Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Client, Builder, Home & New Year 2019 !




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“What was home, really? Just a place to lay your head.
No. It was so much more than that. It was a place where a person belonged. Where a fellow would be missed. It was a part of a man. Something that couldn't be sold or taken for granted.”…  Suzanne Fisher.
Suzanne Fisher is an American writer of children's books. Born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, she grew up in a small community around Northeastern Pennsylvania. No wonder her words about home exactly define what the difference between just building four walls is & what make those four walls a home! Come 2019 & we are facing very unique situation on home buying front (read real estate) as on one side builders thinks that the bottom has been reached (read rate per sq ft of flats) & on other side buyers thinks let’s wait for rates going further down; it’s like a dead lock or check mate for real estate actually! Many eyes (read most) are looking at 2019 with hope as real estate is one industry which may be making only the builders rich (its general & popular assumption of masses) but in the process it does helps millions of people’s life a bit livable by giving millions a home to live. Right from helping the end member of the industry, a “bigari” i.e. a labor at the site to earn his food to providing roof for the end user which may be a 1 RK (one room kitchen) flat to lavish bungalow, so many lives real estate makes a shade better which goes as thankless job! Indeed it has been more favorable to some segments but off-late it’s been more kind to the end user i.e. flat buyer & that’s better for the industry in long run. As barring last two or three years ask any person why he or she buys a home, the answer would have been ‘’rates will increase”. Unlike any other product (leave apart luxury car) right from frieze to furniture to watch to TV, which are bought for need & I mean real need to use the product, a home is mostly bought either for the fear of rates will increase or investment. So home was always on top of priority list for most of, we the Indians & still today it is but the fear factor is slowly vanishing! As this was the only product of which rates kept hiking from its launch as even the most celebrated & awaited product i.e. I Phone’s new model but within six month you get nearly 30% down & in span of one or two year even at half rate that of its launching rate! But it was only the home of which price kept of rising every year post its launching & last three years exactly witnessed opposite of this is a fact which no one will deny(may be not openly). What better thing could have been there for the home buyers that this situation in real estate! For the first time real estate client is witnessing upper hand of his in any deal & ever builder may it be 1 RK unit or Luxury duple customer, laying red carpet (literally) for him or her! News papers are full of advertises of projects launching, ongoing & more than that with loads of discounts & promises to such an extent that one will wonder is it a builder’s ad or some political party’s “electoral manifestos”!

Well, the problem is when you have many options you often end up with waiting for more options than finalizing one, is the human psychology & real estate buyers are not exception to this law! And then typical Indian mentality is we get suspicious when we are getting a better deal on its own without we demanding it, that why this guy is selling (read offering) so low, is it some trap or  then if I wait for some more time he may come with even lower offer than this! In all this process 2018 probably was gloomiest year in real estate especially speaking on scale of flat prices but the turnover in itself! Result is many real estate cos’ are bleeding (read cash starved), here cash is not black money but money to operate day to day necessities. This hampered many projects of even big names creating more panic in home buyers & on other hand govt fired one more salvo i.e. no GST for ready flats! I just wonder what govt wants to do with real estate as what is logic for no GST to ready possession flats as for both i.e. in making or completed the developer has paid GST on ever purchase as well labor contract. Now if a person is booking the flat post possession then from where the developer is going to get rebate for his paid GST to all the agencies & if not so then he (read the builder) will bound to increase the flat rates by that amount or he will sale in loss! I think both are not healthy things for real estate, may be govt has some other things on their mind but right now even Charted Accountants are also confused with the scenario about GST on home & it’s working is a fact unspoken as usual!

Don’t you think this entire scene in real estate is a boon for home buyer in a way? As a builder I am skeptical but as a buyer just, be careful, is what I will advise. As most clients I meet are actually confused what they are looking for as their home is a fact! Though the present genre is smart to gather all the information but then it’s not about gathering information but what you do with the information gathered is what makes you real smart! Here I remembered a management story; In Seattle, USA (city where Microsoft’s Head Quarter stood), on one windy, foggy & rainy night, a helicopter lost its baring with heliport. The pilot could see brightly lit Microsoft building tower standing tall above clouds & started circling that building. The building is with glass fa├žade & the working staff can see the chopper in distress circling their building & gathered around the windows & started waving towards the pilot. The pilot with a marker pen wrote on his windshield “Where I am”. As the office staff in building read it they started discussing, searching internet & after some time they got a big print out & stuck on their window saying, “You are in a helicopter”! Seeing this, the pilot smiled, made thumps-up sign towards the people in building & headed to heliport & landed perfectly. After the pilot got out of chopper, the authorities asked him with admiration, how he could locate the helipad in such zero visibility weather? On this he smiling shared the incidence of the poster & office building, & said, “well, I knew the helipad location from Microsoft building”! Sorry, Microsoft guys if anybody reading my write-up, that was just a bad joke but to make the home buyers explain that just getting information from internet about some project or the builder or surrounding projects doesn’t help to get you your dream home but a logical approach does.

