Sudhir Pai, is the Chief Executive Officer for Magicbricks.com. With 14 years of management experience, Sudhir brings rich, multi-industry exposure across FMCG, Banking & Internet Classified sectors. He’s spent around10 years at the Times of India Group, of which the last 5 years has been in leading Magicbricks.com. His early work experience was between Hindustan Lever, Marico & Citibank India. Team RealtyMyths.com recently, had an interaction; here are some of the excerpts:
What do you think about the online real estate scenario? How is Magicbricks.com planning its path?
The online scene has changed drastically, buyers are open to experiment these day. Now with our huge scale of visits we are trying to create an experience and adding value to the buyer in every possible way. There are some missing links which we are focusing on to create the right journey of the buying process. Magicbricks.com launched several innovative services aimed to help a consumer in his property buying cycle. These new services would bring in transparency, decision-support and personalized human assistance to a property related decision.
What the major benefits that the buyers will be able to find now on Magicbricks.com?
The latest offerings – PropWorth, Advice, Magicbricks Forum and MB Premium are all set to make home buying process a hassle free and a fruitful experience.
• PropWorth – PropWorth aims at becoming the de-facto price benchmark app for all buyers/sellers & Agents across the country before finalizing any property transaction. People with no intention to buy/sell property can also use it to figure out worth of their, neighbour’s or relative’s property. Basically, PropWorth can be used to know the right price of any property anywhere.
- Advice – The objective of the new section is to handhold users at every stage of the buying cycle thus helping them take an informed decision and not emotional ones. The four new products launched under the Advice section are:
- Buy vs. Rent Calculator – Buy vs. Rent calculator is a financial tool targeted at those customers who are not finance wizards but have a fair appreciation of finance. The calculator tells a customer that if he were to stay in the same city in a rented apartment, would he be better off buying a house or keep staying in the same rented apartment
- Smart Search – Smart Search is a tool which comes in handy in the pre-discovery phase. Basis inputs, the tool shows list of localities one should start their search with along with other pre-computed values such as current rates, demand of the locality, supply of the locality, how developed the locality is, what kind of growth the locality has been experiencing, rental yields and returns the locality has been witnessing
- Compare projects/localities – This product is targeted for the shortlist stage. As per inputs, the tool shows details such as project rank, liveability index, highlights of the project, annual rental yields, price trends, project reviews, locality reviews and ratings
- Rate Change Calculator – This product is targeted for post deal closure stage. This tool tells you that if interest rates change or you were to shift your loan from one bank to another, how it will impact your cash flows.
- MB Forum – A new dedicated place to get your queries answered from industry experts where people can join for free and stay updated on latest discussion through e mail. It has dedicated discussion group pages for every project and locality classified into relevant segments such as Project Approvals, Price & ROI, Construction Quality, Possession Related etc.
- MB Premium – MB Premium is a paid service that any user can avail. The assisted service aims at giving services like photo shoot for the property, refined questions from the prospects, maximized property search, listings of the property etc. to name a few.Each of these services uniquely addresses specific pain areas in the buying cycle of a consumer. The aim behind the launch of PropWorth, Advice, Forum and MB Premium is to improve each of these steps of the home buying experience. From a transparent price-discovery of a property, to having a forum to discuss property queries to offering premium personalised paid services, we believe such initiatives empower the customers to make better informed decisions.
Any challenges you are facing currently?
Challenges are unique; however, the opportunity in this business is well beyond solving the listing discovery problem. We’ve now launched a bunch of products that help a consumer at different stages of the buying process. We’ve built MB into India’s largest and most successful property marketplace. We’re happy that consumers now choose MB as the first port of call when they initiate a property transaction.
How impactful will GST be in this sector?
Honestly, it’s a great reform by the government but I would rather not comment before the real norms are out. But let’s be hopeful about the overall growth of the real estate sector which is mostly to happen.
Any suggestion to the recent start-ups in the real estate sector?
It is very important to understand the buying behavior and the crisis to create an experiential journey. Understand the functionality and the important components of this sector and try to create a synergy. It is always more than problem, so dig deeper!