Friday, November 28, 2014

Selling your house? Enhance its marketability

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Ask any corporate honcho or the guys in the sales & marketing division about the product their company manufactures and its marketability, all of them will nod in agreement that besides product features, it should be packaged and presented brilliantly.

Same can be applied to your house. It’s a product and you are the marketing manager of this product. Besides possessing features such as large spacious rooms, attached toilets, balconies, excellent floor plan, it should be presented beautifully to prospective buyers.

Just like a buyer purchases a product he or she feels connected to, similarly, your house that you are putting up for sale shall generate the feeling of belonging to the buyer. How can you do it? How can you make sure that buyer feels attached to the house when he/she visits it? Below are some tips:


  • Stage the house:

Have you ever visited the IKEA store Or for that matter, any other large supermarket to buy furniture; groceries; kitchen utensils; etc.? What you see there is staging of items you wish to buy. A bedroom is staged with bed, table, carpet, etc. Even, walls are designed in such a way that it feels like your own bedroom. One begins to feel it, fantasize it.  Therefore, before you decide to put your house for sale, you should stage it and never keep it empty.

An empty house is a terrible way of presenting your house to prospective buyers. A buyer finds it extremely difficult to visualize him living there. The rooms, kitchen, and even toilets in an empty house appear smaller. Therefore, one should stage his / her house in order to sell at high value.




  • House should be presentable:

While you should never show the empty house to prospective buyers, one should be careful in placing the furniture. The furniture should enhance room’s best features. Be creative and arrange the furniture in such a way that it downplays the negative characteristics of your house and augment the best characteristics. When arranging the furniture, follow the mantra ‘less is more’. Do not ever block windows or crowd out furniture at one place. Keep furniture at an optimum distance from the door.


  • Remove unwanted items and clutter:

There are always some unwanted items in the house that you would have accumulated over a period of time. It was not in use for you but still you kept it in the house. This is the time to sell those unwanted things to make your house clutter free. Any prospective buyer visiting the house will not be distracted by these items and instead will be focused in visualizing the house for his / her family. At the same time, keep away all extraneous things like bottles, papers, cosmetic items, bathroom collections, etc. The idea is to present your house as neat as possible without all these distractions.


  • Keep it clean:

No point in highlighting this simple yet overlooked fact. Many a times, we have seen, seller becomes callous and on a typical house tour what one find is unclean toilets, unhygienic kitchen, pile of newspapers, poorly maintained cupboards, greasy electric boards & switches. This surely puts off the prospective buyer. All it takes is 3-4 hours of work to clean the house including the toilets, kitchen, cupboards, flooring, switches, etc. In fact, one can get it done by a house keeping staff for as low as Rupees 1000 or less. Therefore, one should not overlook this simple factor before putting his /her house for sale or for that matter for rent.


  • Comfort:

Home is one place where one finds comfort at the end of a hard day of work. A buyer when visits your house, unconsciously or consciously, he / she is visualizing it from many angles including the comfort factor. Pillows arranged on the couch or bed and soft, clean towels in the bathroom will give your home a more appealing look and are easy additions to a space. Decorative candles, even when unlit, are a great styling tool and provide a light scent in the room.

If you can’t do all of these on your own, you can hire one of the housekeeping companies. There are many housekeeping companies that will clean your house and will also give it an appealing look. For example, Rohit Kumar who lives in UK had invested in an apartment in Greater Faridabad. He got the possession of the house 2 years ago. Having kept the house locked for 2 years, Rohit thought of selling the house. Since he was living away, therefore, Rohit took the services of a Property Management Company in Faridabad and got his house staged and was able to sell quickly and at a premium.




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Friday, November 21, 2014

How waste is currently collected and disposed in India? Is the current process efficient? What can be a better way?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

We all know every households produce waste on a daily basis and the garbage collector comes to every house to collect garbage. A typical process involves household emptying their bin in the dilapidated truck or vehicle of the garbage collector, the garbage collector takes waste from all the households in an assigned territory and then dumps it on a secluded piece of land. Garbage collectors from all territories in the city meet there to do the same. And it creates a landfill which stinks and is not good for the health of the citizens.

This landfill method is hazardous and detrimental to environment. It creates land pollution (and in some cases, ground water contamination). The waste is not recycled. No electricity, bio-gas, or fertilizers are made from this extremely useful waste.


