Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Real Estate's Bright Side in the Darkness!

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”... Mulan, Walt Disney Company. 

Well, guys Mulan is name of a character in the movie with same name & don’t ask what Walt Disney Company is, please!  Many a times Disney Company has been criticized for their age old  “Ghissa Pita” (over used) formula of love, care, togetherness & courage, same way our Bollywood movies are criticized for “Bichade Bhai” (lost & found brothers) formula. But fact is “lost & found” formula lost its block buster strength as it was built on imaginary & shallow foundations of just commercial aspect of emotions while the Disney formula of love, goodness, togetherness & courage stands on real values of human life, so how much over used it may be yet like gold, it keeps glittering  on box office! This is why I'M a diehard fan of Disney movies, characters & their philosophies & the segment which needs to remind me of these things is, none other than real estate!
Indeed unlike other industries, even in pre-corona period the real estate wasn’t doing great is a fact & the first rule of solving any problem is, accept the problem; this is exactly why I felt like writing as member of CREDAI i.e. association of builders & not just as a businessman builder! 
But then that was actually a boon as we weren’t doing great before the lockdown thing hit the country & not just the real estate. As we all have some common sense that’s why we have reached where we are, as a businessman, so tell me on Mumbai Pune Expressway if a car is moving at 120km/hr & another at 60km/hr & suddenly a stray buffalo (well this actually can happen ) on the Expressway & both the cars hit that buffalo, then which car will have fatal damage? Obviously the one which was travelling at 120 km/ hr, isn’t it? As the 60 km/hr car will also collide with the buffalo but chances are if the driver is good & can pull away in time or even if he (or she, fellow credai women wingers) hit the buffalo as the speed is less the damage is bound to be less! And now apply the analogy to this lockdown thing just our car (real-estate) was at 60 km/hr one & most other industries like service industry, hospitality industry, banking or broking (share) , tourism industry & the cine industry all are like 120 km /hr speed car & look at them now! And I am not telling you this to rub salt on their wounds but to tell you the simple fact that, all is not end rather you are lucky to be in real estate or even hotel industry (most builders do) as your injuries are not fatal only because you were slow & sometimes slow is good, especially for long run marathons, which is the one we are in!

Guys, this corona thing will fade away but it’s not last, something else can always be there, that’s possible is what now every living person who is our probable client has understood & we have to understand that mentality. As people won’t be carefree & spend for unnecessary things but once again like in 80’s/90’s wala scene will be there i.e. value for money. This doesn’t mean people won’t spend at all but the new age genre which was crazy about spending like there is no tomorrow, has understood with this “Joar Ka Zatka” that there is tomorrow & they need to think for it. And this exactly is the silver line to the present dark scene for real estate as when a person or a family thinks of the future, owning a home is unavoidable part of it, that’s what has been injected in our middle/higher middle class blood, like a vaccine since childhood! This vaccine has lost its effect for a while over the virus named lifestyle & carefree attitude but finally it again has suppressed them both. As-of-late there was a tendency why to spend heavy EMI for home or what makes a difference even if we stayed forever in the rental flat, well all such questions have been melted down with the lockdowns, do I  need to elaborate this fact? In any crisis it’s your own home which stands with you as your safe shelter as well is your solid asset too, even on money front & this is what gives you confidence to face any adversity, is what our probable clientele has understood! So let’s take this whole episode as a boon in disguise builders, at least is what my logic is!
But like in our advertisements  a *  (star mark, small it may be), this boon for demand of homes also comes along with a * mark! 
And that is no more “Ulloo Banaying” to the customers, sorry if I offended a few but what I meant is, build what your client wants & not what you want to build, as a home. Understand needs of the market & then plan & deliver what you announce rather that much only you announce! I am not against luxurious amenities or specifications but whatever you are giving should be value for money, even for high end homes also! With this pandemic affecting not just Pune but entire country & all the segments, there will be rush towards centres like Pune & though I am from Vidarbha (Nagpur) & feel sorry for rural parts of this State & don’t want to scare other smaller centres but it’s always jobs & education which was (and will be) forte of real estate & unfortunately barring Pune I don’t see both things existing anywhere else. It's not that every single person is running towards Pune but the quantity & quality, both are not matching to what people want in other centres i.e. of jobs & education respectively, this we must understand & accept. Unless the “Mai Bapp” govt comes up with something really innovative, this inflow towards Pune region won’t stop, is also a fact! The transition may take time but it’s on board & it will benefit real estate in Pune as all these migrants are going to need homes.We just need to be ready for the same & for that each of you must regain your own self & fight for survival at present!

Guys I know telling someone “Hausala Rakho”, “Every Dark Night has End”, types philosophies is easy but the one who has to pay salaries, pay interests on loans, give possessions, face every govt authority & with a haanging sword on head like RERA, for him or her it’s very difficult to digest all goody goody words but there is no option boss, mind it! You are owner of a company however small or large it may be so you have opted to be a leader of your small army with this war on face & a leader can’t afford to show his fear! I am not saying the leader shouldn’t feel fear, indeed you are a human being & the curse of being a leader is you have to carry your fear along with your army’s (team) fears too! But you have the capacity to carry this burden thats why you are a leader & your team looks at you so for them, you need to be brave. And apply logic, analyze the scene with cool head as not every time when you run or swim you should be fastest; sometimes you need to just jog & float till you see the finish line in sight!

In these times try bonding with your existing relations, whoever they may be i.e. right from your family to clients, vendors, bankers, neighbors i.e. anybody you know; try to stay connected with them. Most importantly speak to you staff, make them know importance of their initiative to sale the flats & their role in it as well make them feel confident & you only can do it! Let your staff understand ownership  feel with your company! Speak to your all above mentioned contacts, write to them, email them, whatsap them but stay connected & regularly for ever, not just these times. Find cheaper & effective ways to connect with existing clients though you can try conventional ways also but as per your budget! Share with your clients what you have available for sale, try to explain them the importance of buying a home in these times even for their family & friends who hasn’t yet got a home & try to be honest while you do so! As I said, to give feeling of having a good deal to the client, first you need to know what is a good deal! Don’t run as its end of the world to close the deal at the same time those of you who are still in capacity to buy new lands (redevelopment & premium area guys) don’t give offers like its last piece of land on the earth, as later you only have to recover your money from that piece of the land!

One more thing & it’s about personal front, try using the time at hand to have dialogue with your own self. Adopt any hobby (not addiction), it helps a lot in keeping our thinking process on the right track & balanced too! Remember this is a war but after every war the survivors have flourished only by surviving in the right way. There is a very thin line between a brave & a coward, that line is called wisdom as a wise man knows when to step ahead & when to take a step back, so sometimes he is brave & sometimes he doesn’t mind getting tagged as a coward! Sorry, guys if I have overdosed as I am  no different than you, I am also worried, tense, afraid about my company's future but that’s one side of the coin named me! On the other side, I am happy as I can see a bright future for real estate, I know I must carry my fears & my team’s too (no choice here) & most importantly, I want to be remembered as a fighter whatever outcome of this war will be there! So go on fellow builders, lead your army & make yourself pride by leading it! 

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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