For Non-Resident Indians one of the most difficult aspects of investing in Indian real estate is distance. In most cases, it is nearly impossible for them to come down to physically check and appraise a prospective property. Even though they might be active investors and have a keen interest in putting money in property purchase, this is a great impediment to them.
It is perhaps for this reason that property consultants and developers have scaled up their online presence. Digital is a buzz word these days and property experts are gung ho over it. To establish better connect with NRIs, they are coming up with ideas like virtual tours, online inventory, booking engines for electronic transfers of booking amount and much more.
Digital advertising, in fact, remains one of the major draws for NRIs as it forms the biggest portion of leads for property consultants. It is also noteworthy that many developers have seen success with online sales or property flash sales. Although the percentage of NRIs participating in such sales is not clear, yet it is estimated that they had a significant share in overall sales.
The trends do indicate that for NRIs interested in property investments in India, online seems to be the most suitable medium. However, there are different views on whether the virtual world will really replace the actual process of property transactions.
Monica Raj is 40 years old and lives in Dubai, UAE with her husband and two children. She is an active property investor in India which she says keeps her closer to her roots. “Indian property investments give you the best returns,” Monica says. However, the absence to physical closeness to her purchases do bother her some. “Indian markets are not very transparent. And it is not always possible to take time off from work, visit India and inspect the property,” she adds. She is heavily dependent on the internet for information regarding a future purchase. “Me and my husband, check the property and ascendants of developers. The past developments by a builder tell you a lot about what they might offer in future,” she says.
Online mediums also offer NRIs opportunities to search and look for maximum alternatives or options to invest their money in. But offline services still retain their importance as the internet alone does not have the sole influence on real estate investments by NRIs. The process can be initiated online but they need consultants or representatives on ground to execute the investment on ground.