Part I - The current process of collecting and disposing of waste in India:




M - Municipality
C - Contractors
H - Households




An example of how Municipalities in India invite tenders from contractors to collect Waste:





Part II - The suggested process of collecting and disposing of waste in India:



M - Municipality
V - Vehicle used by Municipality to collect waste bags from Households
H- Households



A typical 30 liters waste bag:



Part III - Benefits of new Process of collecting and disposing of waste in India:

  1. Household waste will be in sealed waste bags, therefore no possibilities of littering on the streets.
  2. Eliminates or minimize the role of contractors.
  3. Segregation of waste in the plant becomes easy and fast.
  4. Pay as you produce. Citizens will now pay based on the waste they produce. Each waste bag to cost Rupees 5 or the cost determined by each municipality.
  5. No need for the municipal body to dump waste at various sites. All waste bags go to a central waste plant.


Part IV - Challenges of implementing new Process of collecting and disposing of waste in India:

  1. People are resistant to change – therefore change management practices to be implemented including the robust media campaign.
  2. Municipalities may resist the new process because of lobbying from contractors.
  3. Investment is needed to build high quality waste management plants along with investments to be made in waste collecting vehicles.
  4. Low Income Group (LIG) or Economic Weaker Section (EWS) of the society may not be able to afford the cost of Waste Bags. However, their costs can be reimbursed by way of Direct Cash Transfers.
  5. Spending on media campaign – can become part of Government of India’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan.


Part V - Implementation – A staged Process:

The entire campaign needs to be carried out in phased manner:
  1. First phase: Implementation of the process in one district (or MP Constituency) in India
  2. Second phase: Implementation of the process in one district in each state across the country
  3. Third phase: Implementation of the process across all districts (MP Constituencies) across India

Note: Waste Plants can be developed on (Public Private Partnership) PPP model.


Have any Questions?

Monday, November 17, 2014

How can NRIs-PIOs-OCBs open and maintain the NRE-NRO-FCNR-bank accounts in India to buy, sell, rent out immovable property?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Foreign exchange management act (FEMA) of 1999 allows Non Resident Indians (NRIs), Person of Indian Origins (PIO) to buy, sell, rent immovable property other than agricultural land or plantation property or farm house in India. One can invest in a piece of land and construct it or buy an under construction property directly from the real estate developer. Overseas Indians can invest in commercial or residential property of their choice. The acquisition of immovable property by person resident outside India is governed by terms of Section 6(3) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999, as well as by the regulations contained in Notification issued by RBI vides Notification No FEMA. 21/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, as amended from time to time.

Persons resident outside India are categorized as Non- Resident Indians (NRIs) or a foreign national of Indian Origin (PIO) or a foreign national of non-Indian origin. A person resident in India who is not a citizen of India is also covered by the relevant Notifications.

To carry out this entire process of buying, selling, renting out the immovable property, NRIs/PIOs are allowed to repatriate an amount up to USD 1 million per financial year (April-March) out of the balances held in NRI account subject to tax compliance. This amount includes sale proceeds of assets acquired by way of inheritance or settlement. Thus, NRIs can purchase property and transfer money earned in India to their country of residence through authorized banking channels.

How can NRIs/PIOs/OCBs open and maintain the bank accounts in India? Find below the detailed document:





Have any Questions?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Housing Prices in India - June 2014

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

National housing bank’s residential index for the quarter April – June 2014 has been released and the residential prices in various cities across India have stayed stagnant over the last quarter.

Here is the synopsis:



Hyderabad: Residential prices in Hyderabad have remained stagnant over the last quarter. Marginal increase in Kapra, Uppal Kalan, L.B.Nagar have been noticed.

Faridabad: Residential prices in Faridabad have also remained stagnant over the last quarter of April – June 2014. Areas such as NIT - 1 (NH); NIT - 2 (NH); NIT - 5 (NH); Sector - 62; Sector - 63; Sector - 64; Sector -65; Sector - 21; NIT-3; Sector -14; Sector -75, Sector -76, Sector -83, Sector - 85, Sector – 86 have shown little appreciation.

Patna: Residential prices in Patna have shown an appreciation of 2-3 %. However, localities such as R-Block; Mountasari Lane; Gandhi Nagar; Basant Vihar Colony; Patliputra Colony; Rajapur; Kidwai Puri; Krishna  Nagar; Buddha Colony Part-1; Krishna Nagar Park; Mandiri Kath Pul; Shanti Vihar; Paschim Boring Road; Purvi Boring Kenal Road; RK Bhattacharya Road have shown appreciation over the last quarter.

Ahmedabad: There has been a marginal rise of 2% in residential prices in Ahmedabad. Micro markets of Bhadra, Dudheswar, Gaikwad Haveli, Girdhar Nagar, Wadigam; Gomtipur Gam; Old Viratnagar; Vastral; Zulta Minara; Buddh Nagar; Saijpur-Bogha; Sardar Nagar; Vishnu Nagar have appreciated.

