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Siddharth Patravali, Zerobrokerage.com : Property portal sans brokers

Team YS
13th Apr 2011
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YourStory recently spoke with Entrepreneur Siddharth Patravali, founder of Zerobrokerage.com, on bridging the gap between buyers and sellers.

Tell us a little bit about Zerobrokerage.

Zerobrokerage.com is a property selling website providing a unique opportunity for owners to advertise their property for sale/rent. Our aim is to bridge the gap between sellers and buyers of property. No Brokers. No Brokerages.

How is Zerobrokerage.com different from other such portals?

Zerobrokerage.com unlike other websites encourages direct owners to list their property for sale/rent and get response from buyers. Other portals encourage brokers by providing various listing packages. Today most listings in other portals are done by brokers. There is a big gap which our website aims to bridge by encouraging owners to keep their listings until property is sold/rented. No renewals are required.

How did the idea for Zerobrokerage.com come about?

Most of us depend on brokers for property needs. Brokers may be whom we may not know and end up paying 2% brokerage on closure of transaction. This is a big amount considering rising rates of property. Ideally buyer and seller could have met directly and save brokerage. Buyer buys a property, if it matches their requirements and seller sells a property if they get a deal close to their price. I realised that in newspapers and property websites, most owners are not listing their property and brokers are major advertisers of their property. It was encouraging for me to see classifieds by owners in newspaper with Brokers excused. There is a repetitive cost involved in newspaper ads and property websites are selling database of sellers and buyers to brokers apart from normal listings. Registered brokers of that site start calling owners and deal is closed by them. There is no platform for sellers and buyers of property to connect directly, which zerobrokerage.com aims to fulfil at the same time be cost effective. I wanted a name that could best suggest our business model so we decided zerobrokerage.com. It is best way to attract sellers & buyers of property.

How much capital was required to implement the idea?

I started with an initial capital of around Rs.2 lakh.

Tell us about your background.

I am basically from Mumbai. I am an MBA in Marketing. I have been working with Godrej and Boyce Mfg Co ltd in their Security Solutions division as assistant manager for around 6 years handling key accounts on Pan India Basis.

Let us know about the tie-ups that you have (if any). Is there acceptance for your concept? Can you give us some incidents to illustrate the same?

Currently we are tying up with banks for providing Home Loans and allied service providers such as vastu shastra, interior decorators, legal assistance, etc. We are getting encouraging response from owners of property. In one of the call made to a seller of property by our sales rep, her reply was that zerobrokerage is exactly what they were looking for.

Where do you see Zerobrokerage.com five years from now?

I see zerobrokerage.com evolve as a new segment facilitating direct selling in property in five years from now.

What is Zerobrokerage.com’s revenue model?

Our revenue is from individual owners, builders, allied services provider and home loan tie ups. We charge a one-time fee to individual owners to list their property until it is sold/rented. Soon we will launch our premium services wherein our experts will visit property to be sold/rent, take description and pictures of property, building, neighbourhood and floor. This will add value to our clients who find it difficult to do so in their busy work schedule. Buyers will get a clear picture of the property. This service will be restricted to cities. There are two membership plans for Builders to list their upcoming residential and commercial projects. We have tie-ups with banks for home loans for our clients. We have membership plan for allied services provider such as lawyers, vastu shastra, Interior      decorators to advertise their service to our visitors.

As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?

"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”

Most of us have ideas but few realize them by coming out of their comfort zone. Being your own boss and doing things what you always wanted to is a big plus. It is when your idea is accepted and your name is behind its success, you feel proud and accomplished. As every entrepreneur says, initial period for any venture is the most toughest but crucial period. It is at this time you have to be convinced in your idea and ability. Most ideas come up and are given up at this stage. So many questions are to be answered, doubts raised, avoiding procrastination, time management, focusing are few challenges to overcome. At every stage of venture there will be different situations which an entrepreneur has to overcome. In the end who dares win.

How big is the Zerobrokerage.com team? Where are you based? Are you looking at hiring?

Currently, we are a team of 3 operating in Mumbai taking care of builder and home loan tie ups, owner listings and allied services. Yes, we are looking at hiring. With successful launch in Mumbai we will be promoting our services across India.

Let us know about your expansion plans.

Our initial launch was in Mumbai region. Our aim is to be present and provide services across India and target to achieve approximately 25000 seller listings in first year of operations. Our focus will be in top 8 metros. We are in look out for funds for our expansion plans.

We at YourStory wish Zerobrokerage.com good luck as they plan to scale. What do you think about this story? Please write to us at feedback@yourstory.in

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