Entrepreneurial challenges are sometimes very exciting, sometimes they look impossible and sometimes they may sound impossible. such impossible looking thought was online penetration in the real estate domain. Few years back, it seemed strange, when people use to talk about emergence of online in the real estate sector. But now, its a reality and almost everyone one of us are either making their buying decision or reaching out to potential real estate buyers or sellers through online medium.
This story can be very interestingly understood from an entrepreneur himself who is not only entered into this space, but also made his mark. Anant Goel, CEO and Co Founder, Zamoona.com, after returning from UK conceptualized this magic and created a success story in the real estate domain. In an exclusive interaction with Faiz Askari, Editor, SMEStreet, Anant shared his entrepreneurial encounters and his success story of Zamoona.com.
What are the opportunities do you foresee as an online platform in this segment?
I believe the opportunity lies in empowering the end user with meaningful information that can help them make better decisions regarding their real estate transactions. This can entail for the initial research on geography to shortlisting the asset to identifying the right property consultant. The key lies in enhancing user experience.
In most of the online platforms, it was found that consumers usually do their research using online platforms but when it comes to buying action, they adopt offline mode. What is your opinion on this?
Real estate, by its basic virtue, is a physical process (remember the real in real estate). Every asset, whether for sale or rent is unique e.g. location, direction, size, finishing, furnishing, facilities, construction quality, upkeep standard, etc. The process of real estate transaction will essentially remain offline. The online aspect is discovery mode – very similar to matrimony or job portals. This is where the value lies in providing the desired information and empowering the end user.
Apart from end consumers, does your platform also invites channel partners such as real estate agents. Weather yes or no, Please elaborate your answer.
Zamoona has real estate agents at its core. I believe that Real estate agents are very fundamental to a real estate transaction and hence are one of the most important stakeholders for Zamoona. That being said, one of the biggest challenges that a consumer faces today is to find the ‘right’ real estate agent to meet their needs – to help them buy/sell/rent. This is something which we are targeting to solve through Zamoona.
How did you started your business? Please share your initial entrepreneurial experience.
Ashish and I returned from UK in 2012 to start a real estate advisory and transaction firm. While at that, we used various portals for our sales and marketing needs. This is also when both of us interacted with hundreds of owners, seekers, real estate agents, builders and developers. During the course of these interactions we identified a big gap in the current offerings and the unmet need of the real estate stakeholders viz. Spam, ambiguity of information regarding listing as well as regarding agents, unquantifiable ROI on marketing spend, etc. Zamoona was conceptualized to address these pain areas.
We are still in our initial entrepreneurial experience as we are only an year old. During the last year we have adapted a lot, went through at least 3 major concept iterations, committed a lot of mistakes and have faced a lot of resource problems. We have also achieved a lot by on boarding over 8000 agents (the highest among any real estate portal in NCR) and helped over 17000 owners & seekers. We are the only classified portal where a user experiences Zero-Spam and has full control of their information. It’s been an amazing experience and we love every moment of it.
Are you planning to raise capital through venture capital firms? please share your views on raising capital inorganically.
Yes we are planning to raise capital and are in active talks with a few VC firms. I think raising capital inorganically is very important in today’s marketplace because it is just not capital but the endorsement of your idea, the operational experience and relevant contacts that comes with the smart capital that is invaluable for a startup.