Legacy Of Standardization In Real Estate
——— The Ravi Varma NARrative
Chairman, NAR India…
Mr. RAVI VARMA is the Chairman of National Association of Realtors India which is a PAN India organization which offers its members an opportunity to give Multi City Solutions to their clients.
His journey in Real Estate in his own words…………………………..
My NARrative :-
I happened to stumble upon the World of Real Estate by chance. I was part of the Second Batch of MBA Graduates from Pune University. When I began working for a Company, due to our busy schedules, my Wife and I had a weekend marriage, where I would visit her on weekends, change my clothes, pack my bags, and head out again. This arrangement meant that my Wife was always looking for activities which would generate money as well as help me to work out of the same city and have some family life.
One day, when I came home, she excitedly told me that she had started her own Real Estate Brokerage Company. Intrigued, I asked her to explain it to me. She explained that she shows properties to people, facilitates the sale and receives 2% Commission from each Transaction.
As a Marketing Manager for a high-tech Machine Tool Company, I travelled all over the Country, sometimes spending over a year on a single deal due to the high values involved. In comparison, my Wife’s proposition of working in and around Pune, showing properties, and earning a significant income seemed remarkably simple. Initially, I couldn’t understand why anyone would be willing to pay just to view properties and facilitate transactions.
However, my perspective changed once I joined her in the business. Since she started the company in 1982, I never needed to rely on my Salary, which served as an indicator that her venture was successful. In 1986, after four years of her running the business, I decided to leave my Job and join her. We saw this as an opportunity to earn money as a young couple, and also have a more time together.
From that point on, we never looked back. All I had to do was introduce myself as Mrs. Varma’s Husband, and people already recognized her as a reputable Real Estate Broker. This made it easier for us to establish connections and gain trust from Builders and other Stakeholders in the Industry.
When I first entered this Industry, I quickly noticed that some of the individuals whose products I was selling, lacked knowledge of the business and were not very transparent in their dealings. Our credibility was at stake in these situations. Back then, it was possible to make Sales by merely showing an empty piece of Land, without any knowledge about the Title or whether the person showing the Land actually owned it or how the builder would finance the project. This led to the collection of significant amounts of money from buyers which would then be transferred to other Projects.
Unfortunately, many of these Projects never materialized. This realization prompted me to understand the importance of having Multiple Sources of Income. I realized that relying solely on brokerage, which involved many variables which were not under our control, was not sustainable. Within three months of joining her, I successfully traded my first piece of Land for a substantial profit in a rising market. In order to maintain purity within Our Profession and avoid confusion with other activities, we continued with the Brokerage Company while establishing another Company specifically for Land Trading. Additionally, we ventured into land development and creating exclusive bungalow societies, which we successfully sold. We also engaged in joint ventures for projects on my lands, and four of them have already been completed. We deliberately avoided entering into the construction business due to our conservative nature and reluctance to borrow money. To this day, we have not borrowed a single paisa from anyone.
Key Skill Sets To Sustain In This Business:-
- Acquire In-depth Knowledge Of The Industry:- It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the unique characteristics and aspects of each vertical within the Real Estate Sector. By studying and understanding the economics and profitability of each vertical, you can effectively add value to your work.
- Develop Active Listening Skills: – To truly understand your Client’s needs, it is essential to be a good Listener. Patiently listening to your Clients allows you to comprehend their requirements and tailor your Services accordingly. Having empathy towards their needs is the key to offering the RIGHT PRODUCT AT THE RIGHT LOCATION AT A PRICE THE CLIENT WANTS.
- Master Your Product :- It is imperative to have a thorough understanding of how each amenity and specification of the products you are offering can meet your Client’s needs. In Real Estate, as in any business, customer satisfaction plays a significant role, and being knowledgeable about the product you are offering will help you achieve this goal.
- Emphasize Transparency :- Clearly communicate the services and benefits your Client’s can expect from you. By being transparent about your offerings and pricing, you enable your Client’s to make informed decisions. If they find a cheaper alternative elsewhere and choose to go with it, respect their decision.
