for its emergence into a profession,” says Sam Chopra, chairman, Re/Max India, a property brokerage operating on the franchise model, present in 35 cities in the country.
Chopra adds that in the current climate, enquiries have dropped by almost 75-80 per cent, investor transactions by 40-50 per cent. The end-user segment is not slowed drastically, although it too is down 10 per cent, all the more reason for brokers to position themselves well.
Anil Kumar Sharma, president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI)-NCR says that the emergence of portals has led to a shift in the manner the business is conducted. “A majority of buyers tend to rely on portals and prefer to compare rates and facilities provided by various developers. The new age buyer prefers to engage with developer directly,” says Sharma.
The situation is not such that it is portals versus the broker, says Shobhit Agarwal, MD, Protiviti Consulting. “Portals are a good mass marketing vehicle for the developer, something his sales teams cannot achieve. Virtual walkthroughs on the web can reduce the time spent on physically visiting five developments and then zeroing in on one. Portals aggregate information and that helps a customer reach an informed decision. When one has clear expectations, a broker too give a better level of service,” says”Agarwal.
An added incentive is that portals do not charge the prospective customer for making use of its services and content. Brokers typically charge in the range of 1 per cent each from both buyer and developer.
But then, bypassing a broker is not a wise option as they are equipped to navigate the complex maze that a property transaction is, and it is often not possible to do without the essential human interface and the personalised service that no portal can match. Brokers too have risen to the occasion.
“The entry of portals has no doubt brought more professionalism into the market and has posed a challenge to ‘traditional’ broker shops. Brokers themselves list their properties on portals and have their own listings on their own websites,” says PSN Rao, chairman, National Association of