Tag Archives: Editor

Why Consumer Confidence Index is needed in Indian realty?

Posted on by Track2Realty

By: Ravi Sinha

Ravi Sinha, Editor, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: When we conceptualised the idea of having a jury to rate and rank the realty companies, added with our conducting a pan-India survey to understand what shapes the brand perception of real estate companies and how the leading companies fare on the given parameter, we felt something is still missing in our analysis.

Of course, our jury members are all experts in the given domain and best brains to judge the brand perception of the companies, merely seeking public opinion about the buyers’ needs, desires and how far those are being fulfilled may not have given us the brand perception in its 360 degree spectrum.

Hence, the idea came up to let the public rate & rank the realty companies. Being fully aware of the fact that experts’ metrics of ranking on financial performance and product portfolio etc may not have been possible with the consumers, Track2Realty created a separate metrics for the end-users to rate and rank these companies.

A select set of respondents (1000 out of a total 10,000 samples) were zeroed in keeping in mind their socio-economic profile, brand consciousness, lifestyle etc. They are the people who are mostly HNIs and other upper echelons of society and understand both the branding and the business of real estate.

More importantly, they have invested with more than one company to meet the criterion of user experience, full well aware of the economy and read more than one newspapers to understand the media perception.

Results are interesting. Though the realty major still ranks 1st but no longer commands the cutting edge that it used to only a few years back. Some of the regional players are now neck-and-neck with the market leader and it is rather interesting to find regional players commanding as much brand premium as the national player like the DLF.

Moreover, the entry of the corporate like Godrej and the Tata have completely changed the dynamics of the business and all these are indicative of the maturing of the Indian real estate.

 

How much does brand matter?

Posted on by Track2Realty

By: Ravi Sinha

Ravi Sinha, Editor, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: As more and more real estate companies are getting bullish over branding in a cut-throat market, adapting to emerging business models and today’s Facebook culture, this survey tried to figure out whether they are being forced to transform their image or is it just a natural evolution of the sector on holistic branding parameters.

Does brand really matters in the business of real estate? If it does, then how much does brand matter for an average home buyer?

Branding is the reason you choose Coke over Pepsi or Pizza Hut over Domino’s and vice versa. But when it comes to buying real estate, how much do brand names matter? As real estate firms across the major cities and micro markets jockey for position in a tough market, the significance of branding is changing rapidly. And hence, Track2Realty looked at the importance of image, of companies & projects, in the altered marketplace.

A section of realty analysts and advertising experts tell us that brand loyalty is becoming less crucial in real estate, as technology grows increasingly sophisticated and consumers can access property listings without any third party’s help. Our take, on the contrary, is that in the absence of direct third party endorsements, brand plays a more powerful role than ever.

Of course, since the average buyer purchases a new home only once or twice in the lifetime, engendering brand loyalty in real estate is tricky. But then, real estate has emerged as the most preferred investment instrument in India and hence a subject of household discussion.

However, there is a school of thought that says big-name brands are no longer important enough to justify the high cost of property. But there are plenty of home buyers on the opposite side of the debate arguing that branding is more important than ever, and is crucial to communicating a firm’s offerings.

For example, Ackruti City, one of the largest realty companies in Mumbai renamed itself a number of times for reasons ranging from supposedly astro advice to image makeover of coming out of slum redevelopment brand.

Now as Hubtown they have the catch 22 situation as to how to rename the existing successful office buildings known as landmark destinations with the name of Ackruti. After all, their nearly all clients, especially existing office space occupiers, say they want to continue with the tag of the previous brand name with which they signed the deal and moved into.

Thus, at some level the brand is critical to express how you conduct your business and present yourself as a company. This is all the more true and also challenging for a realtor who makes a move from one asset class to the other, or from one extreme level of clientele to the other level.

My exposure to the murky world of real estate awards-II

Posted on by Track2Realty

By: Ravi sinha

Ravi Sinha, Editor, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: On a closer look there are big and serious questions on the authenticity and prima facie it appears as if the categories have been customised to fit in the highest bidder.

