we are now looking at online channels more closely and it has given us good traction," said a Bengaluru-based developer.
Amid projected macroeconomic growth and welcoming policy developments, other startups including Common-Floor, are banking on developers to shift more marketing dollars online, which would in return boost revenues.
According to Sudhir Pai, business head of Magicbricks.com, the challenges to be addressed this year include building scale by increasing penetration --both at the user as well as at the client end -- and continuing to improve data quality and listing accuracy. "The share of online wallets is on the rise. We shall be rolling out several products, services and platform initiatives aimed at building user stickiness," he said.
"With better home loan rates and the government changing the norms of affordable housing, more middle class will invest in 2015, and we want to get them as close to the buying decision as possible," said Sumit Jain, co-founder of online property marketplace Common-Floor.com, which has been backed by hedge fund Tiger Global. According to industry experts, each developer is looking at allocating as much as Rs 2-5 crore per project on online marketing and selling. This is up from last year's Rs 10 lakh budgets.
"In 2014, new projects in real estate didn't grow much and that has been a dampener," said Mukul Singhal, principal at SAIF Partners.