Now many will ask what’s logical approach to buy a home, it means define your exact needs in first place & for that you should be clear why you are buying a home! Most people will say well, they want to own a home of theirs so they are buying but then ask yourself, questions such as what my next five years plan is, what’s my next ten years plan & where I really want to settle. Agreed we may not often end up as we planned but that doesn’t reduce importance of planning! Because how much years you will be staying in home as well at what time you will shift in that home can make major difference in selection of home which is directly related to the money you will be spending for the same! Remember in India first buildings (read homes) get built, then roads are developed, then things like water line, drainage lines come in existence & then social infra like school, hospitals, malls etc follows! And then when you buy a flat where all such infra is developed then you end up paying maximum premium for all this development making homes in such location costliest. Instead if you are going to need a home say two or three years down the line then if you settle for a home which may not have all above infrastructure in place then you can get the home lot cheaper. And do mind infra does follow real estate is a fact may be unfortunate but that’s what been happening in & around Pune since last many decades! Today the location like High Street in Baner (western suburb) which fetch maximum rate in surrounding, just a decade back you could have got a flat here nearly 1/7th of price i.e. in ten years prices per sft has increased by seven to eight times. And story wasn’t different here, ten years back, there were no roads, no drainage, no water (well till today in some places) & no restaurant or shopping arcades, will you believe it if I tell this to the flat buyer who has come to my office just from High Street restaurant; well, definitely  a big “No’!

Now think of the guy who has bough flat in Baner ten years back & who wanted to stay here five years down the line, won’t you call him a winner? And what you will call the guy who also wanted home after five years but didn’t book then because Baner lacked infrastructure then? He has to book today at market rate with all heavy premiums for the development. Well, that too is ok provided you are starting to live from today but a little planning & study of history about growth of Pune would help to save millions of your hard earned money! And then it’s not just about saving money (well indeed it’s most important) but getting a home you really need! As one major aspect of home buying is are you just looking to get a best deal on money front or what you actually want as your home? Again many people will say, does it mean surrender to the builders & end up paying more by accepting his rate? No, it means value home just the way you value any cell phone or car. Look at all aspects of the home as well home maker & then decide whether it’s a good buy or not! Even when you are buying a ready possession home with all legalities like occupation certificate etc in place, yet be certain that the builder will be there for at least few more years to take care any problem regarding maintenance as well society conveyance type things! As well just do as the question to yourself that if a builder is negotiating below par than market then why he is doing so & if at all he is selling at loss then what would be such builders’ attitude towards the quality of construction! Well, this doesn’t mean all the builders compromise with quality but then who can negotiate below his production cost & will work without profit?

I think the 2019 is more challenging for the home buyers as it’s always difficult to choose when you are getting a home in your price range or even below & with many options around! And then there are offers like zero GST or No Stamp Duty or No EMI till possession & on top of it there are perks like Fully Furnished Home, some Club’s Membership even a Luxury Car along with flat (depending up on flat’s costing) & what not! Just remember, you are buying a home & not offer, so all I will advise is focus on the home & the home maker! Speak to the builder, his team, visit his completed projects, speak to the residents & attitude of builder (read his team) while purchasing the flat & later post possession! On this background, I wrote to my Team for New Year about the challenges it will get along in real estate, to sum up I will share it here …

"Its not New Year which comes by changing some date on calendar but our attitude to look at the new day is what going to make the real difference..."

