Ecommerce giant Snapdeal on Thursday launched a week long festival to promote its real estate arm.
Snapdeal, which started in 2010 as a deals website has since then branched into being a fully-fledged ecommerce portal with millions of products. In 2014, it forayed into the online real estate business in a partnership with Tata capital ventures.
While the online market real estate is dominated by players like Magicbricks, 99 acres and Housing.com, newer players are looking to enter it in a big way.
Tempted by large values of transactions, and the GMVs ( Gross Margin Value) arising out of real estate transactions that can run into millions of rupees, thus improving the bottomline for an ecommerce company, these ecommerce firms are looking to dominate in a saturated and highly competitive market. Traditional real estate ventures and builders gain from the popularity and the tech infrastructure the ecommerce players bring to the table. A transaction involving a house sale amounting to Rs. 1.1 crore was reported on Snapdeal last year. Since then the company has sold over hundreds of units across various price segments. Besides transactions, sponsored listings by real estate can be a sizeable monetization opportunity.
While rival Flipkart has stayed away from the real estate vertical, in bid to focus more on the big ticket items, it recently started selling bikes and cars on the platform.
Quikr recently also got into real estate with Quikr homes, and acquired realty startup Commonfloor to consolidate its new business. Housing.com, the much – vaunted real estate Unicorn startup, is going through troubled times of late, and is in talks to get acquired. One of the likely buyers, is rumoured to be Snapdeal. Housing is valued at $500-700mn and the deal is likely to be a win-win for both the parties, with Housing getting a stability boost and additional source of revenue. Housing is slowly phasing out its rental business, and concentrating solely on buy and sell, in a move to improve margins and profitability.
Looks like consolidation in the online real estate market in India is on the anvil, and strategic investments and partnerships would be the key to dominating it.