E-commerce is no longer limited to apparels, gadgets and white goods — consumers are even buying houses over the internet. Tata Value Homes, a subsidiary of Tata Housing Development Company, for instance, sold about 85 flats on Snapdeal within a week of putting some of its projects online. Buyers from cities such as Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai bought flats priced between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 70 lakh, generating over Rs 40 crore in sales via Snapdeal.
Speaking with FE, Kunal Bahl, co-founder and chief executive, Snapdeal, said, “We are always on the lookout for categories that help in drawing consumers' attention. We were pleasantly surprised by the interest this initiative generated.”
According to a recent study released by Google, the online realty market is valued at $43 billion in India, with about 72% buying decisions influenced by the internet.
Last month, Snapdeal joined hands with Tata Value Homes to foray into the real estate category. As part of the partnership, about 1,000 houses in seven projects, located in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, and Ahmedabad, were put up for sale on the portal. From 1 BHK to 3 BHK, these flats were priced between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 70 lakh.
Bahl says the section generated interest from day one. “On the very first day, that is, August 28, it generated 1,000 registrations, which further increased on the second day,” added Bahl.
In its bid to woo buyers on Snapdeal, Tata Value Homes introduced an offer — upon possession, customers will get Rs 10,000 per month for a year as assured rent. Moreover customers were able to book a unit with a booking amount of Rs 30,000.
For Tata Housing, it was the experience of selling over 50 flats for over Rs 25 crore during the four-day Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) organised by Google last year that make the real estate company take the plunge. It has since then sold over 600 houses through its own website.
“It has been a great experience so far. Even as we continue to sell homes via our own site, the idea of partnering Snapdeal was to reach out to more consumers,” said Pawan Sarda, head marketing and product development, Tata Value Homes.
Snapdeal, which recently crossed the 1-billion sales mark, currently has 25 million subscribers. It sells products and services to consumers in 5,000 cities and towns.