How this young company sold real estate inventory worth Rs 100 Cr in just 8 months
When he was young, Yogesh Jaiswal was not fond of academics. He was inclined towards sports, and preferred to spend his time playing basketball.
Sports emphasises and teaches the importance of being in control, taking risks, and changing tactics as required. So when Yogesh graduated and got into the real estate job market, he realised it was nothing like sports.
“I was certainly not in the driving seat while working for someone else. The radical ideas and paradigm shifts in go-to-market strategy and industry sales I suggested did not take off,’ Yogesh tells SMBStory.
Despite this, Yogesh stuck on for a long time in the industry. He worked for several realty organisations and made a name for himself in the sector.
An idea is born
As the years passed, he increasingly felt the need for a reliable and professional channel to connect real estate developers with buyers. Project developers needed assistance in selling their properties, and buyers needed consultation before purchasing a new home.
“Further, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), which came into force in 2016, brought real estate brokers under its ambit, but did not specify the minimum qualifications, experience or certification for agents. This made it all the more evident to me that there was a massive opportunity for large and upcoming organised broking firms to address the gap,” he says.
However, Yogesh realised he couldn’t fill this gap and bring this idea to life by working for someone else. This fuelled the desire in him to set off on his own. Yogesh couldn’t ignore his entrepreneurial calling anymore.
In August 2019, he started Le Classique Realty in Mumbai, a company that would act as a channel partner that helped project developers sell their properties in bulk.
Le Classique Realty founder Yogesh Jaiswal
“There are many cash flow, sales and marketing details that need to be ironed out as well as providing after-sales to customers. This is where we step in and handle all these tasks for the developers. There is also a discontinuity between property developers and home purchasers. Property owners are not completely aware of all the properties in their preferred locations that are up for sale. There are also many cases where the property developers are unable to reach out to the desired home purchasers. This is where we come in to bridge the gap and introduce home purchasers to their ideal properties,” Yogesh explains.
Yogesh started the business with Rs 10 lakh from his personal savings as he was apprehensive of getting into debt. Despite the limited resources, he was confident that he could “turn the wheel of fortune quickly.”
As Yogesh soon discovered, ‘quickly’ and ‘easily’ did not mean the same thing. Right at the outset, he faced the challenge of building a good core team. He tapped into the network that he’d built over the years, and started approaching people from his previous companies and explained his vision to them.
“I was lucky. I started picking up the best people from here and there to build my core team. In fact, they joined me at lower salary packages than what they were earning. Everyone believed in me and this helped me meet my first challenge,” he says.
Yogesh’s next challenge was getting developers to trust him. Le Classique was young and developers did not trust it enough to let it sell all their projects. They were sceptical about this new company’s ability to deliver on sales and improve their cash flow.
Yogesh started selling and successfully delivered a few projects, and waited for the word to spread in the market. He hoped that the developers he was eyeing to do business with would hear about him.
It worked. In just 45 days, he says, some developers started putting their faith in him to bring home their entire revenue stream.
The Le Classique team
Presently, just eight months or so after starting Le Classique, the business’ top-line revenue is between Rs 18 crore and Rs 20 crore. It has already sold real estate inventory worth over Rs 100 crore, Yogesh claims.
“We began with just two employees and now we have a team of over 60 employees. We have become one of the fastest-growing real estate advisories and consultants in Mumbai,” he adds.
To land new clients, Le Classique’s business development team scouts the market, looking for developers in need of disposing their unsold inventory within a certain time frame.
These developers pay Le Classique for sales. But these sales cannot happen if Yogesh doesn’t focus on the end consumer.
“Even though they don’t pay us directly, the end customers are equally important. Without them, we cannot move anywhere. We reach them through disruptive SMS campaigns, campaigns on digital and social media, ads on hoardings, newspapers, etc, and all other conventional ways of marketing,” he explains.
Le Classique currently has over 350 real estate units worth Rs 700 crore in its inventory, and hopes to sell them all in the next 18 months. Yogesh says he has a robust marketing plan in place to see this through.
He also plans to expand operations to eight cities in the next six months, and also launch a channel partner business application to track everything – from site visits to closure and automated payments.
The coronavirus impact
Yogesh admits the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown situation has put a dent in his plans.
“The Indian real estate industry has been badly hit by the pandemic and there seems to be no respite in the near future. The sector is already experiencing a major dip in property visits and reduced buyer interest. Sales figures have dipped sharply and the decline will continue for the next two and three months. Public sentiment is just not viable for new purchases, and there is a fear of project delivery being postponed,” he says.
Despite the setback, Yogesh and his team are optimistic about meeting their goals, and have continued operations, albeit from home.
“Extensive calling and keeping regular touch with our clients has become a daily norm now. We ensure every development in our projects is regularly updated to our clients. Our work timings haven’t changed either. Only the tracking mechanism has changed a bit,” he says.
But this wasn’t an easy decision. Yogesh says he was in a dilemma whether to furlough staff for the time being or keep going.
“We asked ourselves if we would be able to deliver results even in this situation. Our team was scared looking at the ongoing job losses and salary cuts across companies. So we decided to keep going and stick with our team. We have been working relentlessly towards generating leads and finding interested clients, and we’ve been pushing our clients towards online payments,” he says.