Ekaant meets Technology – Customer Delight

In Real Estate or for that matter in any other industry your business growth is directly proportional to customer’s delight. In real estate industry if you study the average duration for which a customer stays with the company is 18 months – from the point of site visit to the final payment and possession. As a company it is very important to treat your customer the same way during these 18 months as you did on the first day.

Wide Wing Corporation is one such company which for past 18 years has been working on this same motto of customer’s delight. For their new project Ekaant they have used technology to enhance their customer experience with them.

final

Ekaant – Forest Holiday Home & Spiritual Center is located in Guhagar, Maharashtra. This will be the biggest Spiritual Center that the Konkan will have and it will be the perfect place to heal your mind.

The place is about 250km from both Pune and Mumbai so a perfect Holiday Destination for those who like to spend a peaceful weekend away from the city rush.

The launch of the projects phase 2  is on 5th Sep’16 and there has been great response in the pre launch period. Out of 20 cottages for phase 2, team has bookings for 8 in the pre launch period..

The project which will comprise of totally 132 furnished forest cottages( Phase 2 & 3) is 5 hour drive from Pune and Mumbai and there are many clients who would like to have the complete feel of the project before visiting the place or in some cases people would like to purchase without physically being present there. For all such client, Ekaant has come up with Virtual Tour and Virtual Reality.

IMG_20160827_130333208.jpg
Team setting up virtual reality tour 

Virtual Tour gives a 360 degree view of the project while Virtual Reality takes you to the project – you feel as if you are at the project site. Isn’t this amazing!! This is the best example of Customer Delight. Team Ekaant visits the customer place with the device and then takes you to the project – Virtually.

Joining hands with technology is a win-win situation for both customer and Team Ekaant. Team is able to help customer get the perfect picture of the project – photographs and video give you the idea of the project but Virtual Reality and Virtual Tour gives you the FEEL of the project. On the other hand, customer having feel of the project knows if this is his cup of tea or not. In most of the cases, once team has explained to them the project it is a YES from the customers.

You can take the 360 degree tour on our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/ekaantwidewingscorp/

Team Ekaant is inviting people for a seminar on the project followed by a lunch. All those who are interested and in Pune or nearby please register with us. Other details will be conveyed after registration.

Click here to register – https://docs.google.com/forms/u/0/d/1BbqXMbEh9GHDIsj-byjEM2WgeiQ45ZuY8wyYf2brNgA

More details can be checked at – http://www.ekaant.in

Advertisements

Freedom from Laundry – Western Dhobi Ghat

Studies have shown that laundry takes up to 15-20 hours of a working professional every month. For the busy urban working professionals, time is of the utmost need and finding time between job life and play life, laundry is that one task that most people end up procrastinating over. They very often have to worry about what to wear for Monday and the rest of the week. If we decide to go out on a weekend, the fact that your clothes are unwashed becomes a cause of worry.

Even if we have a maid for it, there are a different set of problems getting them to do the work. In short, in today’s world it is a big problem getting your clothes cleaned in a hassle free manner.

According to a KPMG report released recently, the organized laundry market in India is currently around Rs 5,000 crore while the unorganized one is estimated to be around Rs 2,00,000 crores. There is no doubt, the market is huge.

This problem has been tapped by many entrepreneurs and there are many Startups working on the same concept.  There is no doubt that this industry is huge – talking just for Pune, there are about 65 lakhs working population with an average expenditure of Rs 400 per month on just laundry.

In Pune, we have Western Dhobi Ghat, which is a Startup but doing great in terms of business. They not only decided to solve all the problems that were mentioned in the beginning related to your laundry, but have hit a bull’s eye in executing the idea.