dear team, its been probably hardest of the year for our industry but only with our team work we could face both fronts, personal as well business , because no leader can escape suffering hard times on personal fronts when time at work is hard & I am no exception to the rule! And yes its this year I turned 50, an age where people start calling you elder, so somewhere your confidence level goes down as u know u are no more young by body! But its team support from all of u has played major role & i am sure we will face all the challenges in coming year too! Frds, do mind coming times are real tough as no more the home prices will keep rising but to sale the product itself is going to be much harder than what it was earlier, not because people doesnt need homes but they have many other priorities than just home & the profit margins are going t be less; like they said in China War in 72, "ek goli ek jaan", every effort from every team member is going to play important role in getting client. And yes do mind one rupee saved is also an addition to our profits but not at the cost of quality, that's real challenge we will face! And for that we need to develop a system & an attitude to follow that system, just like helmet is necessary while u drive two wheeler on road! And one more thing don’t underestimate the client coming to you for inquiry of home you are building, he  or she probably knows more than you about your project, so be transparent, don’t make promises which you wont be able to fulfill; remember sometimes saying a bit bitter yet gentle & firm No is better than saying a sweeter Yes! And don’t try just to sale what you are building but try to help your client to find what he is looking for his home, make him aware about the way he should analyze options for homes around & then let him judge whether your project is worth booking or not & for that keep your infrastructure to the best & it means right from you site visit car to you site to the way you communicate with client! The client should have his comfort level & confidence that yes this team will give me the home which I am looking for!

I wish all of u a happy, healthy & green new year, do share my wish with ur family & friends.. sanjay.

Finally for the home buyers I will say, remember Google & FB will give you information about any home but visiting projects & meeting people will give you exact feeling of the home you are buying. As after all what’s the difference between a home & some concrete/brick structure but the people living in those walls with emotions & feelings for each other!
-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..



Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani ! (Click the links below)


http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

www.punecorporation.org
Take your issues to Hon PM at link below..
Think Green, Think Life


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Happy New Year; Ours & Theirs!








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“Wherever there are wild animals in the world, there is always an opportunity for caring, compassion and kindness.”… Paul Oxton.

Paul is founder /director of Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation,   located in South Africa, is a small organization, making a big impact. “We live for helping the wildlife most at risk. We love working hands-on with the animals, and we do our utmost to help every animal we possibly can. I am founder/Director of Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation, and have dedicating my life to the conservation of wildlife, doing everything in my power to allow them to live in harmony with nature”… This is Paul’s FB status & I think it speaks all about him as well his passion for wild life! But sadly our country’s, not just rulers but most of people doesn’t think from the Paul’s perspective or else while the year 2018 is on the verge of end & when most people are busy in making plans to celebrate 31st Dec night,, I doubt anybody has even read the figures about tiger deaths in the year we are putting behind! Well, 49 tigers deaths occurred in the country in year 2018 & cumulatively nearly 384 tigers died un-natural death in last ten years! Well, as this is recorded figure by officials so there must be at least 10% addition in this in the form of tiger deaths which respective forest departments’ thinks the tiger exists but the locals as well wild lifers thinks other ways! Because tiger counting itself in first place is tricky job as recently not just the Country but entire World witnessed how difficult it is even in 2018 with every possible technology at hand to locate three grown up tigers (read tigress Avni & Cubs) for nearly more than three months & one cub is still wandering without being traced! So to keep track of every individual tiger is indeed difficult task & what’s more difficult is to keep control on tiger’s movements. And then it’s not Death Year for just tigers, now read these figures too, in years 1015/16 & 17, approximately 194 leopards have died (read got killed) unnatural death & in year 2018, nearly 66 numbers of leopards have met same fate! And if we are thinking its just doom’s year for cats, then read this; in the very same year i.e. 2018, some 51 numbers of elephants also have died unnatural death. When I say unnatural death  of some wild animals then it means, death by poaching, death by accident i.e. hit by vehicles on road (even by railways), death by falling in manmade well or water bodies, death by starvation, death by electrocution (electric shock ) & yes death by mob lynching too! There are few other reason also but above are most & no specie has been escaped from above reasons which are entirely man created only, making we the human only real reason for deaths of the wild animals which has every right (more than us) to live freely on this planet !

