What NRIs are looking for...

What NRIs are looking for...

What NRIs are looking for...

Are you a non-resident Indian (NRI) unsure how to make realty investments in India? Well, you need not fret, as your wait is over. Launched exclusively for the NRIs, Waugh Global gives you all theinformation you need about the properties in India within the comforts of your homes. Steve Waugh, chairman and co-founder and Dean Honan, managing director of Waugh Global give some insights into the niche segment.

Why are you focusing only on NRIs?This is a global business and we know that there are 22 million NRIs around the world, which is the same as the population of Australia. And we believe in the India story. We also believe that we have strength to service the international Indian diaspora and what they need, which domestic portals cannot do.

How did you go about building your NRI property platform?The business itself was started after much research 12 months ago. We have been coming to India for many years now and we decided to explore different areas of the country and met with several leading developers. The topic of NRIs came up in the discussion and we did a global survey across 2,500 NRIs and the response was quite amazing. All the content you see on the platform is based on feedback from this survey and it’s by NRIs for NRIs.

Can you share insights of your market research on the NRI segment and their buying behaviour? When we did the survey, the interesting thing we found was that not one NRI had the same property buying experience. So, we realised upfront that there was as need for some sense of uniformity. Another thing we found was that the road shows and property expos were pretty archaic to connect with the NRIs and the cost per lead for the developer was way too high.

We realised that NRIs want the ability to sit at home and browse through these amazing properties with their families. So, we invested heavily in technology. There is a huge trust and transparency issue and integrity is upmost. That is why we offer holistic services in NRI investment trends.

Over the last two months, we have noticed an interesting trend where with 20 per cent depreciation in the currency, we have seen a 35 per cent increase in the rate of enquiries across board. We know that the demand is pent up and needs to unlock. And with NRIs, most developers invest in it as an afterthought. And if there is a demographic that needs one-on-one attention, it is NRIs.

Are the NRIs willing to pay more for certain amenities? What we found in our market research, above anything else, is that NRIs are looking for peace of mind, while making a property investment that is good. Open spaces and sustainability are the main focus of NRIs and we partner with developers accordingly. Again, what drives NRI investments is whether these amenities will result in good return on investment. What matters is to under promise and over deliver.

NRIs are looking for more community activities, maybe open planned living and sustainable homes. They definitely look at larger spaces.

What is the kind of appreciation seen within this market segment? In some markets in India, the appreciation over three years is 100 per cent and naturally these kind of numbers get NRIs excited. But there are markets like Gurgaon, where in spite of the oversupply, we see eight to fifteen per cent return, which is very competitive comparing with anywhere in the world. But investment decisions are driven by cultural and personal affinity and if we can get anywhere between 10 and 30 per cent returns, it would be great.

Which Indian cities are best suited for NRI realty investments? It varies from market to market. Singaporean NRIs typically invest in the North, Australian NRIs focus on the Delhi NCR region, while US-based NRIs have an affinity for Mumbai and Bengaluru. Our data showed that if we open a portal that showcases India as a whole, they will make investments that appeal to them. So, we are focusing on all Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.

When NRIs invest in India, they are really taking a leap of faith. So, if you want to unlock the answer to the NRI equation, you have to replicate the model of their home country. When you have been in another country for more than two decades, you have more affinity to the way of doing business in that country. This is where we come in as we can resonate international trends.

What are the new trends in the realty industry that will influence customer investment decisions? More than the return on investment (ROI), NRIs are looking for a certain standard of service and they are willing to give up a portion of the ROI in return for the services. This is where we step in as a company, as we offer NRIs services that help them get their job done, while ensuring that they don’t lose their peace of mind.

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