The Start

In 2010, Anooj Chauhan(PGDM from SIBM), who was already assisting his father in their family business, was all ready to start on his own. While looking out for different business avenues, he found out that Laundromat stores were almost nonexistent in India. During those days it was a big gamble as laundry business has been an unorganized market . He endeavoured  to organized the sector.  After going through various hassles related to finding vendors and getting the permissions from the local authorities he started his first outlet in Oct 2012 at Vimannagar, Pune.

wdg_1.png

The Present

It was early 2015, when Anooj was joined by Shantanu Pabalkar and his team. By this time, Shantanu was already part of various other successful businesses. The on boarding of Shantanu made a stronger team and now the complete team is focused to take westerndhobighat.com to the next level.

Currently they are operating in 5 locations in Pune. The rates are very competitive. They have some nice offers for their regular customers. All in all, great service at best rates.

As we mentioned earlier there are many players in this industry in different cities. What we found differentiated WDG from others is –

-Timely delivery within 24 hrs.

-Machine washed, no mixing of clothes Best in class machines and best products: fabric softeners as well as high efficiency detergents.

-Customer centric approach.

The Future

Though WDG is doing great in terms of business and serving over 20000 customers yearly,  they now need to have a VC on board so that they expand to newer markets. The good thing is that they have a successful business with happy customers. Customers mostly make repeated visits and are quite satisfied with the services they offer.

About expansion Shantanu says, ‘The plan of action is to first create a working profitable model in Pune and then replicate it in the metros.’

They plan to launch a mobile app very soon to make it even more convenient for their customers.

The feedback from their regular customers are great and a great morale booster which will make team to go ahead with plans of expansion.

Challenges

The biggest challenge for them is to attract people to start using their service – as there are many people who are not aware of the easy solution available in the market. They are happy with what they have.

There are various Startups in same field who have raised funding from the VCs and WDG has already been doing good so we are sure they are going to be in news soon. We hope to cover them again with an expansion plan and funding details.

Virtual Reality –Next big thing in Real Estate Sales

The digital evolution of the past two decades dramatically changed the way we do business. Speaking of reality business, digital pictures and sharing of the same over internet changed the way we used to showcase our properties in the 90s. It became better and better with higher resolutions, better ways of sharing them quickly, putting them across the clients using internet and social media.

Then came the virtual tours which could not only showcase the properties in a complete 360 degree but the potential customers could interact with it.

The open house or visiting the property was not the only way to show your property. With virtual tours the potential buyers can view multiple homes without leaving his house. The salesman of a builder can take the buyer on a virtual tour without leaving his desk.

Virtual tours have been around for some time now. Builders and property marketers have used them for some of the properties if not all. Below are some of the findings from various studies on the benefits of using a virtual tour in real estate,

 40% of prospective buyers find virtual video tours to be very useful to make an informed

decision

 Real estate listings with virtual tours receive 403% more inquiries than those which do not include video

 73% of homeowners would be more likely to list with a realtor who uses virtual tours to market their home

 Real estate virtual tours can reach prospective buyers and customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any computer.

What has really stopped many of the builders and brokers from using these tours for all their projects are the high costs associated with creating these tours as well as lack of technical skills required for hosting such tours on their own websites.

vr_2

The next big thing that we think is going to revolutionize how builders and property owners will sale and market their properties is Virtual Reality. Imagine the following scenario,

Ajit one of the leading salesmen of a builder is visiting a high profile customer. The customer is an HNI and is an extremely busy person. Ajit does not have enough time to drive along with him to 10 different properties. He is carrying all the brochures and digital images on his computer. After showcasing all the properties, the customer could still not make up his mind. Worse could be that there is mis-selling that could have happened when the customer short-listed 5 properties for site visits.

Another customer of Ajit is from Mumbai and is interested to buy a property for investment in Pune. Ajit has a limited time to convince the client of some of the best projects without actually visiting the site.

vr_1

How can technology help Ajit showcase all his properties in the best possible manner, impress the client and win his trust?

That is where the mix of Virtual Tours and Virtual Reality can significantly help Ajit make the sale happen. Ajit opens his laptop and first he showcases the Virtual Tour of all the properties. At the same time, he inserts his phone in a Virtual Reality Headset and asks the customer to wear the headset.

