Real Estate Ads

Wed, Jul 15, 2015 4-minute read

The sector that really needs better marketing folks is the real estate sector. At least the residential real estate market in India and to some extent in Singapore also.

Today someone from India wanted me to buy a house in Bangalore. Apparently I could do that with just a 7lac payment and then rest upon possession. I had a couple of problems with the call:

  1. It was made at a completely inappropriate time. I dunno if there is a way to say what is a more appropriate time, but it maybe polite to ask after you make the call. Assuming that picking up means am idle is a tad incorrect.
  2. And keep your opening line simple and clear. Maybe I have an answer as soon as I know what you call for. Or maybe after you tell me the city you are talking about?
  3. Do some research please – I have never, all my life so far, searched for even rental spaces in Bangalore. I have never written on any of social networks that I’d like to settle down in Bangalore. Not even once. Thinking about it, I don’t think I even talk about Bangalore unless I have to mention something about my cousins there. But then, I have never had to mention them on any social network. Oh yes, many of my friends are in Bangalore. But please check my interaction levels with each one of them. No. I am not going to Bangalore. And I don’t intend to own real estate in places I don’t want to go. Don’t tell me you don’t have this data. I didn’t give you my number in the first place. Remember?
  4. I made the mistake of attending a real estate fair about two years ago. I thought – now that I am an NRI, maybe I could suddenly afford all the houses in India. I got my answer about 10 minutes into the fair. I never went back again. There have been 6 or 7 fairs since. And my absence is each one of them should tell you something – either I already picked something or I am not interested. What part of my absence don’t you guys understand?
  5. Even in the sole fair that I attended, I only visited stalls that had properties in Chennai and Coimbatore. Neither of these places are a 2 hour drive from Bangalore. Not yet, at least.
  6. And please stop advertising and marketing the fact that your properties are very close to international airports. Let’s look at this a little closely
    1. Nobody goes to work in an aeroplane in India. Unless they were pilots.
    2. Nobody goes to work in the airport unless they are staff or security.
    3. No, I don’t have my own aircraft. And please think about the number of people who picked your property that have their own aircrafts. I don’t intend to buy one any soon either.
    4. And I might even consider proximity to domestic airports – but international airports just beat me. I don’t want to own a property that I stay in for a few days a month. I am better off staying in a hotel.
    5. And I don’t see how I could rent my property to pilots, airport staff or security. Given how bad most airlines are doing, this doesn’t seem very exciting.
  7. It doesn’t help either that the property is very close to engineering colleges. For what it is worth, I don’t have a kid yet. And when I have one, it is very likely I don’t want him in Engineering.
    1. Oh, the engineering colleges that are near your property are neither Anna University nor IIT.
    2. Even if my kid decides to study engineering, I won’t pay up unless he/she studies in an IIT or a Anna University.
    3. Of course, there is a very good likelihood that the obscure college near your property does better research than both these places combined. I don’t mind regretting my decisions in that case.
    4. And all this is at least 19-20 years into the future. Maybe the college would close down by then. Or maybe they would be a different state or a different enrollment examination? So don’t bother selling something so distant in the future.
  8. The only thing that matters is the proximity to a healthcare facility. One with good doctors and good equipment. Rest else fall flat. And yet, only a few can claim this.
  9. For singapore only – While most of the above are not applicable to Singapore, they do claim proximity to MRT. Once I saw a property ad that was just 30mins from a very prominent interchange. I was stunned given its pricing. But then you need to think again. 30 mins from that interchange could potentially take me anywhere on the island. And that is quite bad for your marketing 🙂

Wake up guys. Already the market is volatile and stressed. Bad marketing on top of this cannot do much good. Or at least, leave me out of your loop.