[Women in Real Estate] Discussion with Ms. Sunaina Kohli, General Manager – Godrej Properties

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As a part of connecting with women leaders in real estate industry, we happened to speak Ms. Sunaina Kohli, General Manager Godrej Properties. She is responsible for Sales Strategy & execution including sales management for Mumbai Zone and is a Key member of the Product development & positioning. She has experience across Mumbai & Bangalore markets in residential real estate. Here’s what she feels on some of the latest developments in Real Estate Market.

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

Traditional forms of media have always been at the forefront of marketing initiatives for real estate – however, as brand building also becomes an increasingly important aspect of marketing (lead generation aside), Real Estate developers have realized that the best way to balance both these aspects is through digital medium, with its vast reach and low costs. Depending on product and customer segment, digital mediums chosen may be different – from property portals to simple Google text ad targeting. Companies are increasingly pumping in money in digital due to increase in number of leads generated from this medium at low cost per leads compared to hoardings, print ads, radio and other tradition forms of media. In addition, digital medium is far more interactive and allows real estate players deeper reach.

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

RERA will be of great assistance to Grade A developers like Godrej Properties who have always stuck to the best practices in Real Estate Industry. Standardization in contracts, delivery and approvals will ensure increased trust and confidence amongst customers. I envisage this leading to consolidation amongst fringe players in the industry and will go a long way in improving investor sentiment and interest. International investors will also be attracted if this, coupled with REIT, brings in increased transparency and investment opportunities.

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

Incidentally, post demonetization, Godrej Properties did a fantastic launch in Pune and sold over 400 apartments. Companies like Godrej Properties primarily sell to professionals opting for funding from HFI. Given better interest rates, this target group has had no reason to postpone the purchase. That said, the general market sentiment is that of uncertainty currently and there are fence sitters who are in a wait-and-watch mode in anticipation of RERA – this should improve by Q2 in the coming financial year.

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

I think that the ‘Digital India’ push taken by the government is the right way to go about increased transparency and decrease in corruption. For example, if the common man get the opportunity to voice his/her challenges through an app and expect a reply and solution within 24 hours, then the common man will also get more confidence make their voice heard. When more people start doing this, the pressure will be on the malpractitioners to mend their ways.

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.