Customer has now been teleported to the property which is hundreds of miles away from him. He can visit the hallway, bedrooms, kitchen, look at surrounding areas and more while still sitting on his sofa. He can get the views from the balcony of the proposed flat as if he is standing in the balcony and not merely on a computer screen.

Virtual Reality is the next best thing that can happen in the real estate sector for better sales and marketing of the properties to potential buyers.

With the advent of technology and mainstream acceptance, many realtors and technology firms see VR tools becoming key sales tools.

Virtual Reality cannot replace a salesman. But it can surely help the salesman, brokers and builders in selling it quickly.

Success comes when you are ahead of others and time. We are creating virtual tours for builders. So if anyone looking to create a virtual tour for their properties, we are just a comment away.

 

Let it come naturally!!

I still remember my first few sales calls – they were terrifying. Every customer had so many questions and objections to my pitch that I was not sure how to handle them. Though I practised the rebuttals in training session but it did not helped, somehow. It was only after making more and more calls that I got better with handling customer’s queries and objections.  I realised one thing after a while – I was giving the same rebuttals (more or less the same) but with time customers were not disconnecting the call but would stay and talk more and it was then I discovered my mantra of selling. Drill, drill and drill – till it comes naturally to you.

To excel in selling is like to excel in any sports. If you have to excel in the game you have to practice day in and day out, year after year. There are no shorts cut to success. We all have seen how flawless the cover drives of Virat Kohli are, it comes so naturally to him. Naturally does not come easy!! You have to drill for hours and months to let the shot comes naturally to you. Ask Virat, how much he practised that shot in nets!

Same goes with selling. You have to practice your pitch again and again till it comes naturally to you. You have to keep practising fundamentals, and keep it up and keep it up, until these various fundamentals become as natural and subconscious as breathing. In the game of cricket, when the situation is tense and critical, great players don’t stop and wonder what to do next when the time for quick action comes. They just react to natural instinct.

blog

The same principal applies in selling as in any other sport. If you want to be a star in selling game, you got to have your fundamentals – the A B C of your job, so firmly in your mind, that they are part of you. You have to be so well versed with them that no matter at what point the customer breaks away from the path of closing the sale you can get back on the track again without either of you consciously realising what has taken place.

If you really want to excel – you have to make efforts, in fact lot of efforts. Things don’t come naturally by looking into the mirror and just enjoying the fact you are one of the sales representative of your company. You have to drill, drill and drill.

Practice your pitch with your friends and your family. They are the one who will give you honest feedback. Great sales people or players never give up on practice – no matter what heights they have reached. Have you ever seen a senior theatre artist perform/rehearse? It does not matter whether they are doing the act for the first time or thousandth time – they will practice it like the very first time.

So if you are in sales field and want to make a name for yourself, make more and more calls, practice your pitch daily and just don’t give up.

I would like to end with a quote – ‘Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.’

For more articles on Sales and Marketing, follow my blog.

Renting Sector needs: Fella Homes

Prashant, a friend of mine is moving from Pune to Noida next month. He has no friends or relative in Noida so the biggest challenge in front of him is to find a place to live – Online. He went to Noida last week to finalise a single room. Before leaving he had checked most of portals renting rooms. Once he reached Noida, it turned out to be a disaster visit as out of 5 places he wanted to see, he could only visit one for some or the other reasons. You can’t make your decision after seeing just one apartment!!

This is the biggest problem in the real estate industry, there is too much available but when you really decide to make a decision it does not work out. The things are not streamlined, there are portals/websites where you can put post about your property and then interested people will call you but in reality it is not as simple as it looks like.

The problem – Owners don’t have time to show the property to everyone who comes to them. So most of the owners are going to the broker. So once we decide to take a rented place we have to go through the broker. And believe me, that is expensive. You have to give one month rent to them as their fees. No wonder, real estate is money making industry. The experiences for both the parties with brokers have never been good because you simply don’t like paying huge sum for connecting people.

