Real Estate Developers are now being creative in their approach. Instead of building generic apartments and structures they are now approaching customers directly to understand their requirements and the price they are willing to pay and incorporates it in their next project – and their customers/buyers are already in place. One such developer is Bangalore-based Puravankara Projects who has not had a great run in Chennai thus far, its first project having become mired in issues of delay and government clearances. Now, it hopes to change all that with a renewed focus.
Group CEO Jackbastian Nazareth was in the city recently to get the ball rolling on a super-luxury project he is planning in Guindy. He looks more like someone representing Apple personal tech or Bose sound systems. He explains how he came up with the idea of the Skywood units off Sharjapur Road in Bangalore. Apparently, he was browsing in two pet shops called Paws and Barkery in Bangalore that sell pet products, including special baked goods. When Nazareth saw the huge number of customers these shops drew, he added just one feature to his upcoming project — a 100 sq. ft enclosure with hume pipes and sand boxes. In the first week of launch, 53 of 78 respondents signed up for the pet-friendly project.
Realising that NRIs in the US were worrying about aged parents back home, Nazareth built a 24/7 medical care center for the the aged , green spaces, concierge services and more. In one week, Provident Welworth saw 432 sales in Silicon Valley, all for the aged parents in India. And in a project called The Tree with 500-plus flats, Puravankara has planted 333 different flowering trees, and sold the units to customers who wanted the pleasure of walking barefoot on fallen flowers.
Puravankara has a Business Intelligence Strategy unit purely for market research. Uniquely, they also visit homes a year after the sale to discover what alterations customers have made — to see if these can be incorporated into future designs. “We hired 40 IIM students last year alone to add muscle to our strategist team,” says Nazareth.
The company has a couple of other USPs — it operates in both the luxury and affordable segments, with Puravankara its luxury brand and Provident the budget one. This helps tap two distinct markets.
Second, it invests heavily in cutting-edge pre-cast technologies to reduce delivery timelines and costs and have made eight flats in 10 days in Sunworth, off Mysore Road.
These strategies might be paying off. “In five-odd years, Provident has delivered 4.68 million sq. ft, making it among the fastest growing real estate companies today,” says Nazareth. It manages to stay on track by not buying land cheap at speculative rates; instead picking up costlier land but with clean title and in locations cleared for construction. “Today, the 110 million sq. ft we have is fully paid for,” says Nazareth.
The marketing strategy extends to Purva Evoq, a super-luxury project coming up at Guindy, overlooking the race course. The units have not been opened for sale; instead prospective buyers will be approached by the company to elicit expressions of interest. Pre-filtered customers will be invited for the first phase.
Evoq will have just 180 apartments across two acres, priced in the Rs. 2.5 crore range. “When fully occupied,” says Nazareth, “the collective net worth of the residents will be around half a billion dollars (Rs. 3,000 crore), making it possibly among the wealthiest residential enclaves in Chennai.”
The theme will be art, and the residents’ association could become the largest art owner of its kind. An auction house will be appointed to curate and buy pieces. Residents are expected to benefit from the appreciation of both property and art. The residents’ association will also own a horse at the Bangalore Turf Club. And, adds Nazareth, you can expect other add-ons such as concierge service, cigar lounge, sky-gazing observatory and more.