Recognising the role of real estate brokers

Real Estate
 

Tata Housing, RIC launch training platform; Realty Redefined unveils exclusive portal

To be or not be! It is not just a Shakespearean dilemma. When it comes to house-hunting, most of us at some point have faced the dilemma of to go or not to go through a broker.

While some felicitate brokers by celebrating the World Brokers Day on June 9, some others say that technology will make the role of brokers redundant in the coming years as more and more people tap online real estate portals for their real estate requirement.

Players like Tata Housing and RIC have come together and set up ‘Bandhan’— a platform for providing training to the brokers in the real estate sector.

Start-ups such as Realty Redefined has launched R-Square, an agent-only directory Web site. This will be an exclusive portal for real estate consultants with their complete profiles on display. “Real estate as a category is highly fragmented. Consumers are going online to service their requirement. In such a time, it is essential for brokers to be ready to upgrade and apply technology,” Harish Patel, Co-founder, Realty Redefined, said.

He said the directory for brokers that the company has set up will be subscription based and will help brokers get several deals.

Patel said RSquare’s online tool will help a broker transform his business from broking to a full- fledged consultancy. It will not only help in organising a consultant’s work, but will also provide him with all the required marketing and branding tools. Patel said that there are about 5-7 lakhs brokers pan-India. “Since there is very little entry barrier, several brokers lack the skill needed to tap the needs of the online buyers,” he said.

Housing deals

According to various industry data, about 15-25 per cent of all real estate deals come from the online space. “Brokers have played a crucial role in the evolution of the real estate market. Training would further strengthen their value and make them important in the decision making cycle,” Devina Ghildial – MD South Asia, RICS, said.

Tata Housing’s CEO and MD Brotin Banerjee, said, “Despite playing a critical role in the buying cycle, brokers have never got their due respect because of the huge gap in the service expectation of the customer. We believe a lot of credit for the growth of the real estate industry should have been given to brokers as they play a critical role in the buying cycle of a consumer.”

The Tata-RICs joint initiative targets to train 1,000 brokers in the first year.

Contrarily, some others like Amit Kumar, CEO-founder, NoBroker, said “The dynamics of the real estate sector are changing fast. We feel that brokers can be eliminated especially when you are renting a premise.” The company, which has managed to attract PE investment of $3 million, led by SAIF partners and Fulcrum, said it plans to expand its base to 25 cities from the current three.