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Realty portals offer attractive add-ons

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 30, 2013 18:46 hrs
Realty Home<br>

After hotels offering child-friendly features to attract customers, now, real estate portals are playing the same card. This apart, these sites are also providing reliable information on interior decoration, movers and packers, legal services, and even pest-control services.

Leading this trend are portals such as Housing.com and Commonfloor.com. Experts say these are giving tough competition to established players in the market. "People want to assess/shortlist a location before buying or renting it. The new sites offer various services a potential customer would like to have beforehand. This makes house-hunting easier, which is why these sites are growing rapidly. More new sites will keep coming," said an expert tracking the sector.

The 'child friendliness index', launched by map-based real estate portal Housing.com, provides users information related to schools, parks and hospitals in the vicinity, with ratings attached to these-most child-friendly, least child-friendly and intermediate. The index judges the area on various criteria-the number of schools, hospitals and parks, as well as the proximity of these to the property. Currently, the index was available for Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, Advitiya Sharma, co-founder, Housing.com, told Business Standard.

Housing.com also plans to provide 3D rendering for apartments in new projects. This will allow buyers to have a complete picture of the area and its vicinity, with a zoom option. The service will produce images based on three dimensional data stored in a computer. The company already offers virtual tours of apartments up for rent/sale on its site. Here, users can view pictures of every room/kitchen/balcony in the house. The portal is already live in 10 cities and plans to expand further across India.

Commonfloor.com, which offers apartment/society management software, also provides services related to home decor, health, education, home appliances, etc. For resident welfare associations, it offers another set of services ranging from car dealers and rain water harvesting to interior design. Though Bangalore is the portal's stronghold, it is present in more than 120 cities through its apartment management software.

Sumit Jain, chief executive, Commonfloor, says, "We are definitely giving competition to traditional portals. Ours is a platform where buyers can make the right decision."

With a marketplace model, the company offers free site visits to potential customers. It is present in seven cities (offline) and plansto expand to 11 cities soon.

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