Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Consumer & Market Trends in Real Estate

Real estate in India continues to be a favored destination globally for investors, developers and non-resident Indians (NRIs), driven largely by investor-friendly government policies and increasing globalization.

Being a good employment generation sector, real estate contributes effectively to India's gross domestic product (GDP). The foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector is expected to be much better in the next 10 years from its current status. The real estate sector in India is witnessing rapid growth in the residential, commercial and industrial segments.

Real estate development, once restricted to bigger cities, have shown marked progress in smaller cities and towns owing to availability of banks loans, higher earnings and improved standard of living. The sector's progress is driven by factors such as rapid urbanization, a growing trend towards nuclear families, positive demographics, rural–urban migration, ever-developing infrastructure, higher income levels and housing demand. The real estate sector, with its growing investment opportunities, is expected to boost annual revenues to a great extent.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013, as approved by the Union Cabinet is a pioneering initiative aimed at delivering a uniform regulatory environment to protect the consumer, help in quick verdicts of disputes and ensure systematic growth of the sector. The Bill will promote transparency, fair and ethical business practices, relating to transactions, through disclosure of project details and contractual obligations vis-à-vis the project and the buyer, promoting informed choice for the buyers. This will substantially reduce the power asymmetry prevalent in real estate transactions.

The Bill will infuse professionalism and promote planned development of the real estate sector through the promotional role of the Regulatory Authority. The Bill will ensure timely completion of projects, and prevent fund diversion. The Bill provides for a speedy and specialized adjudication mechanism to settle disputes between the promoter, buyer and real estate agents, thereby de-clogging the civil courts and consumer forums, from disputes in the real estate sector.

Another upcoming trend is namely the increasing focus of online property transactions. Traditionally in India, agents are the centre of real estate transactions. Involving face to face contact not only means a much more personal approach, it also reduces the risks of property scams. There is an involvement of the third party as a mediator, to take care of the intricacies. This position of an agent has been a distinctive feature of the real estate business model in India for a long time.

Recently, there has been a change to the role of an agent as middle man, with a number of online resources entrenching their position as the agents’ front window, listing hundreds and thousands of properties for sale and providing advice to buyers. Improved technology is increasing the popularity of virtual tours of properties, blogs with current information on the market and insights and use of social networks. With buying real estate being the biggest financial commitment for most consumers, it is hardly unexpected that home buyers are willing to use what the Internet has to offer to support their buying decisions. The impact of the Internet on the real estate profession should not be underestimated. Agents should utilize opportunities offered online to adapt in their business models and include the use of technology in their business success strategies.

Agents are already embracing the use of the Internet, dedicating a greater percentage of their marketing budgets to online initiatives. Despite the challenges the Internet has brought to the real estate profession, it is doubtful that it will replace agents. Indeed, expertise offered by professional real estate agents and their social networks to other professionals cannot be substituted by online resources. It is important to remember that new technology poses threats but at the same time delivers benefits. Agents need to adapt themselves to this changing consumerism, success lies ahead if they can be more transparent, fair, professional and educated for the transaction.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Real Estate Investment – Building Wealth - On the Side

These days we see people don’t give much importance to savings, they want to spend more than they earn. Although our predecessors, always told us the importance of saving and they used to be really careful and participative with that. One is the saving in the bank, and another which grows exponentially is with real estate.

I am not giving here any guidelines for savings but real estate if chosen with care, is building wealth side by side, you need not be full time on with it, but even with right market knowledge and guidance one can on parallel along with existing business or job can create valuable lifetime assets.

Another reason why creating real estate wealth is important, I have seen people working in a job, where they are absolutely despised with it. Each day is worse than the previous one, so it is in a situation like this that you spend all your free time devising a way to get out of that job. You just need to fell head-over-heels in love with real estate investing and trust me you will not have to look back ever, if you play your cards right. With right property portfolio, you shall have cash flow enough to pay your bills. On the other hand, even if you love your job and would never dream of quitting, still invest in real estate, but in a different way than the category above, for them its full time career, for you it is building assets for your life, post retirement.

Principle number one for investing is to relax about investing, and gain a little motivation. Whether you are a brand new investor and struggling over the hurdles of getting started, or you are a more advanced investor and just hitting the usual obstacles, it always helps to take a deep breath, exhale, and calm down. Now doing the first things first, how much you are ready to invest and how much credit you can get to invest?

Now check which side of the city is growing, where are the upcoming projects, so that there is a potential of exponential return on your investment. Where prices have already gone up, there the return is less; it reaches the stagnancy and saturation point faster. Now do the right amount of due diligence of the project, location and developer involved. Comparative market analysis shall help to check the right pricing. If all these steps are taken in righteous manner, you can avoid the majority of unexpected!