Fella Homes is a solution for all the problems in renting industry where they aim to remove all the hassle in renting a place for owner as well as tenant.  They believe that each one of us is super-hero and the world needs us to solve bigger problems, and certainly housing should not be one of them. They have taken that responsibility.

Fella Homes, founded by team of IIT Roorkee and Stanford alumni Virender Pratap Singh, Yadwinder Paul Singh, Digendra Singh Rathore, Kunal Singh and Amit Gupta in November 2015. The company has raised seed funding amounting to $2 million in early 2016 from undisclosed investors.

Currently they are operational in Noida and Gurgaon and planning to expand. As part of their expansion they have acquired Lifepad (founded in Sep’15 by IIM alumni) in all cash deal. The whole team of Lifepad has joined Fella Homes except for the co-founders(Piyush Bhartiya and Rachit Agrawal)

The Idea – They realised from their own experiences that the problem for individuals looking for flat is that they get limited options for furnished homes, even if they get it is a big task to get someone who would share space with them. The success of all these means you need to pay a high brokerage as you can’t succeed doing this without broker. So the person in the end goes through a rough process and ends up paying extra money.

Team at Fella Homes aims to integrate the rooms with furniture, make them ready to move in loaded with all amenities like AC, washing machine, refrigerator, oven, kitchen utilities etc.  The homes are then listed on their websites with options for single or shared occupancy without any brokerage. They have been able to make the process hassle-free and tenants can literally move with their bags full of dreams, the way they love to say it.

Owner who want to rent their place or are renting the place get very little on the property and have to go through tenant verification and in the end are always taking risk in exposing their property to strangers.

temm

The Solution – With Fella homes, individual looking for home for rent get a complete solution from choosing a house, selecting time as per their comfort and then finalising the deal. For owner they get maximum revenue for their property since they are renting place on per room basis. They just have to share details with Fella team and they will take care of everything else. The team is working to create an unique experience for both owner and tenant.

When asked how they differentiate themselves from the competitor, this is what the team had to say,

‘The existing players are solving the problem of discovery ie. they are providing information about the property but are not part of transaction. From a tenant point of view he can only get the information about the property and while from the owner point of view they can list their property and can get the lead.’

What is on offer –

The task of making the property more rent-able (by furnishing it), coordinating site visits, providing a comfort to tenant regarding maintenance issues of houses and collecting rent etc. are benefits which both party receives with their association with Fella Homes. As this is a subscription based pure-revenue sharing model, unlike brokers, Fella Homes doesn’t disappear once the house is rented but stays for the complete rented period and hence provide a hassle free experience for both owners and tenants’

The future – In future, Fella Homes plans to expand its service throughout India and occupy all the verticals of renting sector.  They want to standardise the unorganised rental sector and fill the gap of quality and trust.

Our take – They have come with a great concept hitting the bull’s eyes. This is a major problem for sure and they have a solution for it. If they are able to execute the plans well they have long way to go.

To end, quoting Dave Thomas, “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.

Most important word in Selling!!

There are many important words in sales which you will come across while reading any book but the one I am talking about wins the race with big margin. This is the word every sales person should be having in his armor and also know how to use it effectively. It brings in the success which every sales person dreams off. Let me go to the word with a story.

Recently, we had our college re union and the whole group came in and after the day’s fun we decided to stay in one single room and discuss the stuffs going on each other life. We were talking back and forth until it was late and one by one everyone fell asleep until I was the only one talking. Every time I stopped talking a friend next to me would say, ‘Why Bro, Why?’ and I like a fool would go on and on, and go into more detail, until he snored. Then I realised he has been trying to see how long I could talk.

maxresdefault

We all know sales could only happen if we are able to make our customers speak more. The magic to do so lies in the 3 letter word – Why. I realised this that night when I kept on talking just to answer the question why.

Customers are never ready to buy from you. They have their own set of reasons for not doing so. If you are going to go into argument on their reason you are definitely not going to win. You got to ask – Why? By asking questions with a ‘why’ you are forcing customers to answer for themselves. More often than not their answer will convince them to buy the product.

