Real estate sector update: Housing.com goes live in 101 cities, CommonFloor adds ‘Live in Tours’ to its arsenalHarshith Mallya
In recent years, the Indian real estate sector has attracted significant investments owing to rapid urbanisation and rising income levels. Apart from metros, India’s tier II cities are also increasingly becoming investment hubs. Tier II cities are backed by rapid growth and provide a substantial cost advantage - in terms of land prices and manpower.
Further, the pro-growth reforms recently introduced by the Government and its impetus to infrastructure upgrading, policies on SEZs, National Investment Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs), and improvement of public transport and airports, are some of the key factors encouraging growth.
Tier II cities
After undergoing a rebranding campaign and acquiring real estate forum IREF in the recent past, Housing.com recently announced that it is live in 101 cities across India. Their expansion encompasses metros as well as tier II cities. It has recently entered 21 emerging cities which include Vishakhapatnam, Kanpur, Ludhiana, Rajahmundry, Panchkula, Coimbatore, Vijayawada, Tiruchirappalli, Thiruvanthapuram, Nellore, Ambala, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Rohtak, Jodhpur, Bilaspur, Varanasi, Ranchi, Jabalpur, and Goa for its rent and resale category.
Rishabh Gupta, COO, Housing.com said:
With our presence in over 101 cities, we strive to partner with customers in their house hunting experience by offering them comprehensive real estate solutions backed by technology, an easy-to-navigate platform, and unique products. Our expansion across 100 plus cities is a huge milestone for us, we aim to sustain momentum and continue on our high growth trajectory.
Over the last six months, Housing.com claims that their traffic has increased by over 20X (20 times), with 11 million total visits in April. This may be in part because of their large scale marketing efforts and promotions. Some new features on Housing.com include Polygon and sub-locality search. A feature in the pipeline is search by building and road names.
Housing.com has recently partnered with Google Now to provide information to users before they explicitly search for it. Along with other features like 360 degree aerial views of sites, Housing.com aims to help users make more informed decisions. They now have more than 1,500 employees in about101 cities across India.
Rental and resale markets
Despite the dynamism and growth that rental and resale market segments exhibit, innovation and impetus to drive these segments are negligible. However, sensing the need of the common man in the housing segment and the potential size of the market, CommonFloor has entered this space.
After launching CFRetina, a virtual reality device, that allows users to visualise apartments before their construction, CommonFloor.com, recently announced the launch of a new feature for secondary and rental properties – ‘Live-in Tours’.
Lalit Mangal, Co-Founder and CTO, CommonFloor.com said,
The primary objective of Live-in Tours is to provide property seekers a 360-degree view of the property, right from wall-to-wall and ceiling to floor. We are working towards scaling the number of properties listed with us, thereby helping property buyers find property with ease.
Live-in Tours works as a filter for property seekers, helping them shortlist prospective properties of their choice and eliminate the need of physically visiting the properties to a great extent. The offering is live on CommonFloor.com and is free for the end-users. It currently has over 1000 properties in three key cities: Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
This new offering has been designed for the rental and resale realty market in India. It aims to offer real property experience for seekers giving them information on rental, resale and new properties. This feature can be accessed on the web, mobiles apps, and will soon be available on the mobile web. This aims to reduce the time and effort of property seekers looking in the secondary market.
Sumit Jain, CEO & Co-Founder of CommonFloor, added:
As a new-age online realty player, we are committed towards simplifying the process of property search. Given the boom in the rental and resale property market in India, it is our endeavour to create tools and technology that makes property search hassle-free for end-consumers.” The company intends to introduce this feature across 18 major cities by March 2016 and to list the five lakh properties on Live-in Tours.
Other big players in the real estate segment include The Times Group-backed Magicbricks, 99acres.com, and Proptiger and Makaan (the two recently entered into an alliance). Another recent entrant in the sector is Square Yards, a real estate advisory firm, mainly targeted at NRIs which has raised USD 6 M in pre-series A funding.