If you don’t know it on your own, ask how to do it. Trust me this this is tried and tested and it has been extremely helpful. If you ever want to do something, there is a way to do it. You just have to find it and not reinvent the wheel on your own. So don’t ask whether it’s possible or not, figure out how it can be done. There is a way. Ask the experts, talk to brokers/ consultants working in that particular region. Ask questions. I had so many questions in red ink when I started out that I dare you to think you can ask more than I did. Don’t hold back because you think it might be a stupid question!

The idea here is building up lasting wealth using real estate as the tool to get there. The point I am trying to make is it is possible to have a career in real estate investing without investing in real estate and it is possible to invest in real estate without having a career in it. But ultimate goal is building lasting wealth. All the Best!!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Real Estate- Dreams of Today n Vision for Tomorrow

Way back in 2003, when I got into real estate, after spending years of my life in architecture, little did I know, what I was getting into. Real estate at that time was more like a property shop, disorganized, with hardly any processes or systems in place; it was not an industry at all. But I sincerely love my decision of stepping in here; it transformed my life forever. After spending eleven years here, I can definitely call this an industry, and I can say that I truly love real estate.

This industry is full of innovative thinkers, socially responsible developers, and mostly ambitious individuals. The real estate game is indeed played by the people, and it’s the people that make it great. With that in mind I encourage each and every one in this profession to become a student of the game and gain more knowledge every day to bring about positive change. As this industry is changing very fast, so we need to be updated and kept abreast with latest trends and information. In this industry's language only "An Investment in knowledge pays the best interest".

It is not easy to be a real estate developer, today when we have examples of lot of entrepreneurs; business conglomerates that were successful in other industries, have now entered into real estate and made a huge success story. It is only by having a big dream today, and having a great vision for a better tomorrow, which helps one succeed in this industry, despite all the odds that are likely to come your way. I would like to add here- "Vision is the Art of seeing what is Invisible to others."

What I have realized and always felt is that, Real estate professionals are certainly a unique group of people, a group of individuals with completely different skill-sets, who come together and build something that is architecturally significant, makes a neighborhood better, and create wonderful humane spaces in which people can work and play. One creates tangible assets that make an immediate impact on society.

Real Estate involves a grand physical scale, a component of artistry, and a relative permanence. But real estate can also be dangerous, when you know less and think you know it all. Life is all about learning more and more, and at all ages and at all phases of our life, so learn more and more and let it become a little less dangerous. In business schools we learn a lot of techniques and concepts, but no school can teach us about real financial risk – the kind that would be life-altering for anyone. And trust me you have to put yourself in such a situation, in order to understand a real estate transaction. Then only you would be in the right position to understand what your client is going through. For choosing this as a career, understand the risks involved, and the decision making hiccups involved. But it’s really worth the roller coaster ride, which this industry provides us, being a real estate professional, it allows me to participate in one of the most important moments in a person’s life, it allows me to protect these people’s interests, and be a person in their life that they remember as a confidant, trustworthy personnel, who helped them, sail through their tough deal smoothly.
I would encourage the youngsters to choose a career in real estate; it can open the door to many opportunities. Today’s fast-paced market offers a challenging career opportunity in real estate; however, long hours, hard work, diligence, and perseverance are a must to be successful here, but isn’t that true to be successful anywhere. Building a career in real estate, as with most professions, requires a great deal of hard work. But with commitment, there is potential for great personal and financial rewards. You should not expect immediate results, it does take some time.

Real estate is as much about relationship building as it is about selling. Those who have achieved significant success in the real estate industry may not only have a strong knowledge of the industry, but they also maximize the benefits of networking and continued education. Come join the bandwagon, be a part of this thrilling roller coaster ride, have fun.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Social Promotions N Real Estate

We all know the traditional methods of selling real estate, but with market turning uncertain and unpredictable, and the huge costs related to traditional marketing, one of the reasons that many professionals are no longer using radio, television or print ads to sell, any more.

But selling has to be done, then how to sell? One choice is to stick with the old and get tired with hardly or no good results, or second choice is to adopt the new and unique, be creative, have fun, sell more and enjoy. These days the current trend is people are becoming less social offline and more social online. So the action plan is to direct towards Social promotions online, we are discussing here about the huge potential this new medium of marketing brings to us at no extra cost.

But there are ground rules which apply to all types of networking. The real purpose of a social networking sites is to build relationships, networking, knowing people, understanding them. Don’t mix self-promotion with social networking. The rules of the game apply online as much as it does offline. People like to buy from the person they like. So make people like you online as well, not through self-promotion but through genuinely being interested in other people. Inbound marketing is the key, marketing that does not need to be intrusive or interruptive, one of the most organic and effective ways to accomplish these goals.

Social networking is the prime example of effective inbound marketing – if done right of course, we can reach our target audience and win them too. We have to effectively tap the online, unlimited resource, the place where a pool of prospective clients continues to grow each day. Every real estate professional knows that selling homes isn’t about buildings, it’s about people. They are living emotional beings, who buy and live in the buildings, don’t treat them like machines.

