Purchasing a home in India has never been a stress-free activity for most people. From tapping a good agent/broker, to going through the process of home loans, personally visiting sites and finally closing the deal with fool-proof documentation, house hunting can be one tiresome exercise.
Fortunately, the landscape of home buying is changing in India with the introduction of online portals in the real estate segment. And one of the brands creating a whole lot of buzz for the right reasons is the newest entrant – Housing.com. Founded and managed by a team of IIT students, the ambitious 2 years old company is offering a host of services based on its IT strengths and financial backing.
From offering maximum verified listings, to personally visiting a seller’s property to upload high quality photographs, Housing.com seem to be doing things differently, and may we add, interestingly too!
A quick run through their user-friendly, vibrant and clutter free portal, introduces us to innovative features that possibly can make home buying a fun and smooth affair. Amongst the many, we shortlist a few that particularly eases consumer problems and can go a long way in making the brand a pioneer in this segment.
First one on the list is what they call, ‘Listing Decay’. Quite often, portals often list the existing inventory but ignore ‘unlisting’ it when the property has been sold, rented or is no more available. Housing.com has taken the initiative to consistently track these properties, update expired listings and enhance user-experience by checking this misinformation periodically. Quite a time saver we say.
For someone looking to invest under a budget, Housing.com offers a map based, colour coded graphic of areas ranging from the most expensive to the least, under the title ‘Heat Maps’. Prime locations reflect red and shades down to green as the rates dip, making it ideal to shortlist the location you want to settle down in.
Families can further get down to checking the ‘Child Friendliness Index’ of an area based on a similar colour coded map, with red depicting very child friendly to those in green being comparatively lesser. These indices are based on immense research that factor in child based needs like schools, open grounds, parks, friendly neighbourhood, negative history of crimes etc.(to confirm and validate with housing)
Another unique feature is the comparative study of ‘Lifestyle Rating’. A simple algorithm takes into account everything from basic amenities to luxury living, and quantifies the overall experience of living in an apartment, making that decision to buy or not buy more qualitative.
Once you’ve checked all these parameters and are serious about buying that house, you can get down to serious business. Three other features will be a huge boon at this point. One being the ’Housing Estimate’ ,that will indicate if the property on rent or sale is overpriced, underpriced or appropriate as per the prevalent market rates, and help you decide if it is really worth that big investment.
The second would be ‘Slice View’, which allows one to virtually visit the site, take a tour of every room with its 3D rendering of floor plan and even book the house online. Cutting away from conventional practice of physically visiting each home, this feature could be the next big thing in online home shopping. Although currently limited to properties of a few developers only, we hear it will be a part of all future listings on the portal.
Finally to seal the deal, a major rescue feature would be the Rental Agreement, wherein Housing.com team takes care of the entire paperwork by drafting a customized agreement(including clauses that cover lock-in period, parking, furnishing or even pets) and home deliver it, for you to simply sign.
The brand has certainly understood market needs and is poised to solve customer problems through innovation. While these are laudable from a customer perspective, other features like Visibility Index, Traffic Flux, Agent Happiness Index, Home Loan Eligibiity Calculator will further make home buying a smooth process. In the future, we hear that one can also expect the introduction of newer features like Movers & Packers, Interior Designing, Legal Agreements etc., making it a one stop shop portal.
With the availability of all this at just the tip of one’s fingers, the home buying scenario is really ‘looking up’ for the consumers.
(The views expressed in this article by the author are his own. Technuter.com doesn’t own any responsibility for it.)