Buzzbricks is India’s first home buying consulting firm with honest, transparent & hassle-free end to end real estate service.
It was founded on 2nd Nov, 2018 by Mr. Anirban Chatterjee. Anirban Chatterjee is Founder & CEO of BuzzBricks.com.
He is an entrepreneur at heart & educationalist by demeanor. Infused with passion, this IIM – Calcutta Alumni, leads by action. Prior to Buzzbricks, he co-founded two edtech companies – Tweak Skills, an IIM Bangalore incubated educational and recruitment solutions offering skills on-demand solutions, and Buddy4Study, which is India’s largest scholarship platform connecting scholarship seekers with the scholarship provider.
He is a serial entrepreneur & board advisor of various companies, an experience that has given him significant insights into the best global practices on corporate strategy, governance, asset management and value creation. He is also known as a RERA Expert in the Real Estate Industry for his in-depth knowledge of the sector.
We are publishing an interview with Mr. Anirban:
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Ans: All Home Buyers faces these 7 major challenges:
- Which property is better than others? With a plethora of option to choose from it’s very difficult to distinguish one property from another
- Is this the right price & plan?
- Will I get fair & transparent deal?
- Is this the right location?
- Asymmetry of information about the properties
- Lack of transparency in the entire transaction and 7) Paying high brokerage.
Q.: Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: When I was buying my 1st property I faced lots of challenges and also, I was duped by a broker. And once my booking was done the broker stopped responding to my calls and I was left on the mercy of the builder. I felt helpless!
So, decided to “Scratch my own itch”.
I strongly believe every opportunity comes with a mask called “problem”.
After I purchased my first property one thing always used to linger in my mind – if I had faced so many problems being from an educated technical background, then this problem is certainly faced by millions of people every day across India while buying properties.
So, after taking a successful exit from Buddy4Study last year, I ventured into the proptech space with a vision to bring trust and transparency in the unorganized real estate sector.
Real estate sector in India is expected to reach a market size of US$ 1 trillion by 2030 from US$ 120 billion in 2017 and contribute 13 percent of the country’s GDP by 2025. (Source: https://www.ibef.org/industry/real-estate-india.aspx). And Currently more than 14,000 crores are spent on brokerage in top 10 cities.
When you are not keeping well you consult a DOCTOR
When you are filing your income tax return you consult a CA
But unfortunately, when you are buying a home you consult a non-QUALIFIED BROKER
Indian Property Listing platforms like 99acres.com, Housing.com, magicbricks.com lack trust & transparency, they have empowered the broker community, not the end-users. As soon as you give your number to these sites you start getting multiple calls from any Tom, Dick or Harry! And that’s annoying.
The good news? Buzzbricks solves them.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Our unique 6 Step end to end process to help homebuyers in their home search:
Property Identification: Our team has done advanced research of all the projects in Noida and Ghaziabad region and rated them on 3 major aspects i.e. Construction Quality, Legal Clarity in the project & Future sustainability. So, the assigned account manager calls you to understand your requirement and suggests the best options available.
Assisted Site Visits: After understanding your requirement and budget, your account managers will shortlist some good projects and he will schedule your site visits.
Research Report: After the site visit, the assigned account manager will share you the comparative analysis report of the projects shortlisted.
Negotiating the best price: Through the unique model of bulk booking, we ensure that you buy your home at the best market price with additional perks.
Scrutinizing BBA: Ensuring the BUILDER BUYER AGREEMENT (BBA) is free from any hidden clauses: As the BBA is the backbone of the complete transaction, our legal experts help you in ensuring that your BBA is free from any hidden/ambiguous clauses.
Hassle-free Post booking services: We provide doorstep services for all the post-booking activities like home loans, documentation, etc. Our research, technology and no-brokerage model empower customers with credible data to compare properties like never before while connecting them with in-house experts who handhold them from the start of their property search until handover.
For the proof of concept in the initial stage we surveyed a total of 227 active home buyers in and around Noida (UP) during Nov & Dec-2018. And pitched our services to more than 60 projects and finally 7 of them understood our value proposition and allowed our engineers and law consultants to rank and rate their properties.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: 5 USPs:
- Cutting edge market research: With a lot of options to choose from, a homebuyer like YOU may find it impossible to distinguish one property from others and may end up making a wrong choice! We understand your dilemma; hence our team of engineers & law consultants have surveyed, ranked & rated properties on 50+ parameters.
- Experienced Consultants: Our licensed real estate consultants work on salary instead of commission, ensuring you get a full-service, pressure-free experience.
- State of the Art Technology: We are powered by technology that enables our consultants to deliver superior service at a lower cost with utmost transparency.
- No Brokerage: We do not charge our customers.
100% Service, 0% Brokerage. We charge our customers nothing. Not today, not ever.
- Best price guaranteed: Lowest price guaranteed. But if you find a lower price (from the developer) for the same home you want to buy, tell us and we will not only match it but also give you an additional discount of Rs 21,000/-
Buzzbricks offers a customized experience to help the Home Buyers to search, compare and purchase a property. Under the value proposition of being a personalized platform, our prices are 10-15 percent cheaper, as compared to buying from any brokerage firm.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: Buzzbricks generally connects with clients between the age group of 25-45 years since they are not price agnostic as they understand our value proposition, and about 28 percent of our clients are NRIs (Non-Residential Indians) and mostly high net worth individuals (HNIs).
Our Target audience is primarily people working in IT companies like IBM, Barclays, Infosys, TCS, Amazon, Google, and PSUs like NTPC, Coal India, ONGC, IOCL. For the ultra-luxury segment, we target CXOs of various MNCs, business owners, diamond merchants, celebrities, etc.
In 95% of the cases the challenge is not searching homes and finalizing a project, the majority of the challenges comes into the picture when you make the 10% of the payment. Then the buyer dance in the tunes of the Builder as he left with no option since even the broker stop responding to the calls as he gets his commission. So, our assumption was to take accountability of the entire process from start of their property search till handover of the project with utmost transparency.
Result: In the past 9 months, we have served more than