To use this word to its full potential you have to be good enough with another lesson – Listening. Unless you are listening to your customer you will not be able to come up with relevant questions which will open gates for you to enter the territory in which customer themselves will be willing to buy from you. Listening is important in all the fields though in sales it is a bit difficult to do that; after all it is you who has all the information about the product. So isn’t you should be speaking most of the time. No. The customer should be the one who would be doing bulk of the talking. You should be listening attentively to ask next Why.

I read a story about Milton S. Hershey, The Chocolate King recently. He was born in 1857 so the story is dated long back but this man knew the magic word even then and reason for this success could be because of his knowledge of the word. Milton S. Hershey has three failures before he was forty. ‘ Why?’ he asked himself. ‘Why is it that other man succeed and I fail. Putting himself through a series of question he narrowed the answer down to one reason: ‘I was getting ahead without having all the facts.’ From that day until his day of death in 1945, his life was dedicated to the philosophy of asking ‘Why?’ If someone told him something cannot be done, he would keep on asking until he gets all the reasons. Once he has all the reason he would say, ‘Now one of us has to find an answer.’

So it does not matter if you are selling to a customer or yourself – you got to be asking Why? Like Milton let us also make this word our life’s philosophy.

For more articles on Sales and Marketing enter your email id and click on Follow.

VoLT – An app that will help you master English

We come from the land of diversity. We have 22 official languages and around 150 which are spoken by sizeable population. English though not our native language has somehow emerged as a common language. It is kind of mandatory to learn it and use it at most of the places. The students who reach big institute and are from small town usually face big problem adjusting to this new world where ‘English is cool’.

There is no harm in not knowing English, but then there are certain places where you have to learn it to survive and compete. In this world of competition where you need to excel in every field if you have to be at top, a boy from Sunam, a small town in the district Sangur, Punjab was doing great in his engineering subjects but was behind his peers when it came to English speaking and vocabulary. He later turned out to be one of the founders of VoLT.

Before we know more about the founders, let us know about VoLT.

Vocabulary Learning Techniques or VoLT provides users with various techniques to better understand, remember, and recall difficult English words. The app does this through visual aids in the form of pictures, memory keys, sentence usage, antonyms, and synonyms.

The goal of the app is to make learning fun and easy and is targeted at students preparing for the various competitive exams, who find it difficult to understand English and end up cramming a large volume of words. I personally being part of such a group where we used to try each and everything to learn and understand words on daily basis, feel this is a great initiative and everyone trying to learn vocabulary should be using this app.

zxt

VoLT was founded by Abhishek Jain and Nishek Jain. Both of them have very strong academic profile to go with them.  They completing their schooling from their hometown, Abhishek cleared IIT-JEE in 2005 and joined IIT-BHU. He then went on to work at various institutions like Aakash, Resonanc, Pace. He currently is coaching IIT aspirants in Mumbai.

His younger brother Nishek decided to join BITS Pilani in 2007 and worked at a power sector firm in India and Saudi Arabia for three years. He recently cleared the Indian Engineering Services (IES) with an All India rank of 18.

As stated earlier, it was their struggle in their academic years from which this idea was originated. They tried all the methods to better their English but most of them did not helped. Quoting Abhishek, “While reading a sentence in the editorial section of the newspaper, I would sometimes come across four to five words in the same sentence that I didn’t understand. Constantly referring to the dictionary didn’t help. In fact, it was demotivating.” They wanted to create something which would be easy to use and more user friendly.

Before this app, they have already launched a book by same name in January 2013 and sold over 50000 copies. It was the success of this book that motivated them and their team, Smita Mishra Jain(CFO) to go ahead with this idea of app.

There are many books available in market for learning the language but the simplicity with which this idea helps you in learning the language differentiates it from the rest. Users can either learn new words through the memory key or revise words they have already learnt. All the different features in the app add value and make the process of learning easier. The ‘memory key’ includes some interesting tips and tricks that simplifies difficult words and makes it easier to understand and recall them.

