How this proptech startup is disrupting the real estate market with draws and flash sales
During an online sales season that was sending many on a shopping spree several years ago, Swapna More asked her driver what was on his shopping list.
The driver’s response became the genesis for her latest venture KAGAAY. He told her, “I wish I could grab a house at the best price, just like the sales going on Amazon and platforms. It would be great if I can get a home at the best price the way I bought my mobile.”
Swapna was intrigued by how he commoditised houses while for most people, buying a home was an emotional process, entailing many site visits, opinion gathering, location sieving, and more.
In 2019, she started KAGAAY, a gamified sales enablement platform to deliver the right price asset advantage to buyers and investors and fast track asset liquidation for realtors and bankers.
The team behind the idea
Swapna ventured into the real estate sector with her husband in 2011. After working with several developers to market their real estate products, she felt uncomfortable with them not delivering on their promises and started Commander Estate Developers LLP in 2016.
A serial entrepreneur, she has also dabbled in the restaurant business by co-founding Aghamarshana Hospitality LLP and Tapariwaala café in Navi Mumbai and Ambernath.
Co-founded with her husband, Wing Commander Deepak More, the duo was joined by Tushar Desai as Chief Technical Officer and several veterans from real estate industry.
Tushar brings with him over two decade’s experience in the IT industry and leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning tech for KAGAAY.
How does KAGAAY work?
A mobile application-based product, realtors can onboard their properties, offer exclusive discounted prices, and participate in various games like Draw of Lots and Flash Sales to attract buyers and generate faster sales. Realtors must subscribe to the startup’s membership programme.
The proptech startup mandates that only realtors or agencies having exclusive rights to sell the units post on the platform.
For buyers, the platform offers virtual tours of properties including bird’s eye view, 3D walk through, 2D Plans, GPS location and information on the neighbourhood for residential, commercial, or just the plot of land.
If interested in a property, an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) of about four to five percent of offered value on a property should be paid to block the unit. Within a month, buyers can complete an agreement with the respective realtors. KAGAAY charges success fees to realtors on every sale closed.
Swapna says the gamified aspect is helpful in dealing with sluggish sales cycles that plagues the real estate market today.
“Anything which is sluggish needs motivation, reward, and recognition. Today, customers are showing interest, conducting numerous site visits online, and negotiating for the “right” price on our platform,” she explains.
She further states that gamification helps “engage people meaningfully with interactions that would otherwise be considered bland,” according to Dr Lennart Nacke, Director of HCI Games Group at the University of Waterloo’s Games Institute in Canada.
In the game, Draw of Lots, there are a limited set of properties at exclusive discounted price for one month where buyers can try their luck. Winners who secure the properties can further participate in Bumper Draw to avail more discounts upon winning.
Games like Flash Sale running for 12 to 36 hours plays on the audience’s fear of missing out to grab exclusive deals on the platform.
Navigating real estate market
KAGAAY’s concept was initially met with doubt from most people in the real estate industry. But their first draw on December 25 last year spoke volumes where buyers exceeded the 196 flats offered on special price starting from Rs 17,17,000 by three times.
According to Swapna, they saw 521 registrations on the platform, 421 applications for the draw, and collected Rs 21 lakh. The event generated a business of Rs 49 crore from the sale of 196 flats within a month.
Started with an initial investment of Rs 2 crore, KAGAAY plans on launching a revamped version in 2021 and break even soon. They are now burning cash for marketing and human resources.
“There are many discovery platforms in the market, making information available to buyers on digital platforms. However, KAGAAY offers the opportunity to negotiate with realtor and make them quote the ‘right’ price,” says Swapna who is also the state chairperson for Maharashtra’s Confederation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Conducting real estate business on digital platforms has become important as movements are restricted in times of COVID-19.
The startup claims to be in talks with various government agencies to achieve 100 percent automation in real estate purchase and registration processes. With more than 10,000 inventories on board, it is now gearing up for a mega flash sale and a draw of lots in January 2021.