11th January 2017 - Sustainability and the need of increased transparency in real estate in India
‘Sustainability' is a quite a buzz word used in real estate circles as well as other industry lines. The ability to sustain one's business or company through thick and thin, through boom and bust cycles is termed as sustainability. In real estate it's relevant as far as all factions of real estate players are concerned be it developers or brokers. Developers need to be endowed with enough financial muscle and liquidity in their financial makeup so as to be able to consistently deliver projects on time and at the right quality level that they have proposed to customers during sales.
Far fetched from reality most would say!! Yes, but there's a better trendline shown by developers these-days in terms of trying to proactively prove to customers their intentions of ‘getting it right' as far as their real estate developments are concerned. Admittedly, this is also a consequence of customer feedback through CRM models as also concerted action by consumer groups in high and supreme courts against developers for not delivering in time or delivering what they promised.
But that apart, some developers have had the sense to realise that they need to win back consumer confidence particularly if they're going to drive sales in a slow market. CRM departments setup by developers provide construction schedule updates and on-track reports. However, I would still say there is greater urge for transparency.
RERA attempts to solve this problem to a considerable extent having been notified by the Centre and now it's the States that have to enact RERA in their systems. Maharashtra has done so already but the feedback is that it hasn't really addressed all the concerns of customers as was provisoned for in the main Act. I'm hoping this is not the case in Haryana and other states of India. There is an immenent need of the hour for accountability particularly as market strucuture changes and the the base of customers changes from ‘investor' type to ‘end user'. This a large market developers would well understand and one that is that now more savvy and ‘real estate savvy' I would add.
As far as brokers go I'm afraid that the broker fraternity has delivered an inappropriate image of itself owing to lack of transparency and willful deceit at times therby lowering consumer confidence in them at times. A large number of them have also been driven out of the market as a consequence I may add. My appeal as owner of a brokerage firm to ‘brokers' in general would be ‘be smart but be transparent and professional'. It does go a long way – particularly in the long run. I am super pleased with Prime Minster's clamp down on black money and demonetisation drive as it attempts in a bold manner to clean up the system and along with other steps coming up also the real estate industry.
We, as a brokerage firm have always dealt in cheque and I'm glad that more sellers and buyers enter the market now to do all cheque deals paving the way for ‘an equal opportunity' market.
Here's wishing the very best to consumers, developers and associates in their real estate experiences ahead. Regards, Shravan
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