As web sites devoted to verticals such as matrimony and automobiles gain a foothold, property dealers too have found pieces of valuable real estate in the cyber world. Major builders as well as others are listed on quite a few web sites.

“This is a medium through which one can reach millions of people, says Najeeb Zakaria,” president of the Kochi branch of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India. He sees the web as a marketing medium to target Keralites in the U.S., Europe or the Gulf and in other Indian States. With pictures and location maps being uploaded, the sites becomes all the more relevant.

Search results

An Internet search for built-up properties or land in Kerala yields a number of results. Taking advantage of the web boom, builders too devise their marketing plans after getting feedback from various sites on which they advertise. It is definitely one of the most cost-effective media that covers the target audience very well, Mr. Zakaria says.

But reliability of the sites is a cause for caution. Experts suggest some initial verification done before getting business done through the web sites. The web site owners for their part need to build up an image for transparent dealings.

P.R. Anish, managing partner of swapnakoodu.com, says that the site takes no brokerage on dealings. “We give all the information and the contact person’s details on the site. The buyer and seller do the talking. We are only a medium to facilitate their coming together,” he adds. Launched about two months ago, his web site in Malayalam records trends in housing and architecture, comments on Vaastu and local rules and regulations.

Reaching out

Prashant Pillai, promoter of Pik (Properties in Kerala) group, believes that reaching out to the clients is a more intelligent way of marketing. However, one has to be consistent in managing the web site and should satisfy the clients to earn their trust. And herein lies the key. Over a year ago, there were a number of web sites promoting properties, but now only a few of them survive, he adds. “We provide service to the customers by providing more details about the land or building that they have seen on the web site by making our own enquiries,” Pillai says. Since the customer is not physically present here, such information becomes valuable.