Transcribe
Take us to your personal story. So basically what you have covered is the pedigree and so on. So I work for almost 10 years in PWC management consulting which taught me that it operational level and strategic level. How do you run companies? But of course the experience of running a company is totally different and me and my partner's Akhil sort of we thought that this is a big problem which is disintermediation not happening in real estate and we basically made so many customers. We realize that ourselfs also when a customer brokerage is a huge issue in India specifically and they should be done. We should do something in which we connect owners and tenants directly with each other. Okay. So brokerage you mean to say commission from tenants and as well as commission from landlords exactly. Okay, and now you created a platform so to tell us more about the platform no broker.com. Okay, so nobroker.com is now the world's largest platform. in real estate which connects genuine owners and genuine tenants directly with each other. We are now touching cumulative 1 million customers. There is no other platform in the world in real estate, which is so big one of the things which is very unique about this platform. Especially from an Indian context is that this is not something which has been inspired from what has been done in West This Is A disruption, which has been tried first and foremost In India itself where we said that the global shift is happening from earlier offline broker online broker shift has happened. But from online broker to online ownership is happening and we felt that this is a huge problem building a broker is charging you for sale a charging you 2% 3% each from both side. And for rental, he's charging one month from each side is a huge cost and we felt that this in disintermediation should happen and people should be able to connect directly with each other Okay, so why do you think it did not I mean nobody ever thought of this before or were there some firm's existing already who don't consider broker, you know similar model. So the basically you see the fundamental reason either. It's a difficult business to build if you would want tomorrow to open a site which is ABC or ABC house.com. It's very easy to make it for every broker in the world and ask them to put free listings. Overnight you will see thousands of listings will come because for a broker is just an additional sales channel, but to build C2C platform in which only genuine owners and genuine tenants will come to the very painstakingly long processes. It took us two years. So there is no fundamental business reason why this cannot be done but I think the main reason has been that it was working fine people felt that okay, let the sides with their Brokers will help. I think it was only a matter of time and after we Started today are many other firms across the world. Although none is as big as ours but they are four startups in Newyork alone which are trying to do the same thing similar thing. Okay. So tell me what is the biggest challenge in making this happen the biggest challenge in making this happen which to some extent we have overcome now after two years is to create the initial Network because here you not only need to bring tenants. You also need to bring Onwers is if you open the site, which is a typical Real Estate website, you get one side of the customers from the broker. So you just get lot of huge amount of Brokers their incentive is to post huge amount of listings. So you have the owner segment sorted out. You just need to get tenants spend some money on search engines and the tenants will come but here what we are saying, is that for a City for a locality a one I need to get the owner and I need to as well get the tenant to create a real Network effect, in which when You come and a city might have 200 localities. So to really create network effect. We're in four cities it is you're able to cater to 800 locality Demand on a real-time basis when it's a perishable thing. That's a difficult thing to build and takes a lot of time to build that. Okay. So how did you overcome that? So what we did was it in terms of the product? We made it in such a manner that the product is very different from any other website where a typical website in real estate online will be focused million and because the owner generally doesn't come on the website broker comes so fundamentally our product from that home page itself the product basically attracts both owner tenants. So the product itself is different. In terms of so in the first instance look similar, but when you use it with a huge amount of ease with which a bro, which are owner can receive property. So one is this second challenge, which you overcame was at many of the Brokers try to breach the system and they try to fake themselves in inside the pit form. So they try to put it as if they are owner themselves and they try to break in. So we made a we spent almost half a year building up a broker identification algorithm which automatically bans a broker once it has to register. So how does that work? Like if a broker uploads like two or three or four properties and it detects the system is it or so it's basically a secret sauce. Okay, tell everything but broadly what we do is when you register on the site to give details of yourselves and we scan the entire intent world based on those details, we have also digitized lot of offline databases, which broker register in India and a lot of tips and tricks that we have doubled in the past two and a half years by which Able to identify fairly accurately ninety-nine point nine percentage whether you are a broker not if you're a broker you will leave lot of footprints everywhere and we have become pretty good now at catching those Footprints. Wow, that