- Comprehend The Buying Process :- Gain a comprehensive understanding of the decision-making dynamics within the purchasing process. Identify the key decision-makers, the financing parties, the initiators, and the end users. Continuously focus on recognizing and understanding these roles to serve you clients more effectively.
- Uphold Ethical And Professional Standards :- Maintain integrity and professionalism in all your dealings. Provide accurate and honest information to your Client’s. Quoting excessively high prices may drive Client’s away, while quoting excessively low prices may undermine your credibility. Strive for fair and transparent communication at all times.
Organizing an Unorganized Industry – Advent Of MAHARERA-
The Industry began undergoing reforms in 1987 when Builders started organizing themselves.Mr Om Prakash Arora who was a prominent builder in those times suggested establishing a platform for communication between Manufacturers and Marketing personnel. As a result, the Promoters and Builders Association of Pune was established in the same year, the Estate Agents of Pune also organized themselves. I served on that Managing committee for many years and was President for 6 years.
The Industry has evolved significantly since then. Initially, it operated a laissez-faire manner, where individuals who were primarily Investors in Real Estate started becoming Builders themselves. Unfortunately, this led to unethical practices, with people borrowing money recklessly and causing losses not only for themselves but also for all Stakeholders, including innocent Customers. While all this was happening, a collection of a few city associations decided to form the National Association of Realtors India which allowed its constituent members to offer Pan India solutions to their clients. I was involved in the process since its inception. Today it has 45 Associations in 36 cities.
In 2016 the RERA act was enacted .NAR INDIA contributed to giving inputs concerning the Realtors
And the customer related sections of the act.
The RERA Act has brought about significant changes, enhancing transparency and accountability in the Industry. It establishes fiduciary and financial responsibilities and ensures quick resolution of disputes and s. In Maharashtra alone, over the past Five and Half years, approximately 48,000 disputes have been settled, with more than 30,000 resolved through the informal mechanism of conciliation, which is characteristic of MAHARERA and has now been adopted Nationwide. The severe consequences faced by Individuals as a result of their wrongdoings have compelled people to start behaving more responsibly.
Future For Real Estate Intermediaries :-
I believe that by utilizing Technology for marketing and communication, embracing the latest trends, and adapting presentation styles, Real Estate professionals can continue to thrive in this ever- changing Industry. Experts predict that Intermediaries will eventually disappear, however I strongly believe in the importance of Human Connection and the value that Intermediaries can offer to the Client’s will keep them relevant for a long time to come.
How Do You Become A NAR Member?
To become a member of NAR India, which is an Association Of Associations, there is a specific process to follow. As a Broker, you cannot directly join NAR India. The first requirement is to register under MAHARERA, as it is necessary for conducting Real Estate Business. Additionally, you need to have a PAN Card and a GST Number. Moreover, passing the Broker Exam is mandatory to become a Certified Broker.
In order to join NAR India, you must first become a member of your Local Association. Being a Member, the Local Association will help you convert enquiries into business opportunities by making platforms of networking, latest knowledge and training available to you. Once you are associated with NAR India, you gain access to a vast Network of Brokers across the Country. This enables you to connect with thousands of professionals and offer your products and services to potential Clients. In Pune you can start by becoming a member of PROP (Professional Realtors of Pune) Welfare Association.
Golden Threes From My Journey:-
I must say that I was obsessed with my Business, I am extremely persistent, I never give up and I
don’t really take ‘No’ for an answer.
To conclude this, I would like to request that treat your Client’s with kindness and gratitude, as they provide us with the resources we need to thrive. However, I also urge to extend extra courteous towards individuals who do not buy from us. One has already invested a lot of time and effort ,in serving the client he or she will at least give a good reference which may result in future business. I believe that a product has a warranty period but service has no warranty period.
Ravi Varma Chairman, NAR India