Mumbai, October ____, 2014: Amazon.com came into prominence last year when declared that it was testing drones for delivery. The latest news is that the company has sought approval from FAA for priority delivery (30 minutes or less) thereby ushering a new chapter in its business saga.
But an Indian technology start-up called Housing.com became the first technology company to utilize drones for property surveys. Drones can be utilized for both surveys and 3-D modelling of properties.
The use of drones follows the technology driven- data crunching-hard core analytics approach of housing.com to simplify online property search and exemplifying the efficiency. The portal has categorized search options into six categories-Buy, Rent, New Projects, PG Hostels, Land and Plot Projects. All these categories incorporate all property types including independent homes, new upcoming residential projects, flats, vacant plots and hostels- thereby servicing the whole gamut of buyers.
Depending on a user’s needs, one of these options can be selected to navigate further. But this is just the beginning. Housing.com became the first portal to use a practical ‘map view’ for sharing search results. The portal has also become the first to provide “verified” listings. This means that a property has been visited by the representative of housing.com and the information about it(including photos) is accurate.
Maps and Indices
Housing.com has established a Data Science Lab(DSL)-the brains behind its services. Here the best brains in the country crunch data and execute complex analytical processes to come up with interesting and informative solutions to consumers’ demands. The constant efforts of the DSL have exposed property buyers to a new vista of trends and knowledge about the real estate sector.
Thetech savvy information includes demand analysis, inventory and property availability among others. The information is not verbose, lengthy or ambiguous in the form of explicit notes. It is available in the form of maps. All that one needs to do is select a map and the city of choice. For example, ‘Price Heat Map’ shows the areas in demand along with the associated cost. One has to merely choose a city and then move the mouse over the city map to view the average rates in a particular locality. There are options to view rental rates as well as purchase rates. One can find the cost per square feet along with cost per room from these maps.
Similarly, DSL has introduced a number of indices to facilitate users in short listing properties for purchase. They include Lifestyle Rating index, Child Friendliness Index, Visibility Index and Housing Estimate. All these ratings provide realistic and valuable insight which is otherwise hard to estimate. For example, Lifestyle Rating is a composite score calculated by taking into account the closeness of a property to public amenities, availability of commuting services, floor count etc. This score is a good standard for measurement of quality of urban life while living in a particular property.
Similarly, the Visibility Index allows a user to view properties in a cluster at a particular zoom level. Zooming in further reveals the independent properties, thereby reducing confusion.
Housing.com is one of the first organizations which has proven that big data analysis has immense practical usage.
The housing.com Story
The company was a result of its founders’ quest to find homes in Mumbai. The founders- Rahul Yadav, Aditya Sharma and twelve others are alumni of IIT Mumbai. While searching for homes in the city, they realized that there was a huge gap in information sought by buyers sought and details provided by existing real estate portals. Even as graduates, they started analysing demand data using complex algorithms and statistical models. They recognized the opportunity to fill the information void and the twelve started a firm which was later funded by some of the biggest venture capital firms in the world.
The company today has become one of the most promising ventures in the real estate business. It employs 750 employees across the country and has received a total of Rs. 138 crores in four rounds of funding since its inception in 2012.Helion Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners are some of the biggest names who have led the funding of this start-up.
Today the value of the company exceedsRs. 300 crores.
Housing.com- since its inception- has achieved a 75% month-on-month growth. Today it caters to users looking for properties in 11 major metropolitan cities in India including the four metropolitans along with Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bangalore and Pune.
Housing.com is a real estate portal established in 2012.The company utilizes latest data analytics techniques to provide consumers with property related information. It is headquartered in Mumbai and has offices in various other cities of the country.