Developers are now INDUSTRIALISTS
Geopreneur Group, India’s first boutique construction company caters to real estate needs at all levels. Geopreneur Corp is the real estate development wing, Geopreneur Design Studio, offers architecture and interior design consultancy and Geopreneur Infra Corp forms the contracting and infrastructure vertical. In conversation with Sapna Srivastava, Rohan Agarwal, Managing Director, Geopreneur Group speaks about his views on the realty sector and future prospects.
THE CURRENT SCENARIO OF REAL ESTATE
We as an industry are still unorganized and need to work to gain trust and faith of people. Being a young entrepreneur, I view things differently than how business was conducted earlier. I feel developers today are more like industrialists who are manufacturing product for a customer and therefore the product has to be designed as per market demand. The developer can no longer construct a project, keep the vacant inventories and expect buyer to invest in what he offers. It is a customer centric market with much aware buyers. Market acceptability is an important factor when it comes to real estate.
Three years ago, the real estate market was in a downslide, but the buyer sentiments are improving. Affordable housing is the recent trend and accordingly, developers are reducing the ticket size of their projects to appeal to the buyers. The project design and pricing also depends on the location of the project and the market profile. A project in Worli, Mumbai would be a luxury residential project with higher price tag compared to a project in Borivali or Mulund which would be of an affordable price range. The vacant inventories are the result of product not matching the customer profile or demand.
THE BUYER’S TREND IN THE RECENT TIMES
For the buyers today, the quality matters more than the size and space of the apartment. People are more interested in amenities provided. Real estate industry moves as per the consumers’ trends and wishes. Buyers have become more brand conscious than before. They are very much aware and educated about the developers’ status and take decisions consciously. People are more tech-savvy and they get information at the earliest.
THE REASONS FOR GAP BETWEEN UNSOLD INVENTORIES AND DEMAND FOR HOUSING
Given the population in our country, the demand will always be higher than supply in real estate. Therefore, firstly we need to understand the definition ofan inventory. A project that is complete including all the certificates and is ready to move in is an inventory. An under construction project or a project waiting for Occupation Certificate or any other clearance after completion cannot be termed as an inventory I see the gap on product dispensation. In real estate, if somebody makes a good quality, market appropriate product, it is really tough to hold it back. The demand is always there but external situations also play an important factor in deciding the unsold inventories. A lot of research on the ground is needed to meet the demands.For instance, developers can no longer talk of markets in a broad sense, as the buyer trends are now micro market basis.
HOW ARE DEVELOPERS TAKING THEIR GRIEVANCES TO THE GOVERNMENT?
CREDAI has been an able platform for the developers. They take up the pertinent matters with the relevant government departments taking these things to the housing ministry. Single Window Clearance is the need of the hour. Developers are pushing this to the government for on-time delivery of projects, though no steps have been taken yet. There have been a lot of talks but nothing has happened as of now.
Similarly, affordable housing cannot be achieved if there is a tussle between the government and the developers. Cooperation can only fulfill such dreams. Land pricing is a key factor when it comes to affordability.
THE MARKETING STRATEGY OF GEOPRENEUR GROUP
Our market segment varies from project to project. Some of our projects fall under the affordable segment and some of them are luxury projects. Our marketing strategy includes media planning and online campaigns apart from the channel partners and the in-house sales team. We are designing projects with inbuilt flexibility like a buyer can choose the colour of flooring and other finishing materials as per his choice. We also offer interior designing of the apartment if the buyer wishes. The word o mouth publicity of such distinct offerings also play an important role in getting sales.
THE GROWTH PLANS OF THE COMPANY
Building on the 45 years legacy of our family which has been in the realty business since 1967, we established Geopreneur Corp in 2012 to bring in a new way of working and ideas in sync with today’s time and new generation of buyers. We are not planning a geographical expansion but are doing a horizontal expansion of the company. Geopreneur Design Studio has been established to provide interior and architectural solutions to other builders who do not have the in-house capacity. Currently, the company is catering to the in-house requirements.
Geopreneur Infra Corp vertical is being developed to offer services to small or mid-sized developers who have the finances but lack the expertise of implementing a project from the scratch including the information on all the clearances and certifications required to construction of the project. We are also planning to come up with a housing finance company as there are only handfuls of companies like DHFL, Indiabulls, etc. felicitating the same.