It’s time to say goodbye to the current Online Real Estate Portals, because to rectify Real Estate in India, we need personalised software to not manage listings itself but the whole property management process for Developers, Agents, Agencies, Buyers and Sellers.
This is the whole idea behind Purplefloor: Software as a Service (SAAS) in Real Estate with Automated Workflows. It’s time to open source real estate technologies not just to big companies but for startups and small companies in real estate as well. Cloud is the future of Real Estate Data Management.
In addition to Software for General Use, Syntax has experimented with Software for a Specific Industry and that is when we identified the Industry that has been greatly affected recently i.e. the Real Estate Sector in A Category Colonies of New Delhi, India.
Here we go, we introduce you to Purplefloor.com, A Property Management System for Real Estate Developers, Agents, Agencies, Buyers and Sellers in South Delhi, New Delhi, India specifically covering colonies such as Maharani Bagh, Friends Colony East, Friends Colony West and New Friends Colony.
We did an analysis of the current major Online Real Estate Portals of India and have identified some key issues with these platforms gathered from various online customer complaints:
First time when I came across housing.com, I did not have a need for a house or property but as an UX/UI enthusiast I tried their app and fell in love. So I downloaded this app first and started favoriting all the amazing houses they showed and loved the way they used my current location to show houses near by and am a fan of their way of showing listing on maps. I also loved the fact that many listings were actual house owners and not brokers. Started calling people, only to find out that the house is not available anymore. Call number 2, same response. I would have done 5 calls only to find out all the houses are not available anymore. That was the last time I ever looked into the app. I have given my login credentials and have the app on phone, but I did not receive single email or notification on my mobile for the filter criteria I entered on the app. There was no call from the representatives at housing.com or a chat assistant to help me find what I require. No help, no notification, invalid listings. I do not think there is any way anyone can force me to use this app, whatsoever.
Very few house owners on this app. Most of the listings are by brokers or property dealers, with same broker having 5–6 different listings, sometimes using the same house photos. I would call this as a broker listing platform and not a property listing platform. That being said I found some good brokers on the platform. So next time I would just call them than come on to Magicbricks. One thing I liked about Magicbricks is that they send new properties information on emails as and when they find something that’s similar to my search criteria. But what is stopping them from sending a notification on my mobile? I have more chances of hitting on the app that way right? Mind boggling.
One reason I did not hear any house is not available response here is because brokers never say that word. They will show you some other house. I did not get to see many of my favorite houses on the app in real! When it comes to user experience and interface design Magicbricks app is far better than the other two in terms of taking the user straight to the filter page on launch, user friendly touch designs for filter criteria and showing of the listings. They also provide for a way to chat with the broker which is interesting, only that it does not seem to work. Their map view of the listings does need a makeover because in its current form, it does not make any sense to any literate user!
Same as Magicbricks. Brokers all over. Similar offerings, similar design, similar loop holes. With regard to design, its simple and I loved how they allow me to send message to the people I want to contact. But very few people actually contacted me back, so not sure how effective it is as a means of communication. Their filter criteria requires more number of clicks than anyone else which is not very intuitive. And most of the times I hear Magicbricks as a reference from the brokers who call me, than anything else. That’s why most of the time I am not sure which app I found a house on — Magicbricks or 99Acres. Thank God, they have a different logo, else I will never find out for real.
Our Solution, By Ayushman Pershad, Purplefloor.com
There is totally no assistance from these companies to the individual. It could be a simple chat assistant to help understand the requirements. This is where the broker totally rules the arena. He is always available, he understands my requirements and constraints and he figures out a way to help me out. Now I am not expecting the same level of assistance from a chat bot or a call center representative but not having a human interface in a very human touch oriented business seems to be a major lack of feature. With the current set of offerings, the apps are happy to be a broker listing portal over anything else. Also as noted already, none of the above apps provided any notification on my mobile based on search criteria.
2. Bachelors and dogs are not allowed:
This to me seems to be the biggest gap out there. Most of the communities with amenities I reached out to- when I say most I mean 99.9999%, did not “prefer” bachelors. Same with many new individual houses. If you call them and ask the response is not just a simple “no”. Its always “no no no no no” as if I am going to force myself in their houses and start living immediately.
Instead of having the same interface for all, why don’t the apps simplify their interface to be able to search houses based on personalities and living style like I am a bachelor with a dog or we are double income couple with no kids or we are a big family etc.. The interface and search criteria has not matured enough for a market with so much niche and specific requirements and multiple human touch points.
3. Filter Criteria:
The filter criteria can be much more nuanced, and address important constraints that property owners have. I would have loved it if the filter criteria lets me know that as a bachelor am not preferred or my pet is not allowed in certain communities and apartments. I would rather an app tell me than actual people say that. No one wants to hear that they are not preferred somewhere.
The rental listing market is totally commoditized. Not much of a differentiation in terms of offerings, mobile app design or user experience.
No vernacular support or detailed guides on neighborhoods or ability to connect with some one from the area for advice. Not much of a solution to the actual problem either- finding the right house for your needs. Seems like all the players are happy to be referrals to brokers than actually solve the problem for the end user. They all work well as a affiliation sites for brokers, making brokers still the major part of the whole equation.
As an end customer, today only way to avoid brokers is by sweeping the area of interest on 2 or four wheeler looking for to-let boards. On talking to more people with similar needs, I found lot of people still do this (as I used to 10 years back) but this is still a very time intensive process and some times humbling too (most of the guards in big communities will just shoo you away). A broker typically charges a months’ house rent for the services he is providing where usually he spends around 1–2 days to show all the houses he has. He will also take a similar amount from the house owner too. A typical end customer will have at least 2–4 agents spending at least 2 weeks to a month on the activity. This is a very big market and problem to solve.
To all the entrepreneurs and technologists and problem solvers out there, there is a lot of niches that can be carved out of this problem area. And I honestly do not see the big players doing anything about it in the near future(as they have not in the last 10 years). The market is still up for grabs for anyone who is ready to disrupt it.