Now as usual news media, wild life lovers (this is new specie emerged recently in the society), NGO’s , social media & even politicians (read rulers too) start hitting at forest dept, how useless it is & all wild animal’s deaths are outcome of inefficient forest officers, etc. Well, not all part of that is wrong but problem is the current forest dept (including every State’s staff as well whatever with Central Govts) is totally insufficient (not incapable) to handle the conflict (read war) of 1200 million Indians Vs all the wild animals which includes Tigers, Elephants, Leopards, Hyenas, Mongoose, Snakes, Birds & millions of other such species! No need to say who ends up as winner (read survivor) but then in a country where thousands of humans meets death in so many forms no wonder nobody cares for wild life animals deaths in every possible way! On this background I remember my latest visit to USA & the road trip I did with my cousin from Buffalo to Boston, nearly 400 miles drive. It goes through densely wooded forest & nearly at every some 20 miles you see the warning signs of “Keep Slow” as well “Deer Crossing Point” & even average speed on the freeways is nearly 90 miles (140 km /hr) yet every one slows down when they see such signage. In entire drive time of 12 hours out of which some 6 hours drive was from forest land, I didn’t see a single road-kill, neither of deer or any animal lying on road. On the background I remembered hundreds of images that of dead snakes, jackals, jungle cats, civet cat, leopards & what not, on roads in our country, every time when I had travelled to forests & even on roads passing from farm lands in country side! I asked my cousin how come there are no accidents of hitting passing deer with so many vehicles moving at such high speed & there were many deer around. He said, the fines (punishment) are very heavy of killing a deer & if your speed is found above limit as well there are hidden cameras in forests where “Go Slow” signs are displayed. Any vehicle which runs away after killing deer or any wild animal is tracked as the CC TV cameras are regularly monitored & the authorities does finds out such vehicle & the driver responsible for killing wild animal & brought to Federal Courts for trial! Well well, no wonder a country where even wild anima’s life value is so much cares for its citizens too. More importantly USA recognize even the wild animals living there as their citizens & cares for getting them justice even after death!

Now look at scene around us, we don’t have road signs at most places where the movement of wild animals is frequent & if we have then no driver cares for such signage, is a fact as on the road from Nagpur to Kanha which comes under jurisdiction of Maharashtra & MP, mostly goes through forest & its age old corridor for wild animals. I have seen hundreds of animals lying dead on this road due to being hit by speeding vehicle but never in last twenty years have I seen any authorities (Police or Forest, not even NGO’s bothers as nobody is there to click snaps & publish in media of such initiative the way it gets published when such show is done at signals in busy Metro city) monitoring speed of vehicles here. Ok, how many of you have ever read a news in media that some car driver has been caught for hitting a tiger on road & was found driving above specified speed limit & booked as well sentenced for this crime! Not a single case I know (correct me happily if I am wrong) in our country where someone has booked & punished for being reason of wild animal death & by being on wrong side of law. Poaching apart off course as that’s strait way killing with gun or trap or weapon but even in these cases also we have seen how the judicial system keeps toying with evidences & takes its own time to convict. And I am not just referring to road kills of wild animals but farmers electrify their fence which is reason of death of many animals. Then there are trap lying around the farms causing serious injuries to wild animals resulting in their death as in forest nobody gives you room service but every animal has to feed itself! And then there is mob lynching of animals which accidently comes in human settlements (read village/town) adjoin to forests just for search of water or food.

Now many will say what’s fault of farmers, as are they not have right to protect their crops or what’s the fault of villagers killing a leopard which has entered in their village, are their life is not valuable? Indeed, human life is precious but that doesn’t make any wild life animal’s life of zero value, is something we need to understand as a human! I am well aware that in this country where millions has to fight for their day to day survival, though of lives of animals is bound to take back seat but then this is the balance we the people has to strike. As can we expect tigers, leopards or elephants thinking for human lives & making policies accordingly; no, isn’t it? So, whose responsibility is it to think of every life, may it be human or animal & make the policies, laws whatever we call & see that it gets followed making every specie live happily? Is it just forest departments job, because they wear khaki uniform & get paid as forest staff? No sir, it’s every individual person as well other department’s job too, to ensure safe life for wild animals of every specie! As then only we have got chance to conserve wild life here because on one side its good news that population of tigers is increasing & tiger is apex of wild life, this means many of species also are increasing but then what about providing space as well food & water for this increasing population of tigers & wild animals? Who is working to make this space which we tag as forest available for the tigers & leopards & elephants so they need not have to come in villages & towns for their food? I think answer we all know & its “Nobody”; its bitter truth but practically every dept (read our rulers) are busy in making polices for humans, may it be every recent lifting ban from constructing buildings near costal area (CRZ) to making lands NA (Non Agriculture) or building roads or railways from forests & making dam which causes forest lands to submerge, every our policy is made keeping humans in center & its natural as this is a country which is ruled by the people, for the people & of the people! And tigers & leopards are not people, is their misfortune!

