Tata Housing Development subsidiary, Tata Value Homes has launched an e-commerce platform tatavaluehomes.com to facilitate online home buying. Home buyers will be able to book an apartment for a non-refundable deposit of Rs 30,000 on this platform. Note that less than two months back Tata Value Homes had tied-up with Snapdeal to sell apartments under its affordable housing segment.
The site currently lists properties from 7 projects in Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune. The company plans to launch 3 more projects in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata over the next 3 months. During the inaugural phase, customers will be offered apartments at a flat price. The apartments will be priced between Rs 29.9 lakh and Rs 59.9 lakh, depending on the size of the apartment (1BHK to 3BHK). The company is expected to offer 250-300 apartments under this scheme.
For each property, home buyers will be able to check photos of how a fully-furnished completed apartment would look like. They’ll also be able to view a pre-recorded virtual tour of the property and the neighbourhood. The site also provides construction update images to keep a track of what’s happening at the site.
The company claimed that it had sold over 700 housing units since December 2013. It also said that during the January-October 2014 period, 30% of online sales originated from tier II cities like, Patna, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Jaipur, Indore, Baroda, Surat, Mangalore, Mysore, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Trichy, and Bhubaneswar among others.
Snapdeal tie-up: At the time of the Snapdeal tie-up, Tata Housing had claimed that it had sold over 600 apartments since December 2013 through its own website. In that case why did Tata Value Homes tie-up with Snapdeal in the first place? It surely must not have been to test the waters. It’s possible that Tata Value Homes is trying to create multiple distribution channels, and the Snapdeal tie-up would provide it an extra channel.
Competition: There are a number of online players in the real estate segment, including Housing.com, CommonFloor (which acquired student accommodation portal Flat.to earlier this year), IndiaProperty (which offers video directions to properties through a tie-up with VidTeq and a 3D virtual property tour), 99acres, and Magicbricks, among others.