Indian property market is so huge and unorganized that none of the available platforms is on a trajectory of accumulating all the properties on it. This is the only reason why 99acres, housing, India property, common floor, no broker etc., all are running with their own market volume. Further, the verticals in property management are so wide that everyday a new startup is coming with introduction of new vertical, hence, creating a scope of improvement for every major player.
Started in 2012, housing has emerged as a “first mover” of all the new innovative features in property directory portals. Whether it’s be map based directory or 360 degree view, housing has always come up with new features ahead of its competitors to penetrate into the market volume of other players. “Experiments” and “Introduction of New Verticals” is the two major driver of its leadership in property portals. Though the popularity rate has lower downed considerably since the forced resignation of its former CEO Rahul Yadav, its improved user interface is still able to force users to remain stick with it.
Let’s take a short dive into housing establishment:
2012 – In June 2012, group of 12 students of IIT Bombay started housing as map based directory of rental properties in Mumbai. Further, housing introduced “point of interest”, a map based locator of all the nearby facilities like restaurants, ATM, Shopping Malls etc. Later it introduced CFI – Child friendliness index, to judge the property and area friendliness from child prospective.
2013 – In 2013, with 3 rounds of funding, housing extended its reach in Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad etc. along with new vertical like Buy and Resale Section. Land Section. Price Heat Map, Grid View, PGs services etc.
2014 – In 2014, housing got further 2 rounds of funding, along with the introduction of new features like Home Loans, Slice View, Demand Supply Monitoring, Rental Agreement etc.
2015 – Housing remained in news more for its CEO firing / forced resignation, employee firing and acquisitions rather than their own features development or business model grow.
During its journey of establishment, housing has acquired few startups to enhance its verticals. Here is FS Labs analysis on housing acquisitions trends:-
1.Indian Real Estate Forum (IREF) – March 2015, Deal worth – $1.3 Million (Target – Setting up Unbiased Platform for Property Related Discussion) : Founded in 2007, as a venture of Rohini Dutt, IREF gives information such as new projects, developers, localities, brokers, and plots before making the purchase. It claims to have a base of about 1.5 lakh active users on its forum.
Housing stated that IREF was imploding because of lack of resources and was suffering because of an intense marketing was from all the all estate classified players. With the acquisition of IREF, housing planned to revolutionize how real estate was perceived and conversed about. This move was made to improve the availability and accessibility of independent information for home-buyers.
Ravish Naresh, one of the co-founder of housing, who has prior experience of forum admin, has taken over as the CEO of IREF. Housing had planned to introduce a separate section called as “Ask me anything” on IREF which would attempt to answer any query regarding projects, brokers & builders.
What promoted the IREF selling? Bigger platform offered by Housing, Better technological support from housing team to update the forum, Housing strategy to put an unbiased platform for property related talks, Looming treat for buy out from other biggies in online property market.
2. Realty Business Intelligence – June 2015 , Deal worth – $0.5 Million (Target – Equipping Customers with Risk Assessment Tool for Property Purchase) : Founded by ex banker – Rajeev Nohwar, Realty Business Intelligence provides risk assessment of property market by doing due diligence, project monitoring, business intelligence and back-end research.
This acquisition was done to enhance the business intelligence of housing by providing verified listings, risk- free transactions and secure investments. Rahul Yadav stated “Through our acquisition of Realty BI, Housing.com strengthens its technology platform and consumer promise to deliver a powerful collateral risk management platform addressing the entire due diligence lifecycle to validate new projects. With our combined strength, we aim to remove ambiguities in the realty industry and bring about faster growth for the industry”
3. HomeBuy360 – August 2015, Deal worth – $2 Million (Target – Developing a better Platform for CRM) – cloud CRM Software Company. By leveraging this unique platform, Developers and Agents can streamline their sales, marketing and customer connect operations. HB360 helps Developers with Sales Management, Inventory Tracking, Call Centre Management, leads, bookings, collections, documentation, managing customers’ customization requests, commission, handover, and a lot more.
Housing has taken this step of HomeBuy360 acquisition to facilitate a significant reduction in “sales and operating cost” targeting all the developers across the country. Reduction in property prices and better customer relationship management are the other drivers of this acquisition.
Housing stated “This not only results in improved efficiencies, better transparency and customer satisfaction, but also a significant reduction in costs in the long run for around 20,000+ Developers across the country.”
4. Plat and BigBHK – September 2015 (Target – Enhanced Relationship Management with Agents, Owners and Tenant) – Plat: an online network for Agents, and BigBHK: property management software.
Plat is as an online network for Agents, allowing them to share real estate requirements and inventories.
With the launch of Agents App, housing has already been trying to enhance its reach in the CRM domain of properties. The acquisition of Plat is a further move in this direction to enhance the technological expertise, and to fulfill the needs of Agents community. Housing comprehended that the tasks such as posting leads, enhancing the property showcase experience, and communications will be made more efficient, thus helping them close deals faster!
BigBHK is real estate property management software that helps users (PG Accommodations, Hostels, Independent Houses, Property Management Firms, Builders and Brokers or Agents) manage their property portfolios using a cloud-based solution.
Housing enhanced its CRM vertical for owners and tenant by acquisition of BigBHK. Using BigBHK’s technology, partners can streamline their real estate life-cycle, which include rental accounting, e-Invoicing, record management, complaint tracking, reports, inventory management, and much more. For the end customer, BigBHK provides tenants access to a free platform to raise complaints, track rent dues, and maintenance amounts on a monthly basis.
With these acquisitions, housing brought onboard Chitransh Sahai, Gautam Prem Jain, Ayush Lodhi and Ankit Aggarwal from Plat and Ankur Kumar and AtulYadav from BigBHK that strengthen its team.
Potential future acquisitions by Housing –
Post Rahul yadav era, there has been a significant change in the strategy of housing.com and they are now trying to capture all the verticals of property market by acquisitions only. Earlier it used to be a carefully planned & innovative new vertical launch.
We have talked in length about the future of Housing in our article “Next housing”. Recent acquisition by housing shows that its founders have keen interest in CRM and providing better service to its customers.
According to FS labs, housing major focus shall be on CRM services acquisitions and the future of property segment will be more inclined toward providing “A Complete Housing Solution“. This includes – (Housing + Furnishing + Decoration + Daily chores service providers + Daily Grocery Supply).
Another prospective option of online property market is consolidation. It is due since long. Let us see when this happens.
Till then Adios ! Stay tuned for next analysis.