Duped by a broker, this IIM Calcutta alumnus started a proptech startup to ease the home buying process
For most of us, buying a dream home is the ultimate goal. However, the process of buying a property itself can be a challenging and daunting task. It can take a very long time, can be trying, and expensive as well. While there are several options to do research before finalising the property, one has to be careful and be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
And this is where startups like Buzzbricks come into the picture. Started by Anirban Chatterjee in November 2018, Buzzbricks is a real estate consulting firm that helps customers find properties that will suit their requirements.
“We help homebuyers take right property decisions through our extensive market research from legal, construction, and sustainability check of properties. We don’t want customers to fall in a price trap. We understand customer’s pain points, hence have devised a comprehensive list of parameters to rate projects, which in turn could be used as a guiding tool,” says Anirban.
The Noida-based startup claims to be providing unbiased options and offering hassle-free end-to-end service to the customers. It onboards and works with builders as a strategic consultant, and in return takes a part of the project’s inventory beforehand, creating a win-win situation for all the parties.
“As builders, they get bulk-booking from us and buyers not only get subsidised pricing from us as compared to market rates, but also legally vetted agreements to protect buyers from any future financial escalations,” adds Anirban.
The startup claims to be cash positive since its launch. In the past eight months, it has served more than 500 clients, and has crossed Rs 78 lakh in revenue, with a profit margin of 35-40 percent from its B2B business.
Buzzbricks currently offers its service only to Delhi-NCR region.
How it works?
For Buzzbricks, property identification is the priority. At present, the team has researched projects in Delhi-NCR and has rated them on the construction quality, legal clarity in the project, and future sustainability.
The platform assigns an account manager to each customer to help them get on call to understand their requirements and pricing. Later, the account managers will shortlist a few good projects, and will schedule site visits for the customers. After the site visit, the manager will share a comparative analysis report of the projects shortlisted with the buyer.
Buzzbricks also ensures the Builder Buyer Agreement (BBA) is free from any hidden clauses. “As the BBA is the backbone of the complete transaction, our legal experts help you in ensuring that your BBA is free from any hidden/ambiguous clauses,” says Anirban.
It then provides all the post-booking services such as home loans, documentation, etc., at your doorstep. The entire process takes around seven to 30 days.
Before handing over the property, Buzzbricks’ quality engineers check the entire unit, and in case of any discrepancy, the company will ensure the replacement of the same. Only after these engineers give a go-ahead, the keys are handed over to the client.
The company says it also guarantees its customers the lowest price. “But if the customer finds a lower price (from the developer) for the same home they want to buy, then we will not only match it but also give you an additional discount,” explains Anirban.
An IIM Calcutta graduate, Anirban is a serial entrepreneur and has been on the board of various companies as an advisor.
Prior to Buzzbricks, he co-founded two edtech companies - Tweak Skills, an IIM Bangalore incubated educational and recruitment solutions offering skills on-demand solutions, and Buddy4Study, a scholarship platform connecting scholarship seekers with the scholarship provider.
After taking an exit from Buddy4Study last year, he ventured into the proptech space with a vision to bring trust and transparency in the unorganised real estate sector.
A RERA Expert in the real estate industry for his in-depth knowledge of the sector, he says, his personal experiences lead him to start Buzzbricks. He says,
“When I was buying my first property, I faced a lot of challenges. I was also duped by a broker. Once my booking was done, the broker stopped responding to my calls and I was left at the mercy of the builder. I felt helpless. So, I decided to ‘scratch my own itch’.”
“I strongly feel the best way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use. If you are solving someone else’s problem, you are constantly stabbing in the dark. That’s how Buzzbricks came into existence.”
Today, Buzzbricks has a team of eight people including the founder.
The building numbers
According to a joint report by CREDAI and JLL, the Indian real-estate sector is projected to reach $180 billion by 2020, a sharp rise from $126 billion in 2015.
Over the years, many startups have mushroomed in the real estate space. However, Anirban says most of the proptech startups are either on the listing side (search platforms) like Housing.com, 99acres.com, Magicbricks.com, etc., or are on the resale or rental space like Nestaway, Oyo living, NoBroker.com, etc.
“Nobody is actually solving the real pain area for property buyers, which lies in-between these, where the multi-million worth of transactions is happening every day, which is predominantly an unorganised sector,” he says.
What makes Buzzbricks stand apart is that it charges brokerage fee from the builders and not from the customers.
Buzzbricks generally connects with clients between the age group of 25-50 years, and says about 28 percent of its clients are NRIs and mostly high net worth individuals (HNIs).
“Our Target audience is primarily people working in IT companies like IBM, Barclays, Infosys, TCS, Amazon, Google, and PSUs like NTPC, Coal India, ONGC, IOCL. For the ultra-luxury segment, we target CXOs of various MNCs, business owners, diamond merchants, celebrities, etc.,” says Anirban.
The bootstrapped startup is also using data science to develop a cutting-edge technology to match property seekers’ requirement with available projects according to their taste, interest, and buying behaviour.
Going forward, all its allied services like facilitating agreements, home loan processing, post-booking services, etc, which is currently managed in our internal CRM, will be online.
In the next 12 months, the company aims to achieve 50 percent month-on-month growth while onboarding 1,000 projects in Delhi-NCR.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)