[Women in Real Estate] Discussion with Ms. Snehal Mantri, Director Mantri Developers

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Since 1999, when Mantri Developers began its fascinating journey, Mrs. Mantri has been at the helm of affairs overseeing the initiation of new projects and nurturing long-lasting relationships with customers and investors alike. Her expertise in marketing has helped define and execute numerous growth-driven strategies that were instrumental in elevating the brand to a position of industry leader. She has also played an integral role in developing the corporate branding of Mantri Developers and the rebranding exercise of the firm. We discussed with her on her perspective on digital & technology adoption, demonetization and other things in real estate industry and here’s her take on those

Do you think real estate developers are slowly getting more inclined towards the usage of digital & technology to build more efficiency in the system?

In India, greater emphasis was always given to traditional forms of media especially when talking about marketing initiatives in realty. Grade A real estate developers who have been a part of the organised sector for quite some time and have adapted to changes that the industry has witnessed, are now embracing a balance of both traditional and digital mediums. Digital mediums are facilitation greater awareness of brands, visibility & credibility for the project as these platforms have vast reach when it comes to connecting with the target audience and less costs involved as compared to traditional medium of branding. Social Media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Google is enabling developers to send personalized messages to the right audience. It furthers helps to create virtual tours and also increase consumer touch points. Developers today are adapting to these disruptive new age technology that are helping them augment their selling process. Developers are now investing their money in digital because of the lower cost that is incurred as compared to traditional billboard hoardings, print advertisements or other mediums like radio and television. There are various mediums within digital to choose from with the increase in the number of property portals available today. The advantage that is gained from these is their interactive nature and much deeper reach.

How does RERA have an impact on large brands like Mantri? Will it bring more parity in the system across different developers? Will it also bring more international investors?

Mantri Developers have always ensured transparency and have followed the best practices in Real Estate and we believe that RERA will be of great assistance because of this. Ensuring efficiency in delivery, quality and consistency in approvals will ensure increased trust and confidence amongst customers, also increasing investor interest and sentiment. Keeping in mind the above factors along with regulations that have been brought in by REIT, one can see this being trusted as an organized sector. This will lead to not just an increase in the number of International investors coming into the market, but also a lot more consumers opening up to the idea of buying property online.

Did demonetization impact realty in places like Bangalore & Pune where most of the customers are any ways in “zero cash” segment?

What Mantri Developers has noticed over the years being a key player in the industry is that our buyers especially in the Bangalore market have been IT, salaried professionals whose mode of investments are usually through credit system thereby eliminating the cash component of the business. In our opinion, demonetization has had more of an impact on customer sentiment than any other factor. Mantri Developers did not witness a drop in our regular flow of customer enquiries with the coming in of the new year and steady sales we feel that this was more of a short term effect.

Besides demonetization do you think government can do any other things to build more transparency and clamp down black money from the sector?

It has been observed that single window clearances has always been a more profitable and transparent process that is both preferred and beneficial to customers. Government and real estate policies such as RERA and REIT bring in a clean and transparent structure, also a regularizing of purchase process into the industry. This in turn brings in a lot of confidence in buyers who are investing money into the market, automatically resulting in an increase in demand for housing.

The views expressed here are solely those of the person interviewed in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of the brands/organizations she is or has been associated with.