Homes at your fingertips

Online booking of apartments is on the rise in Bangalore, and is expected to grow at a rapid pace. Prashanth G N explores the trend.

Online bookings have been happening and is set to grow this decade and next.

People visit websites to gather comprehensive information on apartment projects.

There are particular features of apartment projects that people usually check online, and if satisfied, take the next step, which is typically offline.

Like Delhi and Mumbai, Bangalore too has a mix of online and offline approach to buying property.

What do people look for?

Real estate observers say people look for four features online when deciding to buy property.

They look at floor plans, a decisive factor while choosing an apartment.

Area in the floor plan would be a crucial factor.

If it is less than what the buyers have assessed, buyers would not take the plan. So most observers say the floor plan should be on the dot, attractive and accurate.


“People are so savvy that one look at the floor plan and they decide either way. So developers will have to execute a plan that is attractive,” says a broker.

The second feature buyers look for is the drawing of the apartment project — what are the different dimensions of space, how the apartment looks, how is the space organised, distance between the different rooms, extent of privacy within the house, etc.

Then, amenities in the entire complex are looked at carefully — from swimming pools to the club house to party halls to greenery and landscaping.

The facilities have to come with an aesthetic appeal. Yet another factor that matters is the location of the complex — where in Bangalore is it located, is it close to a family’s workplace, how far is it from the market, mall or provision store, is the area around the complex neat and clean, has hygiene been looked into etc.

Such decisions are taken note of in the online search and families gather a bit of knowledge to talk to broking firms.

Source of infomation


Says an analyst, “The checking part of documents will be undertaken online, but the actual purchase is made offline. Once they have the knowledge, clients would go to the developer and ask for floor plans. If the floor plan is good, then the decision is quick. Then a site visit is organised for the clients. Typically, clients would want to see the site firsthand even though they have an idea from the online checks. Clients want to be assured that the physical site exists at precisely the location that has been put up online. So there is a combination of online and offline checking.”

Take the case of an IT engineer, Prakash Gowda, who lives in Jayanagar but has bought a flat costing a little above a crore near Banashankari 3rd stage.

“I knew I was buying an expensive flat. I did go online and check all the features promised. I also had a look at the design of the complex and the location. When I decided that the location and design were satisfactory, I approached the developer to check the authenticity of the project.”

“I had a look at the site where the complex was to come up and then sought the drawings and the floor plan to confirm that I would get what I was looking for. Almost all the criteria were met, barring a few minor points. I felt satisfied and then offered an advance.”

Authenticity

Generally, the tendency of clients is to go in for reputed developers, mostly within the top 10.

With smaller developers, the problem is to verify and establish their credentials. Some companies may be headquartered in Delhi, Mumbai or Pune, but have a project in Bangalore.

It isn’t too easy to trace the antecedents of the company management and the authenticity of the company.

In case the developer from the same city is selected by clients, there is a feeling of safety and some sense of guarantee that if problems arise, the company can be made accountable.

There are fly-by-night operators in most cities, wherein the operators don’t show up after collecting the advance from clients.

Given this possibility, builders have established a collective body that would take care of the interests of authentic builders.

Any reference can be made to the body if a developer steps out of line.

For instance, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India is one such body articulating the interests of its members.

A client who wants to buy a house can seek assistance of the collective body.

Just for details

Many developers say online could be used majorly for enquiries.

People check the website and then call the developer.

This number is very high. Developers have also opened chat facilities directly with the marketing and sales teams.

Preliminary calculations and decisions can be made via chat and the web, but the actual buying part — offering an advance, would happen face to face.

The number of people booking and paying up online without visiting the site is marginal, and expected to grow if web purchases are made safe.

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