I repeat I am not against development or making policies pro-human as I am also a human & I am very much aware about it but my only concern is does the definition of humanity ends at human being only? Aren’t all other animals & their well being, also is part of humanity? Go through every our ancient mythology or religion tells & you will find animals compassion or care has been always part of every religion & that’s a responsibility of being a human. But somehow in race for power, road to which goes through vote bank & only humans can vote, so every policy either is for vote or for revenue obviously made for humans welfare in mind. Result is the statistics mentioned in above news about deaths of all poor animals of different species! And then we blame forest dept for its failure in duty but where is infrastructure as well authority which they require to work for wild life conservation which is no more restricted for only within forest areas but every that land where wild life roams, may it for its survival! Because, can you explain a reserved forest concept to a tiger or a deer or a leopard? No, because it’s your maps, your zoning but animals can’t read maps or understand zoning & they will go in hunt for food & water & shelter where they get it, is a simple fact of wild life conservation which we are missing! And if in this process a leopard ends up dying under railway or speeding vehicles, getting electrocuted by farm fence, get killed by village mob, then every such death is crime of entire society & not just of some govt dept. Because we collectively as a society have repeatedly failed to conserve basic needs of wild animals is a fact & that’s main reason of all these deaths of tigers & other animals!

Solutions are there provided we want them, like we have Crime Branch in police force, why can’t we have Wild Life Crime Branch in forest dept with full powers (read authority) & supporting infra in form of man-power as well equipments (read guns), so that they can protect animals getting killed, outside the so called forest areas? And just that is not enough but our UD the Great i.e. Urban Development dept which makes provisions for spaces (read land) for we the humans, must start thinking with this wild life conservation vision & make wild life part of their urban planning! At the same time education dept can make wild life as a separate subject in school & not just some chapter in Environment Science as let every kid in this country know how important it is to make one tiger survive then only when he or she will grow up & learn driving, will be careful about life of wild animals on road! And lastly but hopefully our rulers (read MPs’ /MLAs’ & all elected members) realize that trees & wild animals may not vote but they are very much part of their constituency & they too are citizens!  As this “man-animal conflict’ is not a problem created by the wild animals; it’s created by the humans who are supposed to think for wild animals also, which they don’t! We the humans have forced this war of survival on wild animals whereas they are just trying to save themselves from us. Friends, 2018 was dark for every wild species in this country & while we toast our glasses to welcome 2019 & make resolutions of our fitness & wellbeing,  let’s make a resolution to save wild life also as there only lies a little bright hope for poor tigers & its brethren of Happy New Year!

--
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..



Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)


http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

www.punecorporation.org
Take your issues to Hon PM at link below..
Think Green, Think Life

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Amazing Friendship!







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Dear Friend,

“The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it”… Hubert H. Humphrey.

Indeed Humphrey took my words; I meant I took his, as while turning fifty & the way my 50th B’day was celebrated by my friends, these are exact emotions I lived through! And what was more important, it was total surprise to me till the party starts on that eve as all things planned by my friends’ only (forester group) along with my sister & cousin. They called my all friends right from child hood & guys thanks a ton you all responded as in these times when people hardly find even as hour for their own family, all of you took entire day & some of you have flown in from different cities just to surprise your friend & I am in debt of each of you for that! Best part was my younger genre i.e. sons as well nieces & nephews too were part & such display of emotions in the form of our get together was inspiring for them. As in the world where everything is business or deal, it’s only such friendships which keep us human at heart & what better example we could have laid in-front of them, than our togetherness! One thing I have learnt about friendship which has helped me in my life outside of friendship & that is luck can get you friends but you have to earn their friendship by your actions! And that doesn’t mean or need giving gifts & telling them how great friends they make but in smallest of the things as well letting them know they mean a lot to you & you will be ever available for them for most weird or craziest of the reason also! That day on 15th Dec, when you all were looking at me from masks of my face I reminded myself how lucky I am as well responsible also for this great wealth you all have put in me in the form of your friendship! I will always try to make you proud for allowing me your friend is all I can assure… Here is something I wrote to the arranging committee, please know that the feelings are for each of you who could made to the party as well those who couldn’t yet your presence was very much there & will be ever in my mind! … Sanjay

16 12 18

“All goes to one & one goes to all”… Shouts of Nothingness; Zen Speaks.

Dear Hemangi, Aarti, Saleel,Shilpa, Sangeeta, Neeta , Anand & Vikrant…

You do know I am fan of Comics & Super Heroes but there is one more thing & that is the book named Zen Speaks. I got its copy in 1995 by a friend (well, every good thing happened to me is by some friend only) & that time I was way young, care free (now also, but maturely) & last thing I wanted was some philosophy, so kept (read threw) that book away. Then few years later I did SSY ( Sahaj Samadhi Yog) & it does made me able to make many changes about myself & needless to say going to SSY was also on insistence of a friend ( raja pawar)! After that I stared doing Pranayam & Meditation, a habit which I continued till now. In that SSY many stories were shared in lectures by Gurus’ & most related to Zen or Osho. So my curiosity made me find that book at home again & started reading it & then once again I realized what a fool I was not to give a try to that book! As whatever I was listening or reading that all was already in it. But like they say even if you have a key you need to find a lock first & that is very much applicable while you want to enter within you own self!

