In Delhi-NCR an estimated 61,000 homes get rented out every month. How many of these get listed by owners online? Not much. 99acres.com, the largest real estate classified platform in India, shows 4,500 owner listings across NCR in last one month – that’s only 7.3% of all homes rented out. The number is actually worse for Mumbai (4.8%) and Bangalore (6.5%). The question is why are home owners averse to listing their property online?
Technology adoption is not the problem. Home is a valuable asset and home owners, typically affluent, can list properties online – themselves or through younger members of the family – if only they see the value. Matrimonial sites have solved that problem. Even classifieds have dedicated teams that help owners post without getting online but even that is not enough. Problem lies somewhere else. Posting on classifieds gets homeowners flooded with phone calls – 90% of them irrelevant – from random brokers and non-matching tenants. Classifieds offer no filtration and hence rather than solving a problem they create a new problem. Home owners have a limited ability to service queries on phone and on field and classifieds do not help. Not surprisingly, most owners end up ignoring online classifieds and prefer the traditional broker channel.
Another misconception is that owners don’t want to pay brokerage. That’s not true as well. We called approx. 50 home owners who had listed their properties with NoBrokers.com – a site which explicitly mentions that they don’t charge any brokerage. More than 90% of them were ready to pay a brokerage if only we could get them the right tenant.
Our own interactions with home owners revealed that they want a solution, and are happy to pay for it. They do not want to get swamped by irrelevant queries that they have to personally attend to. They would much rather have someone else take care of this hassle. In India, there is no contractual exclusivity for agents, and owners are ready to work with multiple, but selective, agents who can get them filtered, relevant demand. It also opens up an opportunity to establish a pan-India brand, with whom home owners can list their properties. The brand itself generates and filters the demand, so owners are not inundated by irrelevant queries from tenants and brokers.
Only 6-8% owner property listings online are testimony of the unmet latent need of the owners. At Fastfox we have witnessed immense owner enthusiasm towards dealing with a professional organization for their house. More and more owners today trust FastFox for finding them the right tenants – even as we continue to invest more in creating convenience and value for them.
Author: Pallav Pandey
Passionate about building tech-enabled businesses in emerging markets. Excited to work with young companies in their journey from 0 to 1.