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Ten best job magnets in Indian real estate

Posted on by Track2Realty

Track2Realty picks up top real estate employers of 2015.

Young Professionals, Business Team, Young Entrepreneurs, Expat Professionals, India real estate news, Indian realty news, India property market, Track2Media Research, Track2RealtyTo say that Indian real estate has failed to emerge as attractive employers would be stating the obvious. In one plain expression the job market of real estate could be defined as ‘fatal attraction & lower retention’.

When the Track2Realty survey tried to find as to which are the top ten employment worthy developers the real challenge was to broad base the study and apply scientific methodology to find what makes these developers the job magnets.

The researchers spoke to a cross section of real estate professionals to pick the top 10 employers and understand what makes them a relatively desirable employer. In an opaque sector where professionalism is a far cry, talking about the desirable brand to work with nevertheless amounts to walking a tight rope and prone to be termed as ‘Devil’s Advocate’.

However, the survey noted that at least some of the leading companies are showing intent to improve the level of professionalism and emerge as ‘Employer Brand’ since the developers are realizing the cost of high attrition rate and the lack of talent in the market. Such developers may be few and far between but they definitely show the way forward.

The aim of the study is to be a constructive critic that also tries to find out the aspiration level of the professionals in the sector. And hence, the researchers did not talk to the top management of these companies where the developers’ blue-eyed boys are calling the shots within the organization.

Rather, mostly mid management level employees were interviewed to understand what makes them stick to these jobs at a time when the realty jobs have both perception issues and the lack of professionalism. More importantly, what has bothered them the most to be so disheartened and disillusioned with the sector.

The Top Ten employers in Indian real estate in the year 2015 have thus been chosen by the respective vote of confidence by the professionals. These are the companies to have managed to ensure that the professionals stay engaged, if not as happy & satisfied as with other sectors. But they at least have the employees on board who have spent at least over a year with the same realty firm and are planning to stay for some more time.

It would be equally fair to put a disclaimer here that the research team could approach only top 10 real estate companies in the major real estate markets. These companies were shortlisted, based on their size, financial figure, employee strength and overall brand worthiness to pick up the Top 10 Employers.

The process may have kept a small developer with a handful of projects but good track record of being an employer out of the contention to figure as a quality employer.

But since the reliable data within the sector has been a challenge, such an exhaustive study has its own limitation as well. We also therefore understand why this kind of study is normally not done in the Indian real estate.

What probably would not be music to the ears of the developers is that the study finds that brand reputation is not the job magnet for real estate professionals. What this also suggests is that brand loyalty is missing in the sector and the professionals are open to be poached by the competitors or change the nature of the job given the opportunity.

Since the sector is weathering crisis at many fronts, it seems the employees’ choice is also based on the critical factors of job security and rewards. Learning opportunity is the last reason to take up a real estate job across the sector on a pan-India level.

The survey thus aims to provide feedback to companies on what the employee marketplace thinks of them; which qualities in a company are considered important by employees; which factors attract quality talent; and what demoralises them.

In first such study in the Indian real estate sector, our researchers try to get insight into the minds of these real estate work force to get a psychographic analysis.

What is probably the grey zone for most of the developers in terms of their emergence as employer brand is the absence of learning opportunities for real estate professionals.

In an age where the Indian corporate sector is increasingly striving to help the professionals upgrade their skill sets, the real estate sector does not seem to be bothered about it. As a result, it fails to retain the quality talent within the company and the sector at large.

    #1. Godrej: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Brand reputation 38%
  • Competitive Environment 20%
  • Rewarding career 20%
  • Learning opportunities 12%
  • Job security 10%

#2. Sobha: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Rewarding career 35%
  • Brand reputation 24%
  • Competitive Environment 16%
  • Learning opportunities 14%
  • Job security 11% 

#3. Tata: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Job Security 26%
  • Rewarding career 26%
  • Brand reputation 22%
  • Competitive Environment 16%
  • Learning opportunities 10%

#4. DLF: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Competitive Environment 24%
  • Brand reputation 24%
  • Rewarding career 22%
  • Job security 22%
  • Learning opportunities 8%

#5. Oberoi: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Job security 24%
  • Brand reputation 24%
  • Rewarding career 22%
  • Competitive Environment 18%
  • Learning opportunities 12%