Chennai: There has been 2% price rise in Chennai over the last quarter. However, Perambur; Choolai; Edapalayam; Ayanavaram; Purasawalkam; Kolathur; Virugambakkam; Anna Nagar; Kilpauk; Nungambakkam have shown substantial appreciation.

Jaipur: Residential prices in Jaipur have remained stagnant. Localities such as Khatipura; Kalwar Road; Jhotwara Road; Vidyadhar Nagar;  Sikar Road have shown appreciation of about 5%.

Lucknow: Prices in Lucknow have also remained stagnant over the last quarter of April – June 2014. Localities such as Lalkuan; Wazirganj; Maulvi Ganj;   Gola Ganj; Janki Puram; Daali Ganj; Maha Nagar; Nirala Nagar; Ali Ganj have appreciated by a margin of 5-6 %.

Pune: Residential prices in Pune have shown an appreciation of about 4% in last quarter. Micro markets such as Kasba Peth; Nana Peth; Shivaji Nagar; Hinjewadi; Thergaon; Chinchwad; Baner; Yerwada; Wakad; Pimple Saudagar; Chakan have appreciated by around 8-10% in April – June 2014.

Surat: Residential prices in Surat have fallen by about 2% in last one quarter. Localities such as Rander; Adajan; Jahangipura;   Palanpur; Udhana; Bhestan; Pandesara; Bamroli; Piplod; Vesu; Rundh;Sultanabad have seen 4-5% fall in prices. However, Limbayat; Dindoli; Paravat witnessed about 4% rise in residential prices during the last quarter.

Kochi: Prices in this coastal city has remained stagnant. Areas such as Palariwatam, Panampally Nagar; Thevara; Maradu; Konam; Paluruthi Kacheripadi; Mundavelli; Chullikal have shown about 3% rise in residential prices.

Bhopal: Prices in Bhopal have remained stagnant as well. Localities such as Koh – e- Fiza, Shyamala Hills; Bagh Mugaliya, Katara Hills have shown marginal increase of about 4% over the last quarter.

Kolkata: There has been a rise of 2% in Kolkata residential prices. However, there has been a 5% rise in prices in areas such as Jodhpur Park, Dhakuria; Behala; Thakurpukur, Sorsona.

Mumbai: There has virtually been no gain/loss in residential prices in Mumbai. Lower Parel, Matunga East, Mahim West; Bandra West, Andheri East, Oshivara; Pokaran Road 1 & 2; Mira Road witnessed a rise of 7-8 % over the last quarter.

Bangalore: Prices in Bangalore have remained stagnant. Lavella Road; Richmond Town, Indira Nagar, HAL II & III stage, Domlur Layout, Sadashiv Nagar, Benson Town witnessed a rise of 3-4 %.

Delhi with NCR: Prices in Delhi with NCR region fell by 2%. Most localities witnessed fall in prices except the areas of Mayur Vihar,Dwarka, Pitampura; Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon & Ghaziabad; Vasant Vihar & Friends Colony where prices rose by around 4-5%.



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Monday, November 10, 2014

Chennai real estate round up

Chennai commercial real estate witnessed a good amount of absorption in 2013. Most of the absorption was in the prime real estate hubs in Chennai, like the IT corridor of OMR. The residential real estate in the city has witnessed a slowdown in the recent past only because of the pricing of housing units in Chennai. Compared to other metros, Chennai housing and residential real estate market has been on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of pricing. Influx of MNCs and IT companies has been the foremost growth factor in the city. Adding to this trend is the fact that Chennai city is a trade hub and a coastal city with a port that acts as one of the major trade link in the country. Having such potential, the city’s real estate sector has also grown in proportion to the economic development. Additionally Chennai attracts investment in various sectors like education, healthcare and infrastructure. Chennai is definitely a preferred investment destination among all cities of south India.

The Chennai real estate market, which used to be traditional and populated with independent houses has opened up to many other real investments options in the past 20 years. The year 2014 saw the revival of the real estate sector in Chennai. Mostly an end user driven market, 2014 saw a new lease of life in the city’s real estate sector. The city is in the fast track of development and has gone beyond the IT sector today. Manufacturing sector has also contributed to immense growth in the commercial real estate sector. However in terms of pricing the real estate sector has not shown much progress as there has been an increase in labor, material and construction cost over the years. This has added pressure to the overly expensive Chennai real estate market. There has been a record 15% increase in the cost of construction over the years and this applies to all the markets across the country.



