Sulekha.com, the Indian classifieds web-site, has launched Sulekha.com Property, a site for Property related information, including buy or sell property listings, rentals, information on localities and brokers, and others. It’s essentially a rejigged version of Sulekha’s Real Estate classifieds section. The site claims to offer over 67,000 unique properties across 42 cities in India. It also claims to feature over 1113 detailed projects, with enhanced content including location maps, sitemaps, videos, information on amenities, among others.
A press statement from Sulekha also mentions that the new site(still in Beta) has helped sell nearly 3,000 apartments, and over 2.2 lakh responses for real estate sales and 4.5 lakh responses for rentals have been recorded in the first month of launch. However, to our surprise, we were not able to find rentals on the site.
-What’s on offer: The site offers a property search feature for buyers and sellers, with filters such as property type, city, locality, price range and rooms. It also lists Buy & sell ads under various categories including Flats, individual houses, office space and others. The ads are from individual users, feature brokers and premium builders. Individuals can post free ads, upto a limit of one every three months on the site. However they can also post premium ads, which are displayed first. The site also has a Property Advice Q&A session where users can post property related queries and other users including experts like GRIHA and vakilsearch.com offer advice. It also features a small ‘Trends & Rates’ graph depicting property prices in selected areas.
– Not fully functional: The site allows users to connect to property owners/brokers or builders on the site, after verifying their mobile numbers. However, it did not work for us and we did not get a verification SMS on an Airtel number, at the time of writing this post. We do understand that Sulekha monetizes through premium listings but there should be a way to filter out brokers in the search. Also, the absence of rentals listings, which have been a feature that Sulekha also offers on its classifieds site, is strange, since a large number of users hunt for them online.
– Need for differentiation: The site will have to compete with the likes of InfoEdge’s property listing portal 99acres.com, Times Business Solutions owned MagicBricks.com and Consim Info’s IndiaProperty.com, which are all established players. In order to differentiate itself, Sulekha would need to offer new features and innovate. We had said the same thing when it recently jumped into the deals bandwagon.