When we started in 2007, it was not on the basis of any market research or with the belief what we are doing will be “the next big thing”. We wanted to address a very common issue. A sewage problem where I was staying got the residents of the apartment together and that was when I discovered, Sumit Jain, one of my school friends also lived in the same apartment. This pleasant surprise led us to realise the fact that we are sometimes not in touch even with people living in such a close proximity to us. This idea led three of us (Sumit Jain, Lalit Mangal & I) to start CommonFloor.
We started working on it just a year after graduating out of the college. People did not take us seriously initially. There weren’t many serious takers for the new kids on the block at that time. It took us a while to establish our credibility in the market.
It was a challenge initially to get communities on board and we had to come up with several iterations to get the product right. We also had to keep the product flexible enough to accommodate different priorities of different communities while still ensuring a good user experience for all. The real confidence came when the communities that adopted us in the beginning started to see real value in our product, appreciated our efforts and even partnered with us in improving it. That is when we started believing that CommonFloor.com will work.
Our focus has always been on empowering people to realize their property dreams. We aim at providing users with the latest technology giving them a thorough analysis of the property which will eventually help them make an informed decision. When you are starting off, there are a set of challenges that needs to be taken care of. Creating a brand from the scratch is a time-consuming process and sustaining it, nurturing it is a different challenge altogether. Of course, you need to get like-minded and passionate employees which is another challenge. I am proud to inform you that, today, we have built a great team of over 1000 employees and our constant endeavor is to get the best of talent work with us.
We strongly feel that CommonFloor has played an instrumental role in redefining the online real estate business by mapping users’ complete real estate journey online, that goes beyond property classifieds. Our innovation-led and consumer-centric approach paves the road to our future.
India is a young country with more than 50% between 25 and 35 years in age. We know that this generation breathes the Internet and market will be deeply impacted by Internet adoption in India.CommonFloor Retina, Live-in Tour and Locality Virtual Tours are some of the innovative tools which works as an ultimate filter for property seekers, helping them visualize living in their dream home and in their preferred neighborhood. This will drastically aid them to shortlist prospective properties and eliminate the need of physically visiting the properties.
Our technology-driven approach helps us to lead the online real-estate sector in its journey to further enhance user experience. We, already, have mapped 10 million homes and certainly aspire to have every single available property listed on our portal. Our team strength has grown from 3, when we started in 2007 to 180 in 2012 to over 1000 this fiscal year so far. This team is constantly working to equip the users with the right knowledge and innovative tools that help them trust us and make us their preferred real estate portal.
With over 5 lakh active property listings from over 200 cities, we have over 1 lakh residential projects listed with us. Also, the fact that we are backed by the best investors in the industry Accel Partners, Tiger Global and Google Capital, is a testimony of the fact that we are moving in the right direction.
[Vikas Malpani is the Co-Founder of CommonFloor.com and Head of CommonFloor Groups. In this exclusive writeup for OfficeChai, he talks about his journey while building real estate listing portal commonfloor.com]