Chennai lags behind most cities in terms of transport infrastructure. Although the state of Tamil Nadu has one of the best road network in the entire country, the intra city transport has been poor and unable to support the growing population. The delay of metro rail has also added to the pressure. Although the pockets near the metro stations have seen a marginal increase in prices, the constant delay has been a cause of concern for many home buyers. Apartments in Chennai are a preferred investment choice as it is the most affordable piece of real estate one can invest in. Independent house for sale in Chennai or land and plot require deep pockets, which amounts to the least kind of investment in the city. Many apartments in Chennai are near the newer investment hubs like Oragadam and the Outer Ring Road.

“Focus is on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) where the Phase I (Vandalur to Nazarthpet – NH 4) has already been completed. ORR Phase II where land acquisition is in advance stages will boost the real estate activity along this corridor. Chennai and its adjoining cities are among the best for primary and higher education in the country today. Healthcare and medical facilities in the city are also among the best available in the country. Development of new hospitals, schools, malls and multiplexes in the emerging locations are all stimulating growth for the city’s residential real estate industry.” Says Sanjay Chugh, Head- Residential Services JLL India to Money Control.

This is a guest post by Sulabha Kulkarni

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How can Indian Real Estate Developers reach out to NRIs and target Overseas Indians?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Real estate is an extremely important industry in the growth of Indian economy. The sector contributes about 6% to the nations’ GDP. The sector is also the second largest employer of labor (formal and informal) behind agriculture.

Real estate developers buy land from the city authorities or directly from the farmers/landowners. Once the land acquisition process is complete and titles are transferred in the name of the developer, the construction work starts. What kind of development will take place on a given plot of land depends on the market conditions. A developer can develop commercial or residential buildings based on the market elements of demand and supply.

The next step for the developer is to sell or lease the project to investors who are willing to use it for their end-use or for investment purposes. When market conditions are not favorable; it becomes extremely difficult for the developer to clear the unsold stock of inventory and that seems to be the case today in India. About 7.6 Lacs of housing units were unsold at the end of June 2014. And new project launches have been greatly reduced.

In this scenario, what can a developer do? Wait for the economic conditions to improve? Wait for the interest rate cuts? Wait for the improvement in job market? No doubt, all of these factors will certainly help the developer in clearing off the existing inventory; however, real estate developers can still tap into the highly lucrative Overseas Indians market.

This is a massive market with a population in excess of 21 million. The market constitutes of Non Resident Indians (NRIs), Person of Indian Origin (PIO), and OCI.



In 2013 alone, Private remittances from overseas Indians into India stood at whopping 71 Billion US $, the largest for any single country in the world.

Where are they investing? A closer look at the RBI data reveals preference for NRE/NRO accounts.



What can Real estate developers do to tap into this segment of the market?

A well thought out strategy is based on 4 principals

  1. Customers
  2. Product or services
  3. Region
  4. Channels


Having identified the customers (overseas Indians), the next step for real estate developers is to pay attention to the behavioral patterns of Overseas Indians. What kind of home sizes they prefer? What are the amenities that they demand? Who will take care of their apartments in their absence? Are there professional Property Management Companies in Delhi NCR and other parts of the country to provide NRI audience with apartment management services? What kind of on-site infrastructure they desire, etc. etc. A well prepared survey can help real estate developers in decoding the behavioral patterns of NRI audience.

After studying the behavioral patterns, the product (homes) can be conceptualized and sold in chosen regions. The next challenge is the choice of channels to reach out to NRI audience?

  • Web:
Use of web to reach out to NRIs is an inexpensive approach, but it is too generic and crowded in nature. However, it helps in creating awareness about the developer and the projects. If combined with other channels such as local brokerages and property shows, significant results can be achieved.

  • Partnership with local brokerages:
NRIs still transact through Indian Channel Partners and some international channel partners (Brokers of Indian origin settled abroad). A real estate developer can tie up with a few local channel partners (brokers) in the respective countries and had them invite their customers. However, not all real estate developers can successfully do it because of limited brand exposure and competition from other reputed developers.

  • Own office:
Having an office in a country can certainly help a real estate developer in reaching out to NRIs in that particular country. However, it is an expensive approach and developers with big pockets can manage to afford it. There are some developers who have set up their own offices in Singapore, Dubai, California, London, Malaysia, etc.

