Settling down with a family should, arguably, be the final source of contentment for a human being. But, finding the right home is way more complicated. Since, it’s not just about finding the right home but also a home which is at a suitable location. A place with has commutation facilities, is in a good locality, has hygienic surroundings and is nearby to the office. Mr. Dhanaseelan underwent the same problem when he, after 10 years, returned to India. Though, he used it as an opportunity to create a One-Stop solution to all Property-related issues.
About Estateace and the Story behind it
estateace.com is an online search portal that enables customers to find the right property. It lets them connect with professionals to sell/ buy/ rent properties in India. It all started when Mr. Dhanaseelan returned to India after spending 10 years as an IT professional in America. He, apparently, wanted to settle down with his family and began to search for a home. After making several futile attempts, he became quite frustrated. Property Websites, such as Magicbricks and 99acres, fail to provide important details such as commutation facilities, local services and lifestyle in the locality. This frustration lured him to create Estateace.com.
“estateace.com aspires to simplify searching homes in a city based on priorities and criteria that is of at most importance for a homebuyer like Good Location, Best Schools, Easy work Commute, Services for home repairs in Local area, Luxury properties and amenities that matches your lifestyle. We want to be a one stop resource for all things real estate” , says Dhanaseelan.
The Journey so far
Estateace was launched in April, 2013 and currently has around 6,000+ Property listings with a unique visitor base of 10,000. The Startup, bootstrapped with Mr. Dhanaeelan’s funds, is based out of Bangalore. An extensive market-research was not required since, with growing urbanization, the demand for properties is high in India. The Startup received its first 100 listings in the first week of launch. The team actively participates in email marketing, Cold Calls, Referrals from friends and families and Paid advertisement on Google.
- City Lifestyle Research- This feature enables the user to find the locality that fits his/her lifestyle. The users have to enter their Lifestyle preference such as top rated school, Public transport, Price Range, Shopping, Restaurants or Fitness center, and the perfect locality will appear.
- Hotspot Search- This feature enables the customers to find a home near a location of their choice. The location may be the Office, a hospital or even a Shopping mall. They can specify the distance within the preference location where they want their home to be.
- Localityinfo- This is a map based search feature that gives complete information about a locality. The information includes schools, market, fitness clubs, hospitals, etc.
- Luxury Property Search- Estateace introduced this search feature for the HNI homebuyers who seek luxury properties in a City with amenities swimming pool, Gym, Jacuzzi, Spa and Lounges.
- LocalExperts- This feature enables the customers to look for different facilities in a locality. The facilities may include services such as Plumber, Painter, Electrician and Security Personnel.
Business Model, Marketing plans and Challenges Encountered
Estateace.com makes money by listing Fees Property Ads and by Brokerage commission through sales. Property Listing is free for the first 15 days. A one time Subscription Based Premium AD stays for 90 days. For Channel Sales, they charge 2 % Brokerage commission. Regarding Marketing, Estateace uses offline and online advertising, referrals, classified sites and other media outlets. It plans to extend its reach by running social media campaigns on Facebook and Google+.
The journey has brought many challenges for the Estateace team. Mr. Dhanaseelan explains, “Biggest Challenge so far is to find motivated team to develop and work for your startup and then off course finding a balance between your work and life. Startup demands big commitment of your time, with a family to backup and finding a balance required enormous amount of time management and do quality work. I have learned my lessons being entrepreneur you need to get over your frustrations, emotions and must have belief in yourself and be self confident all the time.”
Competition, U.S.P. and Future plans
The competition in the Real estate sector is quite dense but Estateace differentiates by providing a complete package to the customers. Their U.S.P lies in facilities such as complete Locality information, Price trends in the locality, Assistance in home loans, Legal and document verification assistance for property registration and many others. Regarding Estateace’s future, Mr. Dhanaseelan elucidates- “We will setup and establish a base in Bangalore before going to other micro-markets. We are on the lookout for setting up a bigger office in Bangalore. Plans are also on its way to redesign and bring in advanced features on estateace.com.”
The founder and C.E.O, Mr. Dhanaseelan, has an experience of 18 years in IT and Management. A BSc. graduate in Computer Science, he has worked with Global Web & System Technology companies in U.S.A. and India.
TTP’S Take on Estateace
Apparently, the startup has had a very impressive journey so far. Their customer-friendly approach is indeed praise worthy. Though, keeping in mind the heavy competition in Real estate, the team has to be on its toes. TTP wishes estateace team all the very best!