We wish the team at VoLT all the best and ask all readers to help spread the word so people who are willing to make effort to learn are benefited. This is highly recommended for student preparing for exams like CAT, GRE, GMAT etc.

If you have any such Startup which is helping people or society, do let us know we would like to cover their story too.

Two things that keeps business going – Marketing and Innovation in Marketing

All big organisations have different departments and they all are important for the success of any business. For me, the most important department is marketing. The success of this department largely depends on the innovation that the team can come up with. The traditional marketing is long gone. Marketing produce results, rest all are cost to the organisation and now only innovative marketing produce result. The main aim of marketing is to get new customers and that is the reason for its importance. No customers, no revenue, No revenue, no positive numbers to run any department.

The statement that marketing aims at getting new customers can lead to confusion between marketing and sales. Before going any further, I would like to differentiate the both. In the words of famous Amercian economist, Ted Levitts, the difference between selling and marketing is that selling is getting rid of what you have while marketing is having what people want. I simply love this statement as it brings in so much of clarity in how we should look at these different terms.

Now once we have said that marketing has to bring in customers, next on the cards is – How do we bring in more customers? Customers are new currency and hence everyone is fighting for them. Knowing their self importance, customers are making it even difficult for companies to get them and like any other currency their demand is more and supply is limited. We have to realise that lot has changed over time and so should our approach in getting them. Customers of present world are selfish brutes and they only care about themselves not about your sales forecast or the strength of your IT department or your success.

OPRAH-MARKETING-INNOVATION

To get their attention now you have to come up with innovative marketing plans. Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. The success of your marketing campaign depends on how much the customers were involved in it. So how about a campaign which was made to involve people? Here is a perfect example of it.

For any travel provider biggest challenge is how do you stand out in a crowded market? How do you engage with consumers and encourage them to travel with you? French rail network SNCF has taken to experiential marketing over the last couple of years and has created some brilliant campaigns that tap into the zeitgeist of travel and put the company on the map as a way to travel to top European hotspots. Check out this amazing campaign here.

Try to think of marketing itself as a big umbrella, with fields like direct sales, advertising, and public relations all tactics that make up different parts your marketing strategy. Some of the world’s most well-known and celebrated companies – from Coca-Cola to Apple – have succeeded using two surprisingly simple tactics: making great products and marketing them well.

So now let’s move to Innovative marketing where we force customers to pay attention to our products.

Like and follow us for more such articles on Sales and Marketing.

Builders – deliver on time!!

The real estate industry has already been suffering with less cash inflow because of large inventories that are waiting for the buyers and now it is even hit harder according to the draft rules unveiled by the government. Though it is a big relief for the home buyers who would be receiving handsome interest for the delay in project but if this rule goes through the builders will be hit hard.

Though the delay is mainly because of the dispute between builder, owner and developers. Builders try to term these as situation which are beyond their control to avoid being held liable for deficiency in service.

Now as per the new ruling, Developers may have to pay as much as 11.2% interest to buyers for delay in handing over apartments and homes. This rule also mandates all builders that all projects without a completion date will have to register with Real Estate Regulatory Authority within 3 months of the rules being notified.

The buyers who are in this category has authority to ask for compensation, they have two options available with them-either they can go for complete refund along with the interest rate or just the interest rate for the period of delay. The draft real estate rules have been formulated by the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry within two months of some sections of the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Act, 2016 coming into force on May 1this year.

The interest rate has been kept 2% higher than the prime lending rate (PLR) of the State bank of India.

Most of the developer in our network are saying that if the rules are applied on ongoing projects the sector will be hit severely and there could be further delay.

President of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), Getamber Anand, said all unfinished projects, which were launched before 2012, can be termed as defaulters and under the draft rules, if buyers demand their money back, developers will have to return at over 11% rate of interest.

If you have any questions please leave a comment.