Real estate portals: Simplifying the property search process for home buyers

[] Real estate portals, such as, have become a preferred choice for searching for properties. We examine the various end-to-end benefits that portals offer, beyond the mere listing of properties

By now, you may have definitely used a real estate portal for your property searches. What could have triggered this? It could be the understanding that websites offer everything on a platter. With time, portals are also doubling-up as reliable brokers, informing you about every minute detail. Let us look at how going online for property search can change your life for the better.

Banking on the ease factor

Do you prefer supermarkets to the traditional provision stores? This is a reflection of our times, where the traditional ways of selling may be becoming outdated. Real estate seems to be following this pattern, as well.

Earlier, you usually had to go to a provision store with a list of things and settle for those products that the shopkeeper had in stock. There were hardly any choices. On the other hand, if you happen to enter a supermarket, you are left at peace. If you have a list of things to buy, you could pick these up. If you see something better and change your mind to favour the new product, then, you can opt for that one. If you want to quickly browse through your options, you can do that too and choose the one that suits your needs, preference and your pocket.

Similarly, for bigger things like property, budget is the top concern for most buyers. In a supermarket, you can pick what you like. There is no pressure and no pitching.

Real estate portals too leave it to you, to decide what suits your needs. This is usually the preliminary way of searching at homes and shortlisting. Data suggests that two-thirds of property consumers in the rental or capital markets, resort to online searches. Market research firm, Kantar Millward Brown examined why people prefer real estate portals. The answer: The tedious process of scouting for information, contacting brokers and owners, frequent personal visits to verify before finalising – characteristics of the traditional way of home buying – are trimmed drastically, with real estate portals.

Get the right answers within minutes

Prospective home buyers have a lot of questions. Researchers have identified that online searches have become popular, because it gives you quick answers. Imagine having to catch hold of someone who can answer your queries, at every development stage of a project. That is not possible. If you are lucky enough to find someone who will answer you, consider the amount of time you would have to invest, to find out the details. To put it simply, what you could do with a portal in half an hour, would take you ages to do, by any other means.

A recent survey conducted by Ipsos Connect, suggested that 65 per cent people took to online portals to find out the price of property. The study also found that:

  • 64 per cent wanted to understand whether the property suited their budget;
  • 57 per cent wanted to form an opinion, based on the reviews the property had received;
  • 52 per cent wanted to understand how the project looked in pictures;
  • 51 per cent wanted to know about the locality;
  • 55 per cent said they also wished to understand the price trends;
  • 56 per cent wanted to see if there was a desirable property available at that point of time;
  • 50 per cent used portals for initial help;
  • 45 per cent relied on it to know about the builder and his experience;
  • 43 per cent came online to read expert opinions and content available on these portals;
  • 39 per cent felt these websites could help them understand jargons and legal terminologies better;
  • 33 per cent came, to understand construction-related updates.

Some others preferred it as a channel to understand the buying process from end-to- end, while others utilised it to avail of brokerage services. It is a herculean task for any portal to be a one-stop platform.

Uniform, verified information

Who do you trust the most, when it comes to taking a decision with respect to a property purchase? Is it your spouse, parents, peer group or friends who have already bought a property recently, or a seller? While these sources may be trustworthy, when it comes to professionalism, real estate portals project unbiased and consistent information throughout. A seller may pitch a particular property over another one, to achieve his own business targets. A friend who has recently bought into a project may want you to opt for the project too. Sometimes, friends may take such decisions, to avail of group booking discounts. While your family’s advice may be an eye-opener for you, investments should be a wise choice and therefore, informed decisions are a must.

Real estate portals do not change their stance. Quality checks conducted by portals such as, ensure that when you browse, you get to see verified listings with genuine content, reviews, price points and trends. Given that the internet has permeated our lives, all the information that appears on portals, is available for anyone and everyone. Therefore, the next time you feel that the information passed on to you by a friend, does not match that of the seller’s, try real estate portals for end-to-end information.

Assisted searches

A dedicated team of experts and customer care professionals can be invaluable, when you need assistance. Survey participants, who have bought a property in the last one year or are going to buy within the next six months, have said that a good portal ensures verified photographs of the property, maps and location and the right price trends, besides offering expert reviews, construction updates and floor plans, price break-up, agent and broker profiles, reviews by current residents and assistance through chat and call centres. Assisted searches cut down the tediousness of looking out for a property and facilitates quicker decision making.

Tech intervention

Technology, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), help bring the market to the consumers (and not the other way around) and to make purchases simpler, faster and effective. This reverse market cycle works well and real estate portals have helped both businesses and buyers alike.  

AR/VR encourages room for greater accountability, visualisation and transparency and thus, satisfaction. With technology being handy, there will be no doubts about what has been promised, versus what will be delivered. It is already in play, when it comes to those living miles apart, when they come together in the virtual world to meet over a property which is either on lease or sale. Niche markets have already started capturing potential buyers and tenants. For example, AR/VR helps cut the distance, time and effort in showing properties to expats and NRIs. Portals have thus reinvented themselves and the change has been accepted heartily.

We have revealed how property portals make your life easier but did you know that they make you a tad bit smarter too? Here’s how.

65 per cent of people polled, revealed that they have used a property website, somewhere along their journey of home-buying. Portals, listings, reviews, news sections, discussions, etc., are a good way to start your journey. Portals also prepare you for the entire process. If you have browsed through a portal, you would be no stranger to the price trends or offers in the market. You could also smartly turn down a seller, when he quotes a price higher than what you researched. Through reviews, you can enquire further into the livability in a particular project or location. In short, there are fewer chances of unpleasant surprises.

Real estate portals do offer everything on a platter. Join the bandwagon. Start your search for your perfect home at

Copyright belongs to:

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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