I can understand that any nomination being snubbed by the jury cries foul and this happens across the world, but the award winner have to have a crowd pleasing (read customer satisfaction) choice and not the whims and fancy of the organisers.

Has any of the award jury in real estate ever gone to cross check the customers’ experience of these realtors? Most of the award winning realtors have piles of cases pending, ranging from law enforcement agencies to consumer courts.

If the fixation of awards is just a B2B exercise and not related with voting results of the user experience, what is the relevance of such fraudulently operated awards?

I am afraid many of such “surviving on award distribution” companies don’t even reveal the selection criterion, rational and methodology behind awarding the lesser mortal realtors while biggies in the fray often prefer to stand out of the mess.

As one such leading award manufacturer once admitted, “it is a cut throat and cluttered segment now. The success of award in our case is that most of the award winning realtors themselves comes to take the award, unlike others where junior executives are sent for the photo session and trophy.”

Short on consumer confidence and high on award list seems to be the mantra of survival for some of the realtors for whom purchasing such, often expensive awards also translates into foreign funds who are not high on due diligence in this part of the world. Isn’t it a racket of fraudulently duping both the gullible home buyers and greedy investors?

No wonder, it is the fly-by-night realtors and mid-size greedy developers who are there to pay for the awards and make it a self-publicised glory. Biggies in the realty business have often been staying away from such awards since they know their acceptance to the trophy will only lend credence to the award racket while they as developers will be bracketed along with trophy greedy realtors in the market.

If CIA could rig a Nobel Prize in 1958, Indian realtors’ sense of sponsored glory is not going to hurt the global economy or polity, at least. It may hurt the greedy investors have already burnt their fingers in the Indian realty market, but where such awards are going to hurt the most is the gullible home buyers who often take the credibility of the developers on sheer face value that has stamp of award writ large.

My exposure to the murky world of real estate awards-I

Posted on by Track2Realty

By: Ravi sinha

Ravi Sinha, Editor, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: Sitting in the back bench of a real estate award night I heard two developers talking among them as to in which category are they getting the award. Did I hear it right? Not the nominated category, but the category of getting award? Even before the awards were announced, how come they know that they have already bagged the award?

What I heard the next was even more earth shattering news for me—how much did it cost you? I thought I had a “Stop Press” kind of “Breaking News” but I am told not to file the story by the then editor.

Is it because it is libellous and hard to prove is what kept me wondering for some time. Later I am told this is no news. The award racket in the world of real estate is something that everybody knows but nobody admits.

Well, I may be new to the world of real estate, but if this is the reality I prefer to be not just new but novice as well.

When I see the developers with a tagline of “India’s Most Awarded Real Estate Company”, I hang my head with shame rather than feeling optimistic about the realty company or its projects.

Why are the realtors desperate to beg, borrow or steal the award? Does it add value to their brand, sales graph or any other metrics in the collective consciousness of the society at large?

The business awards across the board have often drawn criticism for their selection process and partiality, but in the context of Indian real estate I feel it is an open and shut case of a price tag attached with the award.

Some of the more respected business awards are the ones who follow certain ethics in terms of transparency and established benchmark in terms of eligibility criterion.

None of this has even been seen in the real estate awards in this part of the world where awarding institutions, I am afraid whether they can be termed as institutions, are mostly B2B realty publications and other industry stake holders.

For instance, none of the international awarding institutions worth a mention have ever signed the awardee company as the main sponsor of the award night. If a nominated company or individual has been charge sheeted by the law of the land the very ethics of the award suggests the jury must disqualify his nomination.

However, it is strange to find a realty company being charge sheeted and Managing Director behind bars, still the Chairman receiving “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Any neutral observer who has not been exposed to the murky world of real estate can make out that the awards, if not completely rigged, has got categories just so narrow that pretty much everyone comes out with an award.

How else could one justify a small developer with a standalone mall in Ranchi of the size of a local shopping centre coming out with a trophy that suggests he has innovation as his claim to fame in realty business?

…..to be continued