Now You must be wondering where this is going, well, by now in last nearly twenty years I have recited most of Zen Speaks as they are one page stories & can say I have understood it a bit rather tried to adopt few with my life, not much successful though! There is one story in it which is at start, its core or say base of all Zen Philosophy & it’s about one student asking his master to explain about human soul & Zen. The master takes him in open, under star lit sky & points his finger towards millions of star in sky & says human soul is like a star in infinite space,” all goes to one & one goes to all”. Story ends here & frankly with all so called reading & discussing I have never really got the meaning of all goes to one & one goes to all; as how it is possible? How can be one goes to all & if so how it can be still one or vice versa; so many years passed yet whenever I open Zen Speaks, my mind lingered on that page & like an unpregnantable fort that page refused entry in its core to me! And on 15th Dec 18, the moment in entered in Varatk Heritage Senate Hall & saw so many Sanjays’ looking at me through the masks all were wearing; that moment I got the meaning of Zen Speaks, “all goes to one & one goes to all”! And all credit goes to you for making this happen as then no more it was a surprise 50th birthday party for me but it was like going back to the fifty years via all the faces which you only gathered! And then followed the Video covering this journey, good there was darkness in the hall as it helped me in hiding my tears of joy!

Later on for nearly six hours I relived my fifty years again meeting friends from childhood to college, recalling the moments we shared & during all the time I could feel the efforts you have taken to make this happen. Right from Invite, DJ Music, to Poster, to Masks, to Bar Tenders, to Photographer & yes the Video Presentation as well hours put in testimonies as well communicating with my friend circle spread across so much distance & getting them at venue as well keeping this  secret till last moment; I really lost words to express myself! Most important is, hemangi, aarti, shilpa, saleel & sangeeta  you all took care of every single guest like it’s your party, that’s something everybody appreciated & believe me, that night I again thanked God for making me so lucky to have friends like you! Usually such special occasion birth-day parties are arranged by some family members but then what better family than you all a boy who has been grown up by friends only, could have! Frankly I wasn’t much keen for this 50th thing as I have come to a stage where every day is special but you made me realized, some days are more special & it’s the friends only which can make it happen! Indeed we all live in a world where even blood relations gets dilute over issues like money, power, position & such; rather most of the things are calculated on gain & loss scale & in such times the friendship of ours is like rainbow on the background of dark sky. It’s been wonderful journey just as hemangi says, we are like “Ice Age” pack, so different individually yet together we are so much fun; that is because we respect & love each others for what we are than thinking what we could be! Personally speaking my every friend has made be change a bit & always on better side each time, like  you foresters made be to say “Sorry” when I am at fault as well to  adjust myself for group rather than making  the group adjust to my whims! And let me tell you I started feeling much better when I started adjusting for others than my earlier attitude!

And this is best gift friends can give you as they make you a better human being than what you are & for that they charge nothing but a non-demanded, unsaid responsibility to stand for them as well whoever is in need, whenever they will need you in whatever form & so I will be always! To conclude will share a whats-ap message which I wrote to my younger genre about my friends, I think that says all I wanted to say…

Dear Rohit Sr & Jr, rohan, Nikhil, ketki, shruti…

Yesterday watching u all dancing & having fun suddenly i realized i hv really turned 50 up as i could see u all as kid & now here u are all so much  grown-up & watching u all speak about me as a person, well it was darkness so my tears of joy went unseen! One thing which i kept telling u since u all when u were kids that its easier to make friends when u hv everything but friendship is at its best when it happens when u got nothing as those friendships goes miles & what u saw yesterday were one such in the form of my friends! Another thing is to mage frds is easy when u hv everything but to know which out of them r ur real friends & to retain them is toughest part & for that u need to be wise. And wisdom comes only with knowledge thats why earn knowledge first! I was lucky to hv friends which transformed a town boy who wasnt having sense of even to speak few english words,  in to a man who could write english books & give lectures on many platforms!! Frds induced that confidence in me & yes kept me on track also whenever i started going off-track in process! I am in debt  of every my friend & the number is growing that of the friends also & my debts also & yes never ever forget the debt of friendship u carry as thats best way to keep urself grounded! U all were & are part of my 50 up journey & our sharing has made it wonderful…make proud  to urself as thats all ur parents would want!... your baba, mama & kaka
-- 

Thanks for everything guys…


Sanjay

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Hope With Challenges; Real Estate's New Year!







