HNIs, NRIs drive Tata Housing online sales

Online sales of Tata Housing, the real estate arm of the Tata group, have gained traction in recent months largely on the back of interest from young High Networth Indians (HNIs) and non-resident Indians, according to a top executive at the company.

Brotin Banerjee, managing director and chief executive of Tata Housing, said the company has online clients, some in far off places like Mumbai and London, buying property worth Rs 5.5 crore in Bengaluru without feeling the need to visit the site. There is a shift towards young investors and home buyers, he said.

Besides NRIs and HNIs, Tata Housing has witnessed rising appetite from tier II and III markets. According to the company, most buyers in 2014 fell in the 29-42 years age group category compared with 31-45 years in 2013. The company’s online sales from tier II and III markets rose from 11 per cent in the December-January period of 2013 to 30 per cent in January-October 2014.

Tata Housing’s sales figures appear as a bright spot in a country where the real estate market is grappling with a two-year-old slump in demand and developers are struggling with unsold homes and stalled projects.

“We still believe success of the online platform would be directly proportional to the trust in the brand. One of the most recent examples of the success of the online platform is sales of over 250 apartments through our partnership with Facebook without a single site visit,” said Banerjee.

Earlier this year, Tata Housing sold a villa at Myst for Rs 5.5 crore through its ecommerce portal, making it the country’s biggest property sale thorough the online platform. The company has sold more than 50 units in the premium and luxury segment in 2014-15 through its portal, the company said.

“The numbers are much larger for its value and affordable housing subsidiary, wherein the company has already managed to sell more than 2,000 apartments since pioneering the sale of homes through the online platform,” Banerjee said, adding that the appreciation has translated into orders worth Rs 700-800 crore booked since 2013.

The real estate company of the Tata group has now begun launching its newer projects through strategic online tieups to meet the demands of the large domestic population and Indian diaspora. The cost of reaching the NRI consumers has fallen through online and digital media, Banerjee said.

Tata Housing pioneered online selling of home in 2013. Since then, the company has increased its portfolio though listing of all of its projects online, supporting the trend that customers are slowly but steadily warming up to the idea of big-ticket home transactions via this medium. Videos of building sites are uploaded on the company website so that customers can track the progress.

Banerjee said the company launched its Goa project through an exclusive partnership with Facebook, selling over 250 apartments in three days.

Tata Housing has joined hands with Snapdeal and Housing.com and launched Bandhan, an online networking platform along with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.