The Indian housing market is a vicious cycle of broken promises, trust deficit, sulking participants and non-delivery. Statistics only tell you half the story. For the developers, market trackers and the government agencies it is all about numbers – how many units have not been delivered. What these raw statistics don’t tell you that there is a sordid saga of drying emotions of one family with each housing unit. Probably the stakeholders are least bothered about the plight of an average middle class home buyer who has exhausted his lifetime savings, taken up home loan and now reeling under the burden of both the EMI and the rent.
Browsing: Builder Buyer Conflict
By the late evening the area bears a deserted look. Local youths with no source of livelihood are on prowl to pounce over what in their understanding is elite class living in apartments. And this so-called elite class is dawn to dusk EMI serving class, helpless to save the little bit of luxury showered on the family with hard earned money.
As per ANAROCK data, the top 7 cities currently have a total stock of 5.6 lakh delayed housing units worth a whopping INR 4,51,750 crore. These units were launched either in 2013 or before that. Lakhs of buyers across top cities – particularly MMR and NCR – have been left in limbo, leading to inconceivable mental stress and financial pain.
Unfortunately, in the name of common cause the cause is seldom common even though prima facie it appears to be. As a matter of fact, every buyer has his own definition and set of interests to get into a fight with the builder. The legitimate fight that should ideally start with the ‘conviction of being upright’ often starts with suspicion, one-upmanship, or even worse, ulterior motive.
Many developers do not make themselves available to customers, making it necessary for them to deal with marketing personnel who are trained to be evasive and non-committal.
Going by the developer’s remark, one wonders whether a real estate purchase can be termed as another expensive purchase. In a BMW purchase, for example, the buyer can look & feel the end product before one takes a final call. But in real estate it is only a promise and the product is yet to be produced.
So, you have been blaming the builder for end-to-end problems that you have encountered before and after settling in your dream home. Cost of apartment, delay in delivery, mismatch in promises & performance, costly maintenance and poor facility management, the list goes endless. More often than not, the grievances are legitimate.
I feel it is my professional and social obligation to raise some issues and point to the grey zones to help other gullible homebuyers who might be having trust left with this association. Many others have already lost trust after finding hidden motives and bullying tactics of the core team after their clarion call to fight for the rights of homebuyers. Many of them even allege this buyer association to be proxy of the builders and taking brief from them.
The journalists covering real estate news are always on the lookout for the grey areas and these buyers’ associations feed them. In exchange, they are always in the news and that lends them credibility in the given market.
Investing in relationship management to earn the trust & goodwill of the homebuyers is something that the Indian real estate has not adopted as an industry practice. CRM or Customer Relationship Management is something that every developer today boasts of, but this relationship hardly goes beyond attending phone calls of aggrieved buyers and online registration of grievances.