#6. Lodha: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Brand reputation 25%
  • Rewarding career 23%
  • Job security 20%
  • Competitive Environment 19%
  • Learning opportunities 13%

#7. Prestige Estates: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Rewarding career 27%
  • Brand reputation 23%
  • Job security 20%
  • Competitive Environment 18%
  • Learning opportunities 12%

# 8. Purvankara Project: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Competitive Environment 27%
  • Job security 24%
  • Brand reputation 23%
  • Rewarding career 16%
  • Learning opportunities 10%

#9. K Raheja: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Brand reputation 25%
  • Job security 25%
  • Rewarding career 22%
  • Competitive Environment 16%
  • Learning opportunities 12%

#10. Nitesh Estates: What makes them a desirable employer?

  • Rewarding career 24%
  • Job security 22%
  • Brand reputation 21%
  • Competitive Environment 20%
  • Learning opportunities 13%

Indian realty fails to attract quality talent

Posted on by Track2Realty

Track2Realty Exclusive Realty Job Survey-II

Young Professionals, Business Team, Young Entrepreneurs, Expat Professionals, India real estate news, Indian realty news, India property market, Track2Media Research, Track2RealtyAt a time when attracting the best talent is as challenging as retaining them, and lack of quality professionals affecting the fortunes of many sectors, including the Indian real estate, it is appalling to note that the developers have yet not learnt the value of professionals.

As a matter of fact, they are just not bothered to professionalise their functioning and emerge as ‘employer brand’. Within the sector today the only discussion in respective management meetings is focused on cost cutting and hiring freezes rather than building an employer brand. 

In terms of real estate job being a magnet for the professionals, the pan-India survey by Track2Realty finds that the track record of the sector to attract the young aspirants is pretty poor.

Not even one out of ten, only 8 per cent, find learning opportunities in the sector; 16 per cent find the work environment competitive but for all the wrong reasons; only 18 per cent think the brand reputation of the developer will help their future career growth; only 22 per cent find job security with a real estate job and a majority 36 per cent are with the real estate job for a rewarding career in terms of money alone.

Real estate as a sector does not attract the best of talent is a known reality within the built environment of the business. But what probably is a matter of serious concern for the developers is the fact that the satisfaction index of the professionals is slipping down even further year-on-year.

The percentage of extremely dissatisfied professionals goes up from 31 per cent last year to 37 per cent this fiscal year; somewhat dissatisfied professionals are 26 per cent this year compared to 24 per cent last year; 18 per cent are neutral/not sure; 12 per cent are somewhat satisfied compared to 14 per cent last year and only 7 per cent are extremely satisfied as against 9 per cent last year.

When the going was good for the sector the developers had this moral high ground of being among the best pay masters to attract the talent but the slowdown has exposed them on various parameters of pay parity as well. More than half of the realty professionals, 52 per cent, have been given salary cuts in the last one year; late salary is a reality for 34 per cent real estate employees; and only 14 per cent are reasonably happy with the salary.

The question is to what extent has it affected the morale of the employees? More than seven out of ten, 72 per cent feel demotivated due to salary; 18 per cent feel the slowdown has affected the salary growth & structure across the industries; while 10 per cent are just indifferent due to various reasons.

One grouse that nevertheless affects the morale of the real estate employees across the companies is that there is no defined metrics of performance. Most of them feel performance amounts to just being in the good book of the developer.

“I am as good as my boss thinks; not necessarily on the performance but how good I am to make him feel good. Even the ability to sell the residential units in these tough times are not rewarded if I am not into the good books of the boss,” says Rajesh Vidyarthi, a real estate professional in Gurgaon.

As many as 75 per cent feel there is a huge salary disparity for the same job, 16 per cent think the blame lies with professionals also for shouldering down the fellow colleagues, and only 9 per cent think that salary and company benefits are equivalent to the performance of the employees.

The survey demography belonged predominantly to the employees with urban upbringing and quality education, exposed to the corporate cut-throat competition and a significant number of respondents were exposed to both the real estate as well as one or more other sectors.

Majority of these professionals had joined the sector for better pay packet and did not expect the sector to be very professional; yet the dissatisfaction level indicates the developers failed to provide even the basic professional benchmark that was expected for them to function.

