Housing.com, the real estate portal and app, has closed all its services, except one. It is now connecting people to buy and sell houses.
Earlier, under ousted co-founder Rahul Yadav and its 11 other founders, Housing did everything -- from short stays to finding houses on rent, and from selling land to renting out commercial spaces.
“We are now focusing on just buying and selling residential property – that’s the biggest business in real estate, about 80% of all deals,” said Jason Kothari, Housing’s new CEO.
For now, Housing is just like an advertising platform – it connects people who want to buy flats and houses with owners, or brokers, who have listed properties on the platform. Competitors such as Magic Bricks and 99acres do the same.
However, this will change.
“In the next 12-24 months, we will go offline,” said Kothari. He is looking at an army of Housing’s own brokers – a business that is highly unorganised, mostly done by the neighbourhood broker.
The business is cash rich – a straight 2% commission on every deal, no questions asked.
Housing will also partner with brokers – like a franchisee-led model with the leading brokers in each city Housing is present in. “It’s not dissimilar from what Ola Cabs or Uber does – partnering with the best drivers. We will do that with the best brokers,” said Kothari.
The real estate market in India is $120 billion (about Rs 8,040 crore), buying-selling makes for more than 70% of it. According to estimates, the business will be worth $850 billion by 2028.
Kothari claims that Housing’s new model is helping its revenue grow at 200% every month, but the base is small. It’s targeting revenue of $10 million by the end of this year.
It already has the largest selection of houses for resale, around 450,000 of them. “We have the best quality of homes… That’s unlike any of the others,” said Kothari.
Housing’s executives go and check each house before listing it. Now, its own brokers will help Housing sell them.