RANJANI GOVIND takes you through fresh online concepts in home purchase

Several new concepts have cropped up in the market that could well prove to be of assistance to customers who need help while zeroing in on their choice of property. Newer perspectives that need to be looked into while buying and contemporary trends that facilitate an easy deal are what make these drifts and developments in buying and selling gain more value additions.

Take the unique ‘Home Group Buying Concept’ started by Pune-based Nitin Degaonkar from his Home Buyers Combine (HBC). The company provides option for buyers to register on its website (www.homebuyerscombine.com) with preferences for location, specifications and budget for the kind of home one is seeking. While these applicants are grouped according to their choices, HBC approaches builders/developers with its package of home aspirants for building the same for these customers. HBC charges a facilitation fee of .5 per cent of the property value to its customer and two to four per cent from the developer. Degaonkar has brought the concept to South Bangalore with the ‘Solaris’ project on Bannerghatta Road with 100-plus units of 2- and 3-BHK.

“We have opened registrations for home buyers in Bangalore, with attractive price options leading to 17-20 per cent benefit,” says Degaonkar. “Through our e-commerce platform, we are creating clusters of people who are looking for a specific type of house, with detailed location choices and budget. Then we either initiate projects along with developers or approach upcoming projects that suit the needs of these clusters. This provides the builder with a customised project configuration which rescues him from the market risks and provides him with upfront funding from the buyers and eliminates some major non-value adding costs of financing, marketing and risks for the developer. The savings facilitated by group buying are extended to individual buyers within the group as substantial discounts,” he explains.

HBC’s group buying socio-economic set-up provides a platform to home buyers to stand together in order to demand fair and just services from developers. “It has worked wonderfully in Pune, we have had 400 home deals in just one-and-a-half years. We expect Bangaloreans to try this fresh concept, as it is a consumer service set-up,” says Degaonkar.

Compare and buy

Groffr.com has a ‘Compare projects’ feature to attend to people wanting to compare projects before finalising their dream. “Finding a home requires you to do a lot of research on property available in your desired location. We are straightaway offering an online tool where one could compare projects, sizes, amenities, locations and rates,” says Sandeep Reddy, Co- Founder & Director of Groffr.com that also deals with group buying in the realty sector.

Says Sandeep, “As it is important to know the prices of other projects in nearby areas to ensure that one is getting the best deal, we believe this new feature will assist buyers in taking a better decision. It lets you organise different projects and helps you compare prices, features and specifications side-by-side. You can add up to four projects of your choice into the same page, using this compare tool. The basic idea is to help you quickly scan projects, its amenities, features and prices that would be yours for the best price. Our ‘Add to Compare’ button on the project on our page www.groffer.com will take you along,” he explains.

To reach the niche, worldwide

Sulekha.com, another digital marketplace for local needs, has announced the launch of Pantheon, a showcase for high-end luxury homes valued between Rs.1 crore and Rs. 25 crore in India. Pantheon (pantheon.sulekha.com) is targeted to reach the niche and the growing HNI (High Net Worth Individuals) segment in India and NRIs abroad — constituting about two million households - through multiple channels such as web, mobile (iPad), e-magazine, print version, and e-mailer.

Commenting on the launch, Param Parameswaran, Chairman, Sulekha.com, said, “There is a strong market need for high-end luxury homes and we are a single source for HNIs which provides distilled information on high value properties.”

Satya Prabhakar, CEO, Sulekha.com, says, “As premium properties zoom in both selection and value, we have seen surging demand from HNIs in India and NRIs abroad for evaluating and buying high value property and Pantheon is designed to be the one-stop destination for exclusive lifestyle homes and property. We have designed it for the web, mobile (iPad) and print platforms in an integrated manner that gives our estimated two million audience a clutter-free way to browse and buy.”

Pantheon has been launched with over 100 listings across seven cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. The listings include individual houses, villas, apartments, flats, condos, farmhouses, beach houses and new and upcoming projects.