What catches ones attention is how a company into real estate and property management – an industry traditionally run on a broker-dealer-agent process has adopted technological systems and forayed online with two separate websites for their two set of services.
Explains Rahul, “We have a professional team with a vast experience and solid transactions, yet being online helps us be more efficient; all customer emails are responded to within 8 hours on most days and we can also reach out to a larger audience.
They do seem to have hit the right spot especially with the NRI market who seek everything from finding suitable tenants for their property here & maintenance of the same to picking up their rent cheques.
However, being online is not the only right thing the duo did. Uma says “To build enough trust in a customer sitting a few thousand kilometers away and have him hand over the keys to his property valued at crores takes more than just an online presence. Our biggest challenge was to overcome the myths surrounding realtors who are generally perceived as ‘cheap’ or ‘unprofessional’ and we overcame this by clearly displaying our competence and deliverables.
Stating his take on the sometimes unrecognized importance of a mission statement, Rahul admits that putting focus on honesty, integrity and customer delight in their mission statement and prominently displaying it at customer points of interaction both online as well as offline helped them win trust.
“We also built a strong referral system that had clients spreading our credentials through word of mouth and increased our goodwill; hence clients become friends & friends become clients.”
The only thing they regret is ‘not having an online portal sooner; we had thought of it several times, but the competition then was not much. Magic Bricks,99 acres and others only came in recently.”
This time they want to ensure they don’t miss opportunities. “The slowdown has definitely impacted our expansion plans but we will press on with our ideas which includes starting an exclusive marketing division to benefit our clients further, offices in other cities and a realty portal to enhance and solidify our online presence.” says Rahul.
Given that Uma’s Realty and Fixitup have closed over a 1000 transactions, translating into millions of square feet of space since inception, one wonders if the two get time for anything else and is left surprised at their involvement with social and community work.
“We run three old age homes and are actively involved with Rotary International and trees4free, an NGO which as the name suggests, plants trees”.
What takes the cake however is the lesser known revelation that Rahul is a certified German language translator, and was once called upon by the Doctors of Manipal Hospital to help out an old German couple who had had a bad accident. “They couldn’t speak any English and I was with them translating day & night for a week so the Doctors from Manipal gave me an appreciation certificate for that.
An ex Mr Koramangala – a local fashion event, the still charming Rahul leaves with the following advise for aspiring entrepreneurs “Find your own road and make it happen”.