How this realty managed marketplace offers peace of mind to NRI property owners

8th Feb 2017
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Propdial provides end-to-end property management solution to NRIs, where it maintains, manages, and rents out property on their behalf.

Not long ago, when Vinay Prajapati was running a real estate brokerage firm catering to NRIs, he would receive lots of queries by them on property maintenance. They would voice their concerns regarding management, maintenance, and renting of properties, as it was impossible for them to cater to any of these directly.

Propdial team

Vinay analysed the real estate market closely and noticed that there were thousands of vacant residential properties in metropolitan cities. He saw a new business with a huge potential, where he could address the concerns of the clients by maintaining their properties.

To address this gap, he launched Propdial in April 2016, an end-to-end property management service platform that works on behalf of property owners and deals directly with prospects and tenants. It saves them time and spares them from worrying about maintenance, repair issues, renting, rent collection, as well as responding to tenant complaints. Vinay, 42, Founder and CEO of Propdial, says.

“We wanted to provide our customers peace of mind while assuring them that their investment were in safe hands.”

A B.Tech in Computer Science, Vinay worked for 10 years as a software engineer in India and US. Propdial is his third venture. In 2009, he founded Easy Home Renting in India for renting properties through a web portal, but it didn’t receive much response from the market. After that, he went into the business of buying and selling of residential and commercial properties through India Real Estate Search portal.

He adds that not just for NRIs but even for those who have property in other cities or own multiple properties in India, Propdial is the safest platform to manage the realty assets.

How it works

According to Vinay, clients handover keys to their homes and houses to Propdial through an agreement. Once Propdial takes the possession, it surveys the property to fix the problems, if any, such as plumbing, electricity, painting, gardening, house cleaning or woodwork. The entire bills related to maintenance gets uploaded to the client's account on a regular basis.

After the completion of the maintenance work, the platform showcases the property through property web portals. After it finds tenants, it verifies their authenticity and prepares a final agreement.

The platform provides its clients a registered Propdial account to check all the regular updates on their properties.

Bootstrapped business

Vinay started with an initial investment of Rs 20 lakh, which he invested in product building, employee salaries and office expenses. He has been bootstrapping the business for around a year.

Propdial follows a subscription-based and commission-based revenue model for its two different services. In terms of fees, the platform charges the owner an annual maintenance charge, based on the size of the property, which starts from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000; and 15 days brokerage charges in the case of renting the property.

Vinay claims that he is currently maintaining the property of 125 clients in Delhi-NCR region. He has recently launched the platform in Pune and Bengaluru as well. He says that he aims to target around 500 clients by the end of this year.

He also plans to go into commercial property management and secondary market sell-purchase.

Business peers

There are many players in the managed home rental marketplace such as NestAway, CoHo, Ziffyhomes, Zenify, Homigo, and others.

Last year, Ratan Tata-backed home rental company NestAway Technologies raised around $30 million (around Rs 200 crore) in a Series C financing led by Tiger GlobalRussian billionaire Yuri Milner, and IDG Ventures India. It had raised Rs 76 crore (approximately $12 million) in funding from e-commerce firm Flipkart and its investor Tiger Global in June 2013.

CoHo had raised an angel round from an assortment of startup bigwigs and veterans like Sachin Bhatia (Co-founder, MakeMyTrip and TrulyMadly), Rajesh Sawhney (Co-founder, GSF and InnerChef), Mahesh Parasuraman (Ex-MD, Carlyle PE), Dheeraj Jain (Partner, UK-based hedge fund), amongst others.

In 2015, Zenify raised Rs 4 crore from angel investors including Manthan founder Atul Jalan.

Market potential

According to IBEF, the size of the Indian real estate market is expected to touch $180 billion by 2020. The housing sector alone contributes 5-6 percent to the country's GDP.

There is a horde of players who offer solutions to the realty market — both offline and online.

In the online category, Magicbricks, 99acres, PropTiger, Square Yards, DoorKeys, and many others are offering selling, buying, and renting facilities.

So far, PropTiger has acquired Out of Box Interaction, Makaan, 3DPhy, PropRates, and Housing.com. During early 2016, online classified major Quikr acquired realty portal CommonFloor for an undisclosed amount. In November last year, the real estate arm of e-commerce marketplace Quikr, QuikrHomes, acquired Bengaluru-based home rental marketplace Grabhouse.

Experts say that the consolidation hasn’t impacted the market much, rather helped it maintain its sanity. They say that MagicBricks and 99acres still hold the top two positions in the listing platform. "In classifieds, monetisation is difficult, and we have already seen the poor conditions of many startups in this category. For any category to grow, discounting models are not the way forward. In my perspective, consolidation is good for the market – sustainable businesses will remain," says an analyst, not wishing to be named.

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