PropChill: Empowering Investors through Analytics in Real Estate
Date: Wednesday , October 12, 2016
Indian Real Estate market size is expected to increase from $121 billion to $853 billion by 2028 and the Smart City project is estimated to bring about a major flip, where the number of Indians living in urban areas will grow from 406 million to 600 million by 2031. But as of now, the industry is recovering from a slowdown, which is a blessing in disguise for end users and investors. The downturn has not only balanced the industry, where the inventory is high and demand is low, but forcing the builders who used to take the buyers for granted to come out of the shadow and be more transparent. Moreover, several regulatory systems and arbitrary councils are coming up to weed out the developers playing a dirty game and increase the reach of players who bring in more market value.
With the population expecting everything on a click of a button, this promising sector regaining scope holds huge potential in digitization. Bridging this digital gap with unbiased analysis and authentic reliable information is www.PropChill.com. Being a completely end-user facing company, PropChill handholds end investors through the real-estate wilderness, via its unprecedentedly meticulous platform. In fact, it doesn\'t tie up with developers as part of its business model in order to provide unbiased ratings and analysis. This Gurgaon headquartered company provides a platform to the developers (for broadcasting their projects with maximum information), brokers (to obtain insight into real estate market) and end investors (make informed decision towards property selection), where they can interact with each other in a transparent way.
Intelligent Analytical Comparison
PropChill provides an investor a structured approach to property short listing, with digital tools to carry out in-depth analysis of residential property across five independent pillars of Design (floor map of the property and also provides the carpet area), Specifications (breakdown of the finish being given within the property), Conveniences (facilities being provided as part of the project/complex), Propinquity (based on the location of the property accounts for schools, shopping area, hospitals and other public conveniences existing as well as planned in the general area) and Cost (a complete breakdown of the overall cost to be paid for the property, also provides graphical tool to assess the RoI as per the market rates).
Properties can be compared across all these pillars through graphs and matrices - within a city or across cities. As opposed to most real estate web portals that merely list properties and a few portals that provide ratings based on a couple of facets, PropChill carries out ratings across all the pillars based on proprietary algorithms which take into consideration 100+ facets of the property. The company also allows a user to rate projects based on their experience, knowledge and expertise, which is available for the eyes of other users/investors. The user can analyse, research, see all the graphical analysis and compare all properties - a unique feature that other portals lack. In addition, PropChill\'s Graphology section provides in-depth analysis through easy to comprehend graphs, which range from pie, bar, histogram, composite to bubble - an additional perk for users to take more informed decision.
\"Based on the extensive data we collect from the Government in terms of real estate indexes given by RBI & NHB, along with the Census report and annual economic survey reports, we help investors to see which city in India they should invest in and why,\" explains Monica Kanwar, Founder, PropChill. For a larger picture, \'insights\' has been developed which give out the \'Liveability Index\' of various cities in India. It is based on six independent pillars (Infrastructure, Demography, Socio-economics, Services, Housing and Topo-Environment) and accounts for 50+ facets of the cities. The analysis has a drilled down approach, starting at the level of India and going down to the localities.
The company has developed a \'Property Suggestion Engine\' which based on some basic questions such as user\'s family size, job profile, age etc. generates a list of relevant properties using customised alogrithms. The user can pick one amidst them and further compare it with other aspects. \"After providing the gross index , using a custom module based on user\'s priorities - be it location, size, design or facilities, the properties are rearranged to meet specific user requirments,\" explains Col. Sameer Kanwar (Retd), Founder & CEO, PropChill. Being this scrupulous is probably why most of PropChill\'s challenges revolve around data. While assuring the authenticity of data takes ample time, updating & maintaining the same across 18 cities in a cycle requires a full-time team.
Laying the Cornerstone
While attempting to settle down in the \'civil street\' after serving in the army for 23 years, Sameer and Monica felt as insecure as a newborn that\'s getting its umbilical cord snapped. When they started the quest of selecting their \'final abode\' for setelling down on the internet , to their horror, though unmanageable quantum of information was available, there did not exist a single platform (or resource) which could provide some analysis, comparisons or conclusive suggestions based on user requirements. It was up to the user to extract intelligence out of the humungous amount of data available. Not to mention the huge trust deficit existing between the investors and developers. That\'s where \'PropChill\' germinated with the aim of providing a platform for real estate that would empower an investor with unbiased comparisons & ratings, and enhance his/her decision making cycle.
Foraying into a new domain that is innately very opaque, the duo had to spend one full year on researching various analytical pillars and short listing components which were to be utilised towards comparisons and ratings, along with development of various algorithms for indexing and ratings. The downturn endured by the real-estate segment in 2014 further exacerbated the task of sourcing an adept team that can handle analytics, algorithms and designs. Determined to solve the real estate puzzle from the investor\'s perspective, they spent the next year on developing the platform/portal and launched Phase I in February 2015, followed by Phase II in July 2015.
Needless to say, this one-of-a-kind web portal soon started attracting traffic and is witnessing a hockey-stick growth ever since. Though the company hasn\'t initiated any marketing process for the product as yet, today the web portal gets a whopping 14-15k hits per month and has been gaining in Alexa ranking over the months, which is quite impressive for a company that\'s relying on organic traffic. The average time spent by a user is more than 30 minutes which is better than any of the websites in the same vertical.
New Territories to Conquer
Attracting investors, first time buyers and self user community for residential real estate, PropChill generates substantial amount of traffic from abroad, primarily NRI community (present 4-8-6K hits per month). Hence, the company intends to spread its solution via targeting the population of NRI community demographically in specific countries, besides employing digital marketing techniques and exploiting social media.
Investors always have a doubt regarding the actual cost of the property, as there is no proper system in place to verify it. PropChill is building algorithms using regressive mathematics that automate the valuation of the property by taking various factors into account. Though direct connect with the developers is being avoided and discouraged, PropChill has developed an advertisement model based on PPC and aims to generate revenue through the same.
As a part of its three dimensional expansion plan, the mobile app is under development and its \'bookmyproperty\' module, which will be generating virtual designs of buildings to help the end investor to select a property and book it online, would be ready by the year end. The company also plans to increase the number of cities it covers to 25 (from 18) and broaden its territories to tier-II & tier-III cities as well. Having raised a seed funding this April, PropChill is also eyeing at diversification into the commercial property in 2017, while progressing into international markets using the same algorithms and models.
Col. Sameer Kanwar (Retd), Founder & CEO
An M.Tech graduate in IT & Computer Science, Sameer has served in the Indian Army for about 23 years. Specializing in Technology Management and Project Conceptualisation, Planning, Execution & management, he also orchestrates product development, strategic planning, project management & implementation at PropChill, besides spearheading the company.
Monica Kanwar, Co-Founder & CDO
Monica was in the teaching profession for 15 years, and is a graduate with vast expertise in programming languages. Besides steering PropChill, she handles all data related aspects like data capture, data entry and data mining. She also looks at the analytics part. Proficient in personality development & mentoring, she was awarded the #SheCEO by cashkaro.com in Apr 2016.
• Consumer Facing Enterprise of the Year - 2015 by Leaders Awards
• Most Admired Real Estate Website of the Year - 2016 by Global Property Awards
• Nominated for Website of the Year Award in the Housing and interior Category