There is a difference between advertising and networking, develop networking. Be energetic, enthusiastic and passionate on line, tweet your enthusiasm to everybody out there. Passion breeds passion. What are the effective methods online to attract footfall to your site; make people interested in what you are doing. One approach is to create contests and special offers. For example:
  1. Photo Contest on Facebook
  2. Vote Contest on Twitter
  3. Sweepstakes on Twitter
  4. Video Contest on Facebook
  5. Pinterest Tab on Facebook

Use Twitter/ Facebook and blog/website for these types of contests. Get a little crazy and creative – loosen up and have a bit of fun. Enjoy being with people, understand them a bit, know their needs and then offer them what they want. Usually done by connecting emotionally with the buyer - establish and maintain a connection between the property and the potential new customer.

We know that video upload has been around for a while. We’ve seen the cheesy “buy the property” videos and the nothing-more-than-slide-shows-set-to-music videos. Creative use of video, however, is a concept that is just starting to take off as more and more sales professionals begin to feel comfortable stepping away from the herd. Go ahead show your creativity here, come out with some great, different ideas and concepts, load them and make clients interested.

Videos, email marketing, mobile apps marketing, blog articles, and micro-blogging efforts should all be working in one concentrated effort, in order to get as many qualified, relevant visitors back to the main website as possible. Since the objective of all online marketing and social promotions is to drive traffic to the main website, we need to have a well-designed site that is easy to navigate. A well designed website should be both eye-catching and informative. We should be able to generate more leads than we know what to do with. Just remember, website should be working for us, not vice versa. If it is not then one needs to reassess the website and marketing strategies. Go ahead be creative.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Emerging Prime SEZ

Gwalpahari area of Gurgaon, where usual concrete jungle has not yet been planned or even proposed later; is a perfect location to stay and work amidst beautiful natural set up. It is like working in a resort and staying in a forest.

With Gurgaon expanding in all directions on Sohna road, New Gurgaon sec- 82 to 88 till manesar and Gurgaon extension etc…; we have never looked at this potential side of Gurgaon which abuts, rather is an extension of south Delhi, just adjoining Chattarpur farms.

With existing Gurgaon already exhausted, this Gwalpahari area is poised for more expansion and addition of commercial and residential complexes in the near future, the government is improving connectivity both within Gurgaon and between Gurgaon-Delhi-Faridabad. Wide link roads between Vasant Kunj- Mehrauli Road and Gurgaon and between Andheria Mor and Faridabad road through Mandi Road and Gwal Pahari are being improved. The 10-km road has wide service lanes on each side, with provisions for street-lighting, footpaths for pedestrians, road signage and street furniture. As this road is being constructed it has decongested the heavy vehicular traffic entering Gurgaon from Faridabad in order to reach the National Highway-8.

The road cuts through the Aravalli Hills to make the distance shorter between the Gurgaon-Faridabad bypass road and areas like Sohna and Manesar etc. The road starts at Gawal Pahari village and connect upto Ghata village. This not only eases traffic from Faridabad which otherwise used to enter Gurgaon at Genpact crossing on Golf Course Road to go to Southern Peripheral Road, NH-8, Sohna or Manesar and ahead but also is a faster link for the upcoming sectors 58 to 67.

Now the real estate development along Gurgaon-Faridabad Road, is in a boom phase. The scenic view of the Aravali hills and the valleys offered by the residential and IT- SEZ projects under construction in this area has ramped up the demand in this area. Already, this developing zone has a 9-hole golf course. The prevailing rate of housing projects here is in the range of Rs 7,500-10,500 per sq ft. Gurgaon-Faridabad Road is shaping up as a prime location for real estate development with fast connectivity and improving infrastructure. Projects like Valley View by Ansal API; ASF’s Isle- De- Royale, Residences; Ninaniya’s hotel project, IREO Group’s Gurgaon Hills, Krrish Group’s Province Estate, Paras’s Trade Centre, etc, have already been launched on this road. Ansal API is the first developer which has delivered a realty project in Sector 1 along the stretch, handed over for possession in 2008. It has 14 towers, lavishly designed, over 23 acres.

IREO Hills within this region, is a high-end exceptional post degree residency, all apartments are very well created by utilizing top quality associated with architectures. This developing realty region is proving to be a good residential location owing to its excellent connectivity with Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, and South Delhi. The master plan of the area envisages a future Metro line, provision for wider roads, parks, along with a good combination of commercial and residential mix of projects. This stretch connects the economic centres of neighbouring states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. This road also connects Agra, Jaipur and other historical places of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Tourists coming from T3 airport or from Jaipur will also find Gurgaon-Faridabad Road highly convenient and time-saving for reaching tourist spots like Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan, etc.

The area is now one of the most sought-after IT SEZ destinations in the NCR. Saying this just to update about the ASF- Insignia complex, with 70 acres of lush green, existing SEZ in this area, is a lovely parcel of development, with already 1 million plus area up and operational, having IBM, Ericsson and TCS as major occupants and a unique residential project by the name of Isle De Royale, under construction, exclusively only for IT SEZ users.