Bottom Line: A business with enough money that connects almost every Indian, real estate yet doesn’t excite professional bloggers to write on the subject.
“What? You mean there are no professional bloggers in the space of Indian real estate?” wondered a journalist friend from UK who had called up for a list of top real estate bloggers in this part of the world. He was not ready to believe that in the age of Internet where the companies are increasingly understanding the benefits of content marketing there are no professional bloggers active in this space.
However, the fact remains that despite of real estate making a sizeable contribution to the Indian GDP and the fact that the business is second largest advertiser in the media space there are no professional bloggers who could be referred as the real estate specialist bloggers.
It is not just about the way the Indian builders operate with media, more often than not, being forced to be the cheer leader. Rather, the subject itself does not excite the largest contributors in this space – the youth. The kind of creative avenue that they have while writing on various others subjects, like travel to food and fashion to lifestyle is something that the brick & mortar business does not provide them. After all, the bloggers would not necessarily enjoy travelling to project site as the look & feel of most of the projects is identical.
Add to it, the mindset of ‘all hell broke loose’ if you criticised the builder is something that deters the free souls that the business of blogging demands. There is a school of thought among the bloggers that suggest the nature of the business is such that you don’t get enough followers if you write on the mundane subject like the real estate.
Is it because the digital media in India is not that big and yet to make a serious dent? Despite of digital media being participatory media it could not rival the reach of television or print. Well, if some serious blogging in a spoace like the Indian real estate comes onto the horizon there is no denying that it could indeed challenge the one-way communication that easily escapes accountability.
Wanted a real estate blogger
Necessary qualification: Writing flair with understanding of real estate
Desirable qualification: Ready to explore the world of real estate on ground
Skills needed: An eye for life & story in the brick & mortar
Additional qualification: Ability to not fall into builders’ net of ‘All is Well’
Willingness to face: Wrath of builders
Job challenge: Get access to information even after being critical
Soft skills needed: To connect with the homebuyers
Bhuvnesh Pant, a travel blogger maintains that real estate is one such product that most of the Indians buy only once in the lifetime. Naturally, you don’t have a readership base beyond the point of purchase. “Once the person has bought the house he is no more a serious reader of the blog. And the success of bloggers depends upon repeat redership,” he says.
That any way can not be universally accepted explanation as the real estate worldover has more or less the same kind of consumption pattern. And yet some of the matured property markets of west have specialist bloggers who enjoy large followers and readership base. There definitely is something wrong with the nature of Indian real estate and its inter-linked behaviour with the media.
Take the case of Mugdha Mishra, a second year arts student in Pune who is a passionate blogger. She is just 19 and earns approximately INR 20,000 per month. Till a couple of years back, she had not imagined that her hobby for blogging could earn her some quick buck in the Internet world. She spends about 30 hours a week on blogging.
But then while she has succeeded in emerging as a serious blogger and a taking to a potential full-time career as blogger, her other friend who is as good a writer has failed to do so. The difference lies in the fact that while she blogs on the technology and smartphone applications, her friend opted to write on the real estate.
After all, the success of any blogging depends upon the readers’ interest and, more importantly, ‘WIIFM’ Factor – What’s In It For Me. The ‘sharability’ element of information is critical to the success of the blogging. No matter how wonderful you as a writer are and no matter how vast your knowledge is, it does not matter if you can’t solve the other person’s problems. It must always be about the other person. Your blog should never be about you and your creativity.
Next: Challenges of blogging in Indian real estate
By: Ravi Sinha