Sai Estate Consultants: Cracking the Code to Real Estate Broking
Amit B. Wadhwani, Director, Sai Estate Consultants, believes brokers in Indian Realty carry the stigma of being ‘unsophisticated and unrefined’ among homebuyers. With a mission to shake things up, and with SECCPL stating that its current valuation is at 1240 crores, Amit may just be walking his talk.
Sai Estate Consultants (SECCPL) seems hell-bent on changing the perception of the broking business in the Indian real estate sector. To further this mission, the company focuses as much on consumer psychology as it does on actual business.
An Unconventional Inception
As of 2018, SECCPL’s capacity to sell primary real estate units rose from 2400 units to 3800 units annually in 2018. Impressive numbers, especially considering Amit Wadhwani surprisingly doesn’t come from a broking background. Just 33 years old and a former Jet Airways flight steward, he started the company to support his family. Amit’s curiosity about the equity market, mutual funds and real estate business led him to start trading while he was still working in airlines
His initial strategy was to avoid getting into competition with local big brokers and instead connect with those interested in renting flats. He did this through free online ads. He quickly utilized his knack of understanding the mind of the homebuyer, and based on their response to his ads, provided his professional services.
Just how did such humble beginnings lead to the current success the company seems to be enjoying? Says Amit, “A combination of hard work, dedication, honesty and humility has brought me to where I am today. I had a dream and I strived to achieve it. If one is determined to achieve something, nothing can stop them. In fact the universe conspires to help you achieve it, as they say. I have also been fortunate to have a talented and able team who have been part of SECCPL’s growth journey.”
Maverick or Productive Disruptor?
What drives SECCPL is Amit’s passion for getting people the homes of their dreams at prices they can afford. But such single-minded passion can sometimes go awry.The company is infamously the recipient of the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA)’s first-ever ruling. The regulatory body imposed a fine against the property broker last year for advertising multiple unregistered residential projects. Sai was directed to stop advertising, marketing, booking, and selling apartments in the unregistered projects immediately. Sai was also made to pay a fine of Rs. 1.20 lacs for a violation period of 12 days.
But Amit believes that RERA is the best thing to have happened to real estate, as it has given brokers much-needed endorsement. Homebuyers can also now have faith in the system, and real estate brokers can take the opportunity to add that extra bit of professionalism and transparency to their operations.
In some parts of the industry, Amit has earned a reputation of being rigid and difficult to convince. SECCPL is sometimes viewed as a one-man show, run primarily on its founder’s set ideas and strategies. SECCPL, like its leader, may be labeled as a maverick or ‘mischief-maker’ that is challenging the status quo. However, organizations that are characterized as such, are also often those who hold the keys to transforming an industry that is facing significant challenges due to changing market conditions. Disruption is a function of transformative leaders: those who create a culture that promotes, rather than actively discouraging going against the grain.
Far from being a one-man show, SECCPL has a team strength of about 500 and is led by a core team of professionals with diverse backgrounds and talents. Leading from the front, along with AmitWadhwani, is Vicky B.Wadhwani. Rahul Grover joined SECCPL as the current President – Sales & Operations after a stint at property portal, Housing.com. RohitRuparel, also an ex-Housing.com employee is the Senior Vice President Sales and Operations, who has played an instrumental role in shaping the companies SOP’s & growth trajectory.Richendra Nanda, Amit’sbrother in law, is the AVP- Operations who plays a key role in driving high-pressure performance. Close ally and also ex-jet airways, Michelle Rodriques handles quality assurance, while Salome Peters, XLRI alumina heads Human Resources.After the exit of Rajesh Chakrabarty, as acting CEO of SECCPL on 15th June 2018, the position remains yet to be filled.
‘Sapne Aapke Mission Hamara’
Sai believes in offering homebuyers affordability at every level, whether in the small budget or premium range. Today, Sai conducts sales of 250 crore+ every month. It is India’s only and largest real estate broking company that bears 100% media and marketing costs completely de-risking the developer of any non-performance. None of SECCPL processes are outsourced, and it has its own contact centers to field responses from end users across the globe.SECCPL deliberately avoids over-negotiating with homebuyers, keeping in mind the amounts they are already investing in buying property. SECCPL’s agents are always available to guide and answer queries for clients.
Sai Estate Consultants manages all aspects of property purchase, which includes marketing the project, sales, providing loans to consumers and ensuring that the developers deliver in the said time frame. Project management is done holistically to ensure that sales are at a peak, thus differentiating them from other broking firms.
SECCPL’s sales mantra is very simple, according to its founder. “Make your buyer your priority. Know him, his problems, and his needs. Customer is king and the one who understands this and follows it will be successful,” says Wadhwani.
Amit also handles the professional marketing of over 100 projects currently. He passionately promotes real estate on various media including radio, outdoor, print, digital and television across the nation. He is essentially the face (and voice) of the company utilizing a strategy of personal branding for its marketing and promotion. Insisting it’s not just a marketing strategy, Wadhwani says, “Today the buyer wants to know in whose hands they are placing their lifelong savings or trusting their dream with. The personal touch is very important for a purchase as crucial as a house. A customer knows that when they are dealing through SAI, they are in the able hands as the founder is fully involved. Why this works, is because I personally ensure that each of SAI’s customer is happy and satisfied.”
The Buyer – Developer Connect
As a channel partner SECCPL has been taking up complete responsibility of selling a real estate project. The company aims to be a developer’s direct business associate and the vital link between consumers and developers. Says Wadhwani, “with the changing role of SECCPL as a channel partner, developers are happy rewarding us as we are taking up the entire project sales for them. Our current marketing techniques are more transparent, organised and reachable without any hassles. Going forward SECCPL shall be changing their marketing techniques as per trends in order to incorporate the consumer sentiment and demands. This will help us organize ourselves in a way where we can reach out to the right target, besides adopting a personalised approach that helps in creating a great connect and concludes with a fruitful deal.”