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“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.”... Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson FRS was a British poet. He was the Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. Actually no need to tell about Tenniyson as he is one of the best poets of our time & what most real estate here (read in Pune) needs now is hope in the form of above words from Tennyson! Keeping all due respect for “Achhe Din”, the coming year also will be State as well Central elections. One thing the present govt has done (read Modi Sarkar) & that is the real estate rates definitely has come down not just stable than when it came in ruling nearly four & half years back. But what it’s done to real estate as industry is something I will like to draw your attention. Here typical Puneakrs’ will say what they has to do with what happened to real estate which mostly means builders as it’s the end result which is important & prices of homes (read flats) has come down is a fact! Isn’t it “Achhe Din” for the flat buyers which till last few years has been witnessed only the rising graph of home prices which always seems to be going out of budget? Indeed yes, the home prices are very much down but are they still in budget of the home buyers (read common man) is another aspect of real estate & then reduced prices of real estate can be looked in two different angles, actually it’s like weight loss, confused with my analogy?  Well, we all know excess weight (human body) is bad for health & all the Doctors advise to reduce the weight & it should be as per BMI i.e. Body Mass index (ratio of height vs. weight). But the weight loss must be by proper diet & exercise as weight loss can cause by chronic disease like Diabetes also. Will we be calling such weight loss good or sign of healthy life style, off-course not! With due respect to all, same is the scene of reduced home prices in real estate, it’s no more market correction its sickness sign actually!

Agreed there again may be sarcastic comments, for so many years real estate (read builders) has enjoyed rate hikes in property rates & perks along with it, at that time you didn’t said it’s not healthy! I am not justifying it & that was wrong too but one wrong action never makes another wrong action right; same is with present rate decrease in real estate. As  on one side rates of lands, rates of cement/steel/ sand type basic construction materials, rates of diesel, even govt is not behind in lynching real estate (sorry but that’s only word come to my mind) byway of taxes like GST, Income Tax policies, Stamp duty , Premiums charged by local authorities (read PMC/PCMC/PMRDA) are ever increasing. Then we can’t neglect the labor costs which includes right from construction labors daily wages to every support staff from marketing to accountant to site engineers. I started my career as site engineer with salary of Rs 750 p/m & I was first class degree holder engineer of Pune versity; try any fresher engg or any graduate today & see what he demands as salary at start then you will realize these over heads!  Real estate was never a blue eyed baby for the bankers (not investors), so the interest as well repayment terms were harsh & now they are more than harsh, adding burden of finance cost on end product. Real estate was always dearest to the investors but their love didn’t come cheap, ask any builder the terms of private financers & he will tell you it would have been better had he been investor in real estate than being a builder. And just like the rats run away from the sinking ship, investors left real estate in last few years, though not all could save their lives, but that’s different story! So the investor money is gone too from real estate which in a way is boon as gone along with is heavy interest rate burden but then from where to buy land & fund  the construction of the project? Here many will say, what happened to pre launches, soft launches, and early bookings & getting money from the clients only for the construction? Well, that’s the hitch, gone are all those dream-land things as thanks to govt’s policies like RERA & no GST for ready homes, there are no buyers (read unless the project is really at prime location, which is rare now) for homes in booking or making also; so the developer has only two options either buy the land from his pocket & build the project also from own funds or launch the project & hope he gets clients in ongoing construction ,so as the construction costs gets funded from it!

