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




Have any Questions?

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