is awesome. So tell us I mean in the initial days, it's not easy to I mean, I don't think you were Distributing leaflets or anything for owners to come onto your side. Right? what is what are some strategies used get the owners on the side to list their properties? So in terms of attracting owners when you are starting you don't have enough money. So what happens is that when you don't have enough money you think about more Innovation which happened with us? So constraints are good. So what used to happen is in something interesting what used to happen to that me and my partner Akhil whenever we used to roam around the city. We used to see lot of owners putting a to-let board. So imagine a cardboard is put in front of their house in which they write the phone number and this is a contact us. So these are the owners who are trying to basically save Brokerage in their standard. Hey, if you are passing by why don't you just give us a call and we can talk and we generally used to do that. We use to click photos of these boards and we used to come back to office and make a call from our call center convincing the owner to put the property on our site and over a phone over a two minute phone call will take the details of the property and will list the property so this went on for some time, but then we thought that to make it more. scalable. What should we do? And we get the entire such to-let boards of the entire city in one go and can we make it a process which is sustainable which happens every day. Now, we have two choices either we could basically hire people who are going to do it every day from our office or think of something else. We as a former very conscious in terms of making the business scalable and hence. We don't have any physical person and if you don't So we thought that we should stick to our philosophy and crowdsource entire thing. So we have crowd Source it so now if you go to no broker.com, and if you go download our app, you can be anywhere in these four cities. And if you see as a cuss as a normal person, even who's not a registered customer with no broker. If you see any board you just click a photo you upload on our app and within 24 hours you would have spoken to the owner would have listened the property and we will give you a hundred rupees in your paytm account. Wow, that was a cool idea. That's a real idea this has worked really well for us in even now when we become pretty big and we are now we are listing more than 30,000 properties per month on our website still one. Third of the properties are coming through this route. So there are youngsters. They are young working professionals will just take their bike on a day off. They'll go around the city. They'll take a lot of photos. They'll upload on the app Call the owners will convert the list and we'll pay them. And so this is the first time that anywhere in the world in real estate. The owner listing has been crowdsourced. Wow, awesome. That's it. It's gets really good idea. I never heard it before although I did try that seem very similar idea with deals website a couple of years ago. Okay. I was that we were asking anyone to upload the deal they found in a restaurant and then we'll pay them 25 rupees per do. Oh really good. Yeah, but we didn't pursue the startup longer. So anyway, so So that's for owners. Right? And then how did you acquire the customers you're not doing like 1 million customers active visitors a month or something? No. No, we haven't we are now adding hundred thousand one lakh customers per month. Okay cumulatively. We have reached 1 million Mark, but of course that always exponential so hence the addition is basically making the cumulative Mark run faster now, okay. So, how do you what's the strategy behind? The customers then so just like any other startup form. We focus a lot on digital marketing in which we basically make sure that people are able to find us on search engine and on social media. So one is that so that's basically taken care of the majority of the customers and second thing which we are doing is that we have basically tried ATL and BTL marketing both in terms of getting owners and what you've discovered. Is that ATL which is above the line marketing. It is good for once in 3 months or once in six months, which involves radio ads, hoardings but ours is not a product which everybody can use it everyday. It's not like jeans where you can just buy one more pair of jeans never hurts in our case. You should be needing the product. You should be vacating the house or should we in the mood to buy a house. So hence for us it makes sense to go for more detail activity, which is below the line Marketing in which so what we are doing is we are basically going to Societies we are putting our pamphlets on the notice boards. If we are going to Simply doing simple things like we are tasting our ads on the back of Autos, which are fairly popular in cities like Bombay and we are basically using simple coffee cups. We are branding them. So what we are trying to do is trying reaching the end customers more directly rather than just doing a spray-and-pray sort of marketing activity and that's working really well for us. What we are discovering is that tenants this is something which is what the huge latent demand people wanted to use it but there was no solution. So now there's a huge amount of people who are coming anyway, so our cost of acquisition which we can't disclose fully but is our cost of acquisition of a customer is rock bottom. It's a very low nobody in the entire country is able to acquire customers at the cause it we are able to acquire because we are solving the problem in for which there was no other solution. So I think that is foremost and of course we are using digital marketing in computer activities for marketing.