The survey further zeroed down to the psychology of the respondents who maintained that a job is a job and some kind of compromise is inevitable. The study noted that these professionals are mostly expat professionals from rural areas and small towns, hence less job opportunities compared to the professionals with urban upbringing, better education and more job avenues to opt.  What it clearly says that realty is also a haven for the professionals who have no other job market for them.

Expat Indians a key demand driver of property

Posted on by Track2Realty

Young Professionals, Business Team, Young Entrepreneurs, Expat Professionals, India real estate news, Indian realty news, India property market, Track2Media Research, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: The property markets of the financial capital Mumbai and the political capital Delhi has always been exposed to the reality that it is the expat Indians, the working class professionals, who are the key demand drivers of property. However, in the last over a decade or so this outlook on the migrant work force has become a pan-India phenomenon.

Today, most of the key cities with sizeable economic activities are a magnet for the young expat professionals who are the major demand drivers. Most notably, they are changing the conservative outlook of many of these cities.

The expat work force has rather been instrumental in expanding the boundaries of the given city and making the satellite towns a success story. Be it Gurgaon or Noida in North, Pune or Ahmedabad in West, Bangalore or Coimbatore in South and even Kolkata in East; the expats are contributing to the economy of the city and its property market is increasingly devising ways and means to attract this segment of buyers.

Beyond the two metro cities of Mumbai and Delhi, in the next phase of market evolution what started with IT driven locations like Gurgaon, Bengaluru or Pune, that have been witness to the migration of large educated workforce, has today spread beyond the IT/ITeS boundaries. It is also reflective of the given city’s overall economics that suggests the large workforce will have a major share in creating the demand.

The scenario has drastically changed within a span of few years. People from different walks of life are settling down in the cities and analysts often even assert that they cannot be termed as expats anymore because they are willing to settle in the city. But then demography of these cities are changing fast with the educated workforce migrating. It has fast turned many cost conscious cities into a cosmopolitan and the aborigines are becoming more dependent on migrant population.

MNCs magnet for expats in North India

If the Southern suburb of the Delhi-NCR continues to command the premium due to its luxury quotient the credit to a large extent goes to the Multinational Companies (MNCs) who have been the magnets for large young work force from across the country. Gurgaon, as a matter of fact, shaped up as the first corporate city at a time when the financial capital Mumbai was the only obvious choice for the corporate sector. Within a decade Gurgaon emerged as a preferred city for the business world and its demand reached to a level where it started giving a tough competition to the island city Mumbai with its open spaces, quality office & retail and the luxury apartments.

It is noteworthy that majority of the young professionals in this part of the world are actually expats who have been employed in the MNCs operating out of the city. These MNCs are not only providing the white collared and blue collared jobs to the youth but also fuelling the consumption driven society where the aspiration level is high and quest for luxury even higher. Since luxury living and property investment is pretty high on the aspiration level of these youngsters, luxury residential apartment in Gurgaon is doing much better than any other luxury city of India.

DLF which has to its credit the creation of DLF Cyber City that continues to be the MNC’s first choice even after decades maintains that no other city has been as high on the wish list of the corporate sector as Gurgaon. DLF spokesperson Sanjey Roy says that the city does not grow in isolation. It has to match the infrastructure development with the overall aspiration level of the city with enough spending power and that is possible only when there are enough quality jobs in the market. Naturally, MNCs and the young professionals are the deciding factor in the economy of the city.

“A lot of people ask us why other cities could not replicate the successful model of Gurgaon. Well, first of all the idea should be to conceptualise a new lifestyle city and not to replicate. Since the effort has been more to replicate, hence no other city could shape up as the luxury landscape the way Gurgaon evolved over a period of time. Moreover, attractive destination does not exist in isolation as thriving economic activity is what sustains the market in general which needs quality real estate that can attract the aspiring class and they could complement each other,” says Roy.

As the city of Gurgaon started getting saturated, Noida that till very recently has been a distant second option for the aspiring expat population has suddenly become a sought after location. The reports indicate that the investors are most bullish now on the Noida market for long term appreciation. A major reason is that the city is quite affordable and attractive for the expat population. Of course, the developers have sensed the giant leap of the city in terms of its attraction quotient and hence the lifestyle options are increasingly being developed to attract the expat workforce.

