Ashish Narain Agarwal, PropertyPistol.com

Tell our readers about PropertyPistol, your professional journey.

PropertyPistol was launched in 2013 to align the key stakeholders in the Indian real estate i.e., the buyers, builders and brokers, to create immense value for them. The belief that our country lacked a buyer-focused real estate company led me to start PropertyPistol.com along with Tushar Shrivastava. We knew that our collaboration will bring about a transformation and a positive difference in the sector, especially to the homebuyers who are the most underserved. With over 9 years of existence, the company today has a strength of over 1000 employees, catering to all the top regions in the country along with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

PropertyPistol has already captured a 1.8% market share in the top metro cities in India and has become a major contributor of business to top developers across the country. Our key offering – PropertyPistol Syndicate has been a hit among real estate brokers since its launch. It is a unique broker aggregation and engagement platform that aims to bring the brokers on one single platform and explore the endless possibilities on the app to make their business quick, transparent and seamless.

We have been able to considerably reduce the deal loss rate, enable borderless access of markets for brokers and been able to develop a robust network of brokers through the app. With a streamlined and organized approach facilitated by PropertyPistol Syndicate, we have been able to provide a host of property options to the homebuyers and are able to serve them exactly as per their requirement.

 

Help us understand your opinion about current trends in the Real Estate Sector.

Currently, the sector is bullish and driving on several fresh concepts. Corporatization has been catching up in the market as big companies and brands are focused on buyouts and takeovers. Although the sector is picking up, the repo rate increase to counter inflation has led to property prices to rise in some segments.

In order to tackle the situation, the finance ministry announced a cut in the iron and steel import duties to reduce the cost of raw material and steel products and help in the price correction of properties. Another positive development that has given an impetus to the sector is the infrastructure development, rail-road connectivity, accessibility, technology adoption, across metros, Tier 2 and 3 cities helping to resolve connectivity issues.

The COVID 19 pandemic familiarized the trends ‘work from home’, hybrid work culture, and home-schooling, which demanded optimum space and bigger homes. Millennials have been looking for aspirational lifestyles and have been looking for homes with luxury amenities. With the requirement of larger space by home buyers, the demand for affordable and mid-segment homes has been rising. The ready-to-move-in homes are mostly preferred as they do not pose a risk of delayed possession.

The trend of co-living spaces for comfortable work-live-stay setup has been picking up big time especially after the pandemic.

 

Tell our readers how technology has transformed the Real Estate sector, especially when we are talking about sales.

Technology has had a great impact on the real estate sector. While technology has been leveraged in the sector since some time, its significance was clearly felt when the pandemic struck. India has been a witness to several Proptech companies that have been introducing some amazing technology solutions to ease the lives of home buyers.

Developers are focused on advanced construction technologies like Building Information Modelling (BIM), Construction Robots, Drones, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain and Machine Learning. Players in the sector are planning strategies to leverage the power of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Robotics, etc. in real estate.

A sector that was used to only conventional methods of interaction quickly swapped to virtual site visits, digital bookings, video meetings, online deal closures and procedures. We are stepping into an era in which a lot of importance is given to sustainable eco-systems, tech-friendly security solutions, green initiatives, etc.

 

Help us understand the role of channel partners for a developer and how they are helping the Real Estate sector’s growth?

A channel partner is the most important link between the customer and the developer. They are the agents that ensure the developers’ inventory is sold within a stipulated time period owing to their strong connection within a particular locality. They usually take over specific locations and gain as much knowledge about price trends, vacant apartments for sale or rent, proximity of projects to key areas, etc.

They also keep track of minute details like availability of water, electricity and parking areas in a project, construction quality, surrounding regions, past experiences of customers, etc. The channel partners have thus built a reputation of being the most transparent and knowledge equipped with updates on every minor development in a particular project in an area. They provide value to the system through their expertise in sales and the relationships they build with the customers / developers. Channel partners ensure that a developer’s reach and exposure to home buyers is expanded immensely.

During the COVID what were the challenges faced by the developers and home buyers?  What was your approach and how did you help them to overcome?

The pandemic brought with it a sense of unpredictability and uncertainty as none of the businesses were prepared for such a situation. It seemed gloomy during the initial phase of the pandemic with dipped sentiments across brokers, developers and home buyers alike as constructions halted, migrant labourers were unavailable and personal interactions stopped. Gradually, people realized the power of technology to connect, network, set meetings and site visits and successfully lead a sales transaction.

Thereby developers and channel partners prioritized technology investment to ensure no barriers in sales. Moreover, the demand for homes was unexpectedly shooting up owing to the requirement of larger spaces, government initiatives like low interest rates and stamp duty cuts that increased the purchasing power. The festive season also helped keep the momentum high. Hence despite the pandemic, the real estate sector has stood by strong and been the most resilient.

 

What is an expectation from the 2nd half of the year as that is considered to be a lucrative time keeping in mind festive sessions Etc.

Festive season has always been the harbinger of increased sales and positive sentiments in the Indian real estate. The year 2022 started on a very good note for the sector, however the price rise in raw materials and commodities brought forth mixed reactions. While there has been a spike in the property rates, the sector heaved a sigh of relief as the finance ministry announced the duty cuts on steel and iron imports.

Moreover, the sale of properties in top regions of the country in the first quarter of 2022 was growing like never before, as highlighted by a research report. The post pandemic recovery has pivoted the demand for owned spaces and improved standard of living has pushed this demand further. If the momentum continues, then we can very well expect the second half of 2022 to be as fascinating as the first. Considering the festive season has always spiked the sales tangent across major regions in the country every year, we hope the sector will face a similar situation this year too.