Lifestyle

India's Annoying Housing Problem, And How Housing.Com Plans To Fix It

Anyone in India who has ever needed to search for accommodation would know that there are a number of sites that claim to have your ultimate solution. Ranging from Free Classifieds portals such as OLX and Quikr, local-service search portals like Sulekha and even dedicated Real Estate portals such as 99acres, the experience that one has is far from satisfactory and in most cases, almost identical.

To start off, Googling for Apartments with your desired specifications will direct you to a whole slew of Classified and Real Estate portals. Upon visiting the listed links, you are faced with mouthwatering properties; options so good that you believe your life’s luck has finally turned around, and that things were actually going to go your way for once. Unfortunately, when you are at that very peak of bliss – that’s when you start your downward spiral into despair.

The most attractive options that you click on seem to have beautiful descriptions, but not much beyond that. Displaying not many pictures of the properties, you are forced to build your impression of the offering based on the very generalized, yet quite alluringly written description, listing every feature you’d imagine; all this at unbelievable prices. That however, is where the rosy picture ends.

Image Credit: huffingtonpost.com
Image Credit: huffingtonpost.com

When one goes to the next step in procuring their desired choice, they are most often lead to contact the broker handling the property, either through the site itself, or a provided phone number. Upon contacting this number, you will learn that the price specified was for a tiny unrelated property in a far off locality that is either not close to any signs of life, or right in the middle of a busy roadside market. You are then informed that your desired apartment costs many times the listed price and is at this time, (due to high demand) available for an even higher price! And just to be clear, the experience is practically the same if you were to begin your search from a website instead of googling as well.

So basically, what did this whole ordeal result in? If you were interested in entering the real-estate business you’d have a Rolodex full of sleazy contacts. But beyond that, nothing much, and you end up at square one. It is experiences such as these that causes us to lose faith in the sincerity of online services offered in India, especially for something as crucial as real estate, which could really benefit from a streamlined process. Well, fret no more; there might just be the solution for you.

Image Credit: wilmothpropertyservices.com
Image Credit: wilmothpropertyservices.com

Housing.Com

Housing was founded by 12 graduates of IIT Bombay for the simple reason that they, like most of us, had a lot of trouble finding accommodation for themselves once they had passed out of college. And when they set out on that path, they made sure that this site was finally going to walk the walk. Now, it seems like it really does.

Unlike most of the other offerings in the market, Housing has their very own team of data collectors who visit the properties, document the facilities and take photographs. All this data, when verified, is then listed on the website. As a result of this stringent process, Housing’s listings are actually credible, telling you everything you need to know and display the correct price tags.

Image Credit: yourstory.com
Image Credit: yourstory.com

You’d have to have gone through the entire conundrum of property searches to be able to completely appreciate the simplicity and genuine nature of Housing’s listings and what a relief they bring; but if you haven’t, look no further. And although its credibility makes up most of the lure of Housing, that’s not where it ends. The interface you work with is clear and pleasing to the eyes, unlike most of its competition that are messy and cluttered, with ads stuck into every free corner on the page.

Besides, one of their best features is the way properties are listed. Using what they call ‘Point of Interest’, properties matching your requirements and specific location, which are then displayed on an interactive map with markers showing the exact location of each offering. Upon hovering over each pin, you get a peek at some photographs, while the detailed listing, showing even proximity to public transport apart from their ratings. Every other detail can be viewed by merely clicking on it.

'Point of Interest' listing
‘Point of Interest’ Listing

If you’re still worried about whether brokers might have understood and managed to trick the system, here’s something you should know – the brokers have profiles listing all the properties they are currently dealing with, their experience in the industry and even their firm’s legal status. That sure puts a lot of your worries at ease, doesn’t it?

Broker Profile
Broker Profile

When it comes to what Housing has to offer, I have merely scratched the surface by covering some of the biggest features most visitors would have to deal with. There is a lot more to discover, but perhaps you should pay their site a visit to figure that bit out. Housing is definitely a tremendous improvement on what online property search has meant in India so far, and is bound to be a big boon in your quest for the perfect quarters. As long as you have the moolah, of course!

 

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