The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has imbued an uncertainty on the real estate sector, thanks to the severity of cases and the imposition of strict lockdowns. However, it has not left developers disheartened, as they are better prepared following the first wave.
A real estate that has chosen to go alive amid the second wave of the pandemic is Insta Property. The Gurugram-based startup, launched in April 2021, aims to make the whole process of selling, buying, and renting of homes easier and quicker.
With an inventory of properties from Gurugram, the real estate website connects buyers or tenants to property owners without the involvement of outside parties.
“We do not charge any money for property listings, and ensure that we connect buyers and tenants with our sellers in an effective way,” says Founder and CEO, Kamal Gulati.
Founder and CEO, Kamal Gulati
“We want to ensure that our clients get the best property in their desired budget, without having to run to ten different people to make an offer on it. Also, since we have a background in construction, we also provide property construction services and interiors work as well,” says Kamal.
Idea behind the inception
According to the founder, not many real estate portals focus on the transaction part of this industry.
“When we talk about transactions, it means the brokerage. Most portals are only concerned about the listing models and generate revenue through it, however, we take part in the entire deal process, and generate revenue through that. We focus on brokerage, and want to ensure that the deal is completed,” Kamal tells YourStory.
Often, to understand a real estate market, a buyer needs to go through multiple brokers .
“No broker has a particularly large inventory of a specific location, making market research a tedious task for the buyer. This is a pain not only for the buyer but also for property owners because, to ensure that a property gets sold, the seller will have to list the property with as many brokers as possible,” he adds.
Insta Property claims to offer verified listings in several categories and price budgets, with several other filters to make it easier for the person going through the online portal to be able to easily find all available options for them.
Insta Property’s online portal has around 2500 listings, which is updated regularly. The startup has a team of around seven people, including the founder. Before launching Insta Property, Kamal ran The Makeoverz, a marketing and promotion business in the beauty and wellness industry.
The real estate industry, however, is not new to Kamal as his father runs a construction business. Growing up, Kamal often observed the way brokers conducted real estate business; and felt a lack of system in conducting the business. He claims the reason he came up with Insta Property was to introduce a system that is easy to understand, quick, and doesn’t leave any crucial information behind.
Funding and monetisation
Insta Property is currently self-funded and not looking for additional funding.
As for its revenue model, the startup charges 1-2 percent commission on every transaction that is finalised and completed through it. “We have a large pool of property listings that averages Rs 1 crore, making transaction commissions a great way of generating revenue,” Kamal says.
Insta Property started with Gurugram as its first city, and recently expanded operations to South Delhi. The startup aims to expand its listing to Delhi NCR and neighbouring cities such as Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, and many more, once the lockdown situation eases.
It has approximately 1500 registered clients as of now. “We get a minimum of 8-10 enquiries every single day since the lockdown started opening up,” says Kamal.
The startup is also working on an app, both for Android and iOS, to connect brokers, and help them get to required properties more easily. According to Kamal, there are approximately 1500 registered brokers from the Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (HRERA), and approximately 7000 – 8000 unregistered brokers in Gurugram alone, all of whom work without any set system.
“Most offline brokers either keep a directory of the properties they have, or they just state the properties they remember off the top of one’s head. Insta Property streamlines this whole process of recommending and offering information related to any and every property in our database,” Kamal adds.
The way ahead
According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the real estate sector in India is expected to reach a market size of $1 trillion by 2030 from $120 billion in 2017, and contribute 13 percent to the country’s GDP by 2025.
“Gurugram is a great marketplace for real estate, and the country’s real estate industry as a whole is very large, contributing 11 percent to the GDP. It is safe to say that the Indian real estate market is a promising one to enter even amidst the pandemic, ” says Kamal.
Insta Property has long established players as its competitors, be it Magicbricks or 99acres to name a few.
“What makes us different is that we don’t work on a subscription model like our competitors do. We offer absolutely free listing options to anyone who wants to list their property, and verify the property details to ensure that all properties are updated and have up-to-date information. We’re also real estate brokers who work on getting a property sold, and focus on the transactions ultimately,” says Kamal.