Here is where one more cost head gets added in construction (read making cost) of the project & that is marketing cost i.e. advertising costs. Of-late mood of market is such that the biggest challenge (read fear) in the minds of the builders is how to reach out the right client for the homes they are making! When I say right client it means to make real estate (read builder) identify the customer for the product it has made (homes) & reach to him or her & convince the client to buy it. As with changing market scene, no more a home is the first priority of the common middle class which was earlier the main buyer of these homes. Investors may be there but as I always say, no movie gets hit on black marketers but only on real viewers. On same lines whatever homes the investor may book yet it needs a real home buyer to buy & reside in those homes & it was going on because the home was first priority of most Indians which isn’t any more, at least for now! Just in last decade if you would have asked any middle age couple what’s first thing they would like to do (read buy or spend or save for) & answer of eighty percent couples would have been to buy a home! No more it’s the situation as just the way earlier a home buying priority would have make car buying or cell phone, take a back seat, now it’s time of home, for many couples. Three main reasons are there; first is changed age group of home buyers (read home seekers) as this is late twenties or early thirty, age group who believes living life for today & not future! They prefer to pay EMI’s for their luxury car or gadgets than spending on home EMI. Then second thing is they have other important priorities such as education costs of their kids & they want to save for this cause. And lastly they are ok with rental homes where rent is way less than EMI & is not binding burden as they can change the home if something happens on job front i.e. lesser package, no problem settle for some cheaper rent home!This twentish/thirtish genre is no more senti for owning a home or has false pride or security concepts about the home, which earlier genre has i.e. those who are around fifty plus by age now! And exactly this is the biggest challenge real estate (read builders) is facing how to convince these young home seekers to buy their homes! And then this genre is very smart, good with figures & they don’t believe (read blindly) on advertising! This genre wants a home with all luxurious amenities, quality construction, and needs possession in time, at good location & in their budget! And they asks lots of questions (awkward ones mostly) & Goggles’ a lot before concluding to any decision, especially when it’s a deal as costly as a home! And this brings the costliest factor of real estate for which it wasn’t ready at all & that is marketing cost.And this is with total uncertainty as when you give some 400 rupees to your supplier then you are sure you will get a bag of 50 kg cement against it, that’s fine but if you spend even ten lac rupees for some advertising campaign of a project, you are not sure about how many flat bookings you can get through it, now what you do?

And all these expenses are finally loaded on home price only but have some one thought that then how the home prices are still coming down, when every other commodity related to home building is going up! Well that’s why I am calling it as unhealthy reduction in prices of real estate because this is not logically right! Indeed it may on face looks good for the end user but what about the entire industry which supports millions of personals in hundreds of forms like suppliers, contractors, agents & even the govt which gets huge revenue from real estate dealings in every way! And on other side with changing trends on political fronts the only agenda which every Political Party seems to have for winning elections is reservation in jobs & education as well loan wavers for farmers as well other segments but real estate! I am not against reservation or loan waver from farmers (I can’t dare, I have to live in this country) but I was reading in news paper that the new govt in Madhya Pradesh has announced loan waver for farmers which will add burden of nearly 64,000 crores of rupees on its balance sheet! Well going with this no wonder if our State govt also comes up with same scheme & then where the money for building infra for real estate is going to come & needless to say this deficit will be covered by adding more burden on the cow with milk i.e. real estate & other business (read industries), in a way making the homes more costlier! And still if some builder is decreasing rates of homes in his project then do mind it’s not because he has huge profits but it’s just to survive he is lowering rates & what after all such in making or ready homes are finished, what about new projects? I think it’s not the real estate people who should be worried but the “Mai baap” govt which should be worried as we are heading towards the end like the story in Isap Niti (folk tales) where the hen which was giving one golden egg ever day was killed by the greedy owner for more eggs at a time eventually ending the golden eggs!

The silver lining is speaking about Pune, there are jobs available so the huge migration is there & even if this population is ready to live in rental homes for that someone has to buy those homes in first place to give them on rent! It said somebody’s loss is somebody’s gain; trading on these lines while most of rural Maharashtra is worrying for many problems, unemployment is major of them; fortunately Pune is riding on IT as well Auto Industry, Service Industry & education Industry (many won’t like last term but that’s fact) & many such trades creating thousands of job in Pune region. Obviously all these people needs some shelter on their heads & that’s what real estate has to do! One more aspect real estate must understand, you can build buildings with money but you can’t build image or character with just money but the way you spend that money; I think that much wisdom real estate (read builders) must have learn by now!

So, while welcoming New Year all that needed for real estate is, positive approach backed up with professional back up & yes a bit less greed regarding profit margins! As gone are the days of doubling the investment that too on others money; here onwards surely this industry is going to survive, but like any other industry i.e. on lesser margins! And yes a clear understanding of their clients thought process as  like shown in one mobile company advertise, “no more ullu banaying” attitude! Study the market needs, control over heads, give quality & timely possession,, keep the home prices which will make buyer feel comfortable, make the buyer understand priority of home buying & yes for that stay connected to your customers by every possible means! The company which will follow this basics of the business which real estate has forgotten, will not only survive but will make some money also along; well, what are the “Achhe Din” than this!

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Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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