  • Property Shows:
Property shows or exhibitions are country specific in nature, wherein 40-50 real estate developers participate and showcase their properties to overseas Indians in that particular country. Past Indian Property Show in Singapore, Dubai, London indicates a footfall of 2500-3000 visitors a day. Even though, a developer may or may not make on the spot bookings, the exhibition certainly helps in brand building and that helps in future sales.

Having identified the NRI audience, a real estate developer must make the optimum use of different channels to reach out to this segment. One cannot simply afford to ignore this massive and profitable market segment. And the developer must continuously invest in reaching out to Overseas Indians.

NirrtiGo works with Indian Real Estate developers in order to reach out to overseas Indian community. NirrtiGo organizes Indian Property shows in overseas markets, utilize web based platforms, and create awareness on the vast property investment opportunities in India. Real Estate developers looking to target NRI markets can contact NirrtiGo for upcoming Indian Property shows in overseas markets at nirrtigo@nirrtigo.com




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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Integrated Townships: Resolution to Urban Crisis in India

The restricted land availability and therefore the immense unbridgeable gap between the demand and supply for individual plots in addition with rising populace within the metro cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, etc. have provoked the demand and development of condominiums, flats, complexes and gated associations. Moreover, higher wages, up-style, increasing objective levels and enlarged data on international movements have created the existing new-generation property buyers further acutely aware relating to the properties they need to invest in.

Nevertheless, the feeble urban planning – coming up with across most of the states, lack of conveyance, longer moving time to the offices and inadequate infrastructure, urban planning has supplementary woes to the property buyers instead of sanctioning them for an enhanced and improved living. In most of the cities, new development areas don't seem to be planned accurately and therefore; don't act as satellite cities, however just as residential district areas.

However, the answer to the existing complicated concern in key metros and tier I cities lies in integrated townships. Usually, an integrated township, the kind of township that is coming up in Gujarat state has the subsequent key features and elements like:



Public infrastructure:- 

  • Institution: A high faculty with education up to a minimum of 12th standard must be normal and is setup within the township in Ahmedabad, shortening the traveling time between home and school and successively providing the kids with longer time for play and studies.
  • Medicare: A decent health care facility with a minimum of 50-plus beds associate in nursing and emergency care unit is ready inside the township, thereby assisting residents.
  • Amusement: Adequate area for basic sports like soccer, cricket, court games and fitness facilities together with a gymnasium and swimming pools area unit discovered among the integrated township in Gujarat state to reinforce social way.
  • Community Center: A spacious, well-decorated community center with a club house and a function hall is set up within the township in Ahmedabad.


Infrastructure & Services:- 


  • Road Networks: Well-planned road network within the township in Ahmedabad and connecting to the closest main road or highway, thus easing communication.
  • Water Supply & Management: A well-organized and continual water management system is made within the integrated township in Gujarat, providing 24x7 hours of water facility to residents and furthermore treating the waste water generated among the township and recycling it. This additionally reduces the dependence on municipal facility. 
  • Electricity & Management: Though an integrated township based on a public or non-public utility provider for basic power supply, it's sufficient, if not exuberant, back-up power for each home and customary areas throughout temporary or regular power cuts or disruptions by the utility provider.
  • Communication infra: sensible quality telecommunication services also are created and accessible among the township division and nearby.


Estate management:


  • The Waste Management: Sensible waste/garbage collection, aggregation, treatment and disposal system could be a better solution for an eco- friendly township. By this way, life remains healthy.
  • Infrastructure maintenance: Correct and regular maintenance of roads, footpaths, parks, electrical and plumbing infrastructure, kids play areas and customary areas as well as community center are important for a developed integrated township in Ahmedabad city.
  • Security: Advanced estate security associated safety for all residents could be a vital part of an integrated township.


Shopping and entertainment:


  • Entertainment: Quality cinema or multiplex, widespread games and child recreation facilities ought to be established within the integrated township.
  • Shopping: Well-stocked grocery stores likewise shopping centers as well as branded garment stores, electronic merchandise ought to be established within the integrated township. 
  • Food courts: Sensible quality, and hygienic food courts with plentiful menu choices ought to be established with within the townships to cater to the style buds of all sorts of residents.


Proximity to workplace:

While the intent of an integrated township in Ahmedabad city is often to own the geographical point and also the residential domicile in close proximity, within the current background of double-income families, it's not possible to realize this objective totally. However, it will establish sufficient, well-equipped workplace house infrastructure and provide lower rentals to draw in firms, banks and company homes and make ample use of opportunities for residents. Except for this, to develop communication between the township and also the geographical point for the remainder of the residents, the situation of the township ought to be specified it's simply accessible from numerous components of the city.


This is a guest post by Suhaag Srivastava