Interview with Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants
Radical & Disruptive Residential Brokerage
Former Chairman and Country Head of JLL and now the Chairman of Anarock Property Consultants Anuj Puri is set to disrupt the Indian residential property market. In an informal interview with Sapna Srivastava, he explains the multi-pronged approach of the new venture.
Anuj Puri joined JLL in 2007 when his company Trammell Crow Meghraj (TCM) merged with the Indian arm of the global real-estate services firm JLL. This year, he announced the launch of Anarock Property Consultants Pvt Ltd, essentially re-branding JLL’s erstwhile residential brokerage business which he had acquired recently. Simultaneously, Puri announced the firm’s real-estate investment and fund platform, which will invest Rs 300 Crore in residential real-estate projects.
Thus, starting as an entrepreneur way back in 1995 with Chesterton Meghraj Property Consultants, Puri has come a full circle being an entrepreneur again. Commenting enthusiastically he said, “After 10 incredible years at JLL, it is now time to move on to become anentrepreneur again. My tenure at JLL was the highlight of my professional career and still there is a definite emotional involvement. The launch of Anarock was long on the charts and very much part of my plans for the future. It is conceived to simplify residential real-estate transactions through an effective mix of online and offline strategy. The name “Anarock” is derived from the combination of mathematical term “Ana” meaning 4 to denote four ethos of the organization, ethics, integrity, trust and transparency and ‘Rock” denoting confidence & stability and property in the literal sense.”
In fact, he feels it is a new learning curve for him as he moves on from B2B property transactions into the gamut of B2C property broking system. “This is a new way of doing business and working for me. Though the developer clients remain the same with whom I have a long standing relationship, the profile of the buyers has changed from corporate to end-customer,” Puri added.
Reasons for foray into residential brokerage market
“The current B2C residential brokerage sector lacks trust and transparency. Given the RERA provisions, I would say that 90 per cent of the brokers will not be able to qualify. Only 10 per cent of the brokers will be able to get registered with RERA which offers a huge opportunity for a professional organized player like us to be the advisors in the middle and bridge the gap between the developer and the end-customer.
With strict regulation of RERA on anvil, developers too want a reliable broker who would not overstate or falsely represent their projects that may lead to legal implications for them. The mismatch between the demand for housing and the supply from the developer due to lack of confidence in the broker is another reason for players like us to enter the market and bring in reliability factor.
Thirdly, the residential property market in India is maturing and this is the right time for us to be present here. I feel that year 2017 onward we are going to see the buyers getting more informed and aware of their rights and responsibilities. It will take a few years more but, consumers already are wary of fly by night operators and would rather prefer corporate and institutionalized residential service provider.
Lastly, the current home buyers search properties through online portals which do not offer end to end services to the customer. Their business model is to generate leads and sell the same. Anarock offline service and interaction through its own in-house team will address the offline transaction gap.”
The residential property sector is at the cusp of a major sea-change. On one hand, it has just begun recovering from a prolonged slowdown on account of muted sentiment and on the other the implementation of RERA and the Government’s determined push for affordable housing is boosting the revival curve. Only credible players who are duly registered with RERA and are thereby accountable for their business practices will have a foothold in the industry.
Services to be provided under Anarock Property Consultants umbrella
Talking about the company’s service portfolio, Puri explained the multiple real-estate service verticals that it will cover. “We will provide regular residential advisory services with zero brokerage charges for the customers and 2-7 per cent from the developers depending upon the services they require from the company. The firm will operate a revolutionary business model of bulk-purchasing residential apartment inventory through a proprietary investment fund. The ticket size of the properties will range from 50 Lakhs to 3 Crore. The buyers in this segment search properties online but want to close transaction offline. Our skilled in-house team will help clients close the deal and thereby offer end to end service from digital to delivery.
Anarock will also provide debt, equity and mezzanine funding to residential developers. Our Investment and Fund platform, which is targeting a capitalization of USD 500 million by 2020, currently houses two funds. ROF-I, with its recent investments fully deployed at INR 161 crore. It has already demonstrated successful exits. ROF-II, for which INR 300 Crore were raised in 2016, will invest into meaningful residential assets from an existing pipeline and its deployment will commence as soon as it completes the last leg of regulatory requirements.”
Anarock’s radical residential brokerage model fully enables supply, demand and discovery through a digital platform, with transactions facilitated offline via highly-trained real estate experts.