In an interaction with “We are investing heavily to develop some of the disruptive innovations in Indian Real estate based on machine learning & big data.”
Can you tell us about 360 Realtors and your journey?
I have been a serial entrepreneur throughout my life. Alongside my various businesses, which involved Intl Buying Agency, home fragrances, interior decorations, etc., my family and I were actively involved in buying & selling of Real Estate in individual capacity.
In 2013, we bought equity in Honnex Realtors, a Noida based Real Estate brokerage. Interestingly, while managing Honnex, we realized the tremendous potential in organized Indian Real Estate. There was no dearth of buyers in the market. However, as the market was mostly run by unorganized brokers & individual agents, buying decisions were heavily compromised. The fragmented Indian Real Estate required an organized entity that can offer discerning buyers unbiased advisory, handhold them through the tedious process of property purchase & help them in the post-purchase phases with all the mandatory documentations.
Thus, 360 Realtors was born in 2014 as an Institutional Channel Partner, with Gurugram as headquarters. As the name suggested, we were active throughout the home purchase value chain, from search & identification to the home purchase to the post purchase phases.
In a short span of time, we became the dominant player in the Delhi NCR alongside successfully branching into other metros & Tier 2 cities. Today, we are a team of 1,000+ professionals with 50 offices around the world. Since inception, we have sold over 15,000 homes all across India.
Since 2017, we have also relentlessly expanded in the international market catering to NRIs. Today, we are the biggest ICP in the NRI space, as it comprises of around 30% of our total revenue.
How is the Residential Real Estate space panning out for you? Are trends looking strong in that segment?
After a snag during 2015-2017, the Indian Real Estate industry has started to revive during the previous year. Although prices are stable in most of the markets, there has been a significant rise in transaction volume, primarily driven by end-users. Interestingly, investors have started to re-enter as well although at a relatively slower pace. The silver lining is that speculative forces have dwindled over the years, and hence, the market will remain stable and secured.
As there are piles of unsold inventories still in numerous markets, developers are coming up with attractive schemes & gift offers to lure buyers. This is further feeding into demand. On the back of attractive prices, Indian Real Estate will continue to be an inviting field for homebuyers in the times ahead.
Do you believe that momentum for real estate players remains supportive?
Yes, the momentum remains very supportive for organized Real Estate in India. Recent times have witnessed some, monumental policy overhauls such as RERA, GST & Demonetization, which has strengthened the industry by bringing in a lot of transparency & structure. As a result, there has been a substantial amount of upturn in buyers' confidence levels.
With Modi led NDA government winning a thumping majority in the parliament, thrust in the Real Estate market will continue to unravel. Modi 2.0 will continue to bring in broader reforms & streamline existing ones. The fraternity believes that in the near future, constructive steps will be taken towards GST rationalization, single window clearance projects, affordable homes, etc. These steps in tandem can go a long way towards further uplifting industry.
What would you like to see from the NDA government from an investment perspective and what is your expectation?
The government has pledged around $1.4tn to develop Indian infrastructure. From an investment perspective, such a high octane plan can set the economy for a major boost & take the consumer confidence above the roof.
We also believe that apart from infrastructure development, the NDA government will take proactive steps towards redressing the NBFC crisis & help developers who are suffering from piles of unsold inventories.
Likewise, broader reforms are expected in Modi 2.0 to further incentivize global & domestic institutional money into Indian Real Estate. In fact, research shows that private equity capital into Real Estate will double to $10bn in FY 2019-2020 compared to a year before.
What is your team like? Are you planning to raise funds?
As a sales driven organization, a sizable part of our human capital comprises of sales professionals deployed across our 50+ offices around the globe (40 in India & 10 international).
However, we have a notable presence across the entire property purchase value chain - marketing, business development, customer relationship management, developer relationship management, etc. We also have prolific support functions such as finance, HR & technologies.
We are investing heavily to develop some of the disruptive innovations in Indian Real estate based on machine learning & big data. We have also moved our technology headquarters also called Technology Development Center (TDC) to Pune from Noida recently, in order to get access to top quality talent. Going forward, a technology-centered DNA augmented with an extensive ground presence of seasoned sales professionals will be the game changer in the industry.
We are not actively seeking funds but would be open to looking at any attractive opportunity coming our way.
What kind of facilities and amenities that you are providing in these spaces?
Since inception, we have believed in hiring, training & grooming the right talents. A major part of the company’s success is dedicated to our workforce.
Attractive remuneration & incentives: In terms of salaries & incentives, we follow one of the highest standards in the industry.
Personal Growth: At 360 Realtors, there has been a tremendous opportunity for professionals who are willing to grow. There have been dozens of instances where professionals have joined at a trainee role & have been fast-tracked to senior leadership profiles in a short span of time, based on their exceptional performances. We have also sent our employees for training at various reputed institutes in India such as IIM and ISB.
International Opportunities: We have deployed 100+ workforces across our 10 international offices. This is very unique thing in Real Estate, as international opportunities were earlier enjoyed by a selected few sectors - IT/ ITeS, Consulting, etc. Now, Real Estate employees can also be eligible for international jobs.
What are your future plans?
The previous FY has been phenomenal as we earned revenue of Rs152cr (a 50% jump) selling around 6,000 units. In the current FY, we are eyeing an ambitious target of selling 12,000 units. In order to achieve the target, we are planning to hire roughly 1,000 new employees.
Apart from primary residential sales, we are also venturing in a big way into numerous other ancillary services such as broker aggregation, strategic advisory to developers, media house, and commercial leasing. We are raising our stakes in the international markets, as there is a huge amount of untapped potential in the NRI space. We have purchased a US-based brokerage house, RISA realty, and will soon be rolling out offices in a host of American cities. Interestingly, we are the first India-based advisor to enter the US market.