Authored by - Asha Mathew
We got an unexpected call the other day regarding a house that we wanted to give out for rent. It took us by surprise. Before the lockdown, the same callers had shown interest in the house but had later backed out. They proposed a renewed interest in the house and there were two main parts to this renewed interest:
- They wanted to be taken on a virtual tour of the whole house as the lockdown wouldn’t allow them to come and look at it.
- They asked for the rent to be reduced by 25 percent and said they would pay for May (mostly June also) even though they wouldn’t be occupying it, thanks to the lockdown and restrictions. This was if we agreed to reduce the amount as per their suggestion.
It was interesting to note the conversation around this unanticipated phone call.
- The thought of giving a potential tenant a virtual tour of the house created a lot of excitement.
- The question of feasibility arose…how viable would it be to agree to such a deal? It was a new house, weren’t we settling for too little?
- Then there was the very tangible short-term gain…at a time of lockdown, when money is so hard to come by, this was definitely a good idea.
- Then the fear factor, what if we wouldn’t get another offer for the house due to the expected economic meltdown!!
- It was decided that agreeing to the tenant’s proposal would be a win-win situation.
This micro event is an approximate reflection of the real estate industry at the macro level too:
Online Real Estate Shopping:
With enough time at hand and technology at the fingertips, a large number of customers are exploring the option of looking at property online and finalising deals at leisure. Raksha Property Management too is going that extra mile to make virtual tours of property possible.
Making the Most of the Slump:
Certain groups whose purchasing power hasn’t got compromised much, as a result of the lockdown, are looking to make the most in property deals during this slump. In fact, a lot of realtors are hoping for NRI investments that could probably give them reasonably good deals at a time like this. The liquidity crunch might force a few builders to make deals that are not very profitable for them.
Attracting the Potential Customer:
A lot of companies have come up with offers like the ‘GharBaithoGharKhareedo’ offers to facilitate buying of property from the comfort of the home. We, at Raksha Property are also coming up with innovative ideas to garner some momentum for the slowing down industry.
At the same time, industry giants have ruled out slashing their prices at a time when real estate is in such a crisis. Properties under construction will also face a serious setback due to lack of manpower with the giant reverse migration that the nation has just witnessed. China is a big supplier of raw materials and with the international trade restrictions, supply of raw material will also be greatly hampered. Even inter-state restrictions on mobility will add to the woes of the developers.
Whether all the innovations and discounts will give the industry the impetus it needs is yet to be seen. However, there is no mistaking that the real estate industry has been an industry that has seen considerable activity during the lockdown when most other industries are forced to just lie low.