Track2Realty Exclusive: Popularity of any sport facility is a function of the popular demand and the availability of resources with a developer.Ā For a developer focusing on luxury real estate, golf and polo make better sense than any other sport currently.
Pankaj Bansal, Director, M3M India agrees that as memberships to old clubs gets increasingly difficult, a gap has emerged for those who aspire to learn/play this game. Hence, this is an opportunity for developers who have the resources. According to him, the world over, golf signifies class and sophistication. Attributes that are aspirational to anyone who desires to progress up the corporate or social hierarchy.
Avid and affluent golfers in Japan and China and Hong Kong are known to fly out to neighboring countries for weekend golf games. !!. In India too, golf has progressed from being merely aspirational to a normal recreational activity amongst the top end of business and corporate circles.
āThis is a natural progression of the real estate market in India.Ā As the market for high end homes develops, buyers look for even greater exclusivity. The āusualā is just not acceptable. People are becoming very selective about their neighbors; the location and any comfort or luxury feature that sets them apart from the masses. Golf is the natural and upward progression of the aspirations of the Indian HNI segment. Many amongst these have been exposed to international travel and lifestyle. Golf, the world over is associated with the top league of corporate executives and businessmen,ā says Bansal.
However, Abhay Kumar, CMD of Grih Pravesh Buildteck, blames it on the lack of research in the sector and a sort of rat race. He maintains that in India customers and buildersĀ both have the herd mentality, and when they are toldĀ for say golf would work for their projectĀ it becomes a fashion to display golf in the projects. Similarly if a customer recommends a project citingĀ his own flat purchase inĀ a particular project, others assumeĀ the introducer to be very well aware of the market and they just blindly follow.
āIt has already killed the exclusivity of the name golf for property market.Ā Golf has become clichĆ© because the developers started using this name for MIG and LIGĀ projects too. Any overdo of such names will eventually proved to be its nemesis. The builder association must discuss this point and formulate a strategy to ensure such phenomenon does not happen,ā says Kumar.
Independent analysts maintain that buyers are very smart nowadays. They donāt compromise till getting all facilities at their doorstep. Golf facility is like an extra bonanza of any project, so it never hides any exclusively of the projects because USP is incomplete without providing rest of facilities in high-end market.
Moreover, golf obsession is a recent phenomenon in the Indian real estate. So, it will take time before any conclusive statement can be made on the success of this āthemeā. Till then, it will continue to be used as a brand driver to showcase high-end lifestyle.