Nikhil Hawelia, Managing Director of Hawelia Group feels Noida is a natural home to the expats for reasons more than one. First, it is much more affordable than other destinations which are magnets for the young professionals and also business community. Also, the physical infrastructure is much better than many other destinations that are high on the wish list of both the corporate sector and the expat working professionals.

“Expats driving the real estate market is a reality that everyone within the built environment now well understands. The point is Noida may have been a late mover in emerging as a magnet for investment but then this market has a locational vantage point for expats across the Delhi-NCR. To add to it, there is increasing penetration of corporate giants which is further enhancing its attraction quotient,” says Hawelia.

Lifestyle calling card of expats across West India

With Mumbai getting saturated, increasing urbanization is a phenomenon that is driving both the corporate sector and the expat workforce to Pune. The city will continue to see more migration in the foreseeable future since the urban environments are offering citizens from rural pockets better opportunities and a better livelihood. With Pune being a magnet for such migrant workforce the property market in the city has been benefitted in the last few years. The share of this upwardly mobile, well-earning and lifestyle driven class in the Pune property market is only set to grow. As of now, they stand out as a key demand driver.

The rise and growth of Pune in terms of primary drivers in the city are the migrants working with sectors like IT, automobile, education and other manufacturing sectors which has led to the growth of city’s economy. Better supply itself is pushing the demand for urban crowd where the good climate all through the year had earlier made this city the pensioners’ paradise.

Abhay Kumar, CMD of Grihpravesh Buildteck says still IT is predominant in Pune but there are other drivers too for real estate growth of the city. The improved connectivity of Pune-Ahmednagar-Aurangabad is driving Raanjangaon belt on one side and the news of Navi Mumbai Airport has shown remarkable interest in the Mumbai-Pune Expressway areas.  Pune has got advantage that it can grow on all sides. Lavassa Road area, Pirangut, Paud etc too have witnessed some encouraging developments.

“Primarily yes, the expats are the main demand drivers in Pune. The quality of development too has been due to such demands where the customers are well travelled, well aware and well payers. One can observe the development of hotels, recreational joints, malls etc being the main driver for such growth which has been mainly due to the latent demand of the expats,” says Kumar.   

Similarly, an outside view on the real estate market of Gujarat may wonder with the change of property dynamics. A market known for long as the cost conscious market where economy of the region was heavily loaded in favour of affordable housing has suddenly blossomed into a market where high-end and even the luxury property is doing brisk business. The change of property category is evident not just in residential units, but even the office space and retail outlets have undergone major change in the last around a decade.

A study by Track2Realty finds that more than one third, as many as 37 per cent, buyers are expat professionals and entrepreneurs and that makes Gujarat as one of the leading markets where the share of expat buyers is higher than any other city, outside the metro cities.

Revati Kasture, CGM & Head–Research and Grading with CARE Ratings believes Gujarat is a hub for manufacturing sectors like automobile, pharmaceuticals, gems & jewellery, petrochemicals, chemicals etc. It is also emerging as a centre for IT/ITeS industry. This makes demand for real estate lucrative. Gujarat is nowadays witness to a huge investor demand from entrepreneurs, NRIs and from neighbouring cities like Mumbai and Pune. The investor demand is more skewed towards plots and apartments.

“Most of the demand from expats is investment driven. However, with many mega projects lined up and emergence of state as financial & IT/ITeS hub increased demand from migrant population would lead to higher demand for housing. GIFT city alone aims to create one million direct and indirect jobs. The NHB Residex shows marginal uptick in Ahmedabad real estate prices, while Surat real estate index has stayed flat and range-bound. Though the trend in prices is expected to be steady, in the longer term with demand rising, traction could be seen in real estate industry in Gujarat,” says Kasture.

Expats scaling up cost conscious South India

Analysts have been wondering in the last couple of years that when the property market across the country had been witness to slowdown, how come the South Indian cities like Bengaluru and Coimbatore market kept the momentum up with no visible signs of stress. As a matter of fact, the property prices in these two cities across the asset class noticed upward movement in the range of 10-15 per cent, thus bucking the trend of slowdown.

Many thought these markets are end user driven where the local economy and local demand has been the main driver and hence the market remains unaffected. However, one of the most critical components that flushed in the buyers’ money into the property market of Bengaluru and Coimbatore has been the ever increasing demand from the expat community.

Increasing urbanisation is today changing the urban demography of the two cities completely. The expats professionals are flocking to Bengaluru and Coimbatore not only from the South Indian regions but across the country. They are fuelling the local economy in general and property market in particular. More importantly, they are the one who do not hail from the city inheriting parental property but need to buy houses.

Anurag Jhanwar, Director, CRISIL Real Estate Ratings finds a reason behind this growth of Bengaluru as the new lifestyle city. According to him, Bengaluru property market is tilting towards lifestyle options because the young professionals are opting for those.

“In recent times demand in the Bengaluru housing market has been triggered by the growth of the IT/ITeS and manufacturing industries in the city. Employees working in these companies, including migrants, are creating this demand, which is also paving the way for a lot of townships. Hence, there are a number of townships under construction in the city. These young working professionals have fueled the consumption cycle of the city’s economy, which has had a corresponding effect in the growth of the property market, including retail outlets, malls and office spaces,” says Jhanwar.

On Coimbatore market, Revati Kasture says with increasing demand for new units, the prices in the city have increased by 10-15 per cent for new launches. Also, rental values have soared by 25-30 per cent in last couple of years. The absorption trend in Coimbatore is expected to remain stable and will follow last year’s trend and the prices are expected to rise at 6-9 per cent year-on-year basis depicting a healthy overall growth of real estate demand in and around Coimbatore city.

“The current demand is from IT/ ITeS employees who are expats and demand for good facilities & amenities, infrastructure and thus there is heightened activity in construction of integrated townships and residential projects. With IT offices and commercial complexes demand too is rising and it will lead to overall demand for better infrastructure in Coimbatore,” says Kasture.

Expats defy East India trends & perception

Kolkata may be seen in the collective consciousness as a land that does not encourage investment and job opportunities and hence not a market for the expat professionals. But wait! In the last one decade it is the expat professionals who have come up as the main demand driver of property. The transportation and communication have improved in Kolkata like never before and is probably the only metro city, not only in India but in the entire world, which has the cheapest and several transportation options from any place within its precincts or even from the suburban areas.

Kolkata has surpassed all the other metros in India in terms of being a magnet for professionals, paving way for its real estate developers to even think of building homes in areas which are not very close to its city centers. Hence, very good homes have mushroomed now in the various suburban areas of Kolkata, like BT Road (North), Chandpur Champahati (extreme East), Baruipur (South) and Howrah (West).  The prices are affordable due to low land cost of those areas, but various commuting facilities and economic opportunities have ensured that expats are investing in these areas.

Jitendra Khaitan CMD, Pioneer Property Management makes an interesting observation when he points out the success of service apartments in a city like Kolkata. According to him, Rajarhat and Salt Lake areas have the maximum supply for service apartments because of its proximity to Sector V, the IT hub of Kolkata and the international airport. The areas in south and central Kolkata such as Park Circus, adjacent locations of EM Bypass, Park Street, Ballygunge etc. also witness good demand due to their connectivity to the railway station and metro network.

“The huge supply in Salt Lake and Rajarhat provide enough choices to the corporates which may create scope for negotiation on pricing to strike the attractive deal on bulk office space and that would derive a win-win situation for both the developers and corporate buyer/tenants. Service apartments, another relatively new concept has picked up in Kolkata over the last few years. These are the ready-to-move-in flats that provide the occupant a fully-furnished unit along with optional facilities such as baby sitter, chef, Wi-Fi connection and a 24×7 service kitchen. Enhanced volume of foreign tourists, frequent & prolonged business trips in the corporate sector and increased investor interest has made service apartments a sought after property segment in Kolkata,” says Khaitan.

Conclusion

The moot point here is whether the expats are the prime demand drivers of property market across the major cities of India? Have they outnumbered the demand from local population and hence expected to change the market dynamics? Well, it may depend city to city and the expats may not be the project riders everywhere as of now, but they have certainly emerged as one of the key demand drivers of property market across the major cities of India.

Increased economic activity will lead to more urbanization and hence expats will continue to be a major demand driver in future. It may not have changed the market dynamics completely in every city but the most visible change is in those cities where the spending pattern has been relatively conservative and per capita expenditure not as high as in other major cities. What can be vouchsafed is the fact that the expats have surely made their presence felt in most of the urban property markets across the country and the developers have taken notice of that. And hence, the real estate trends in many key cities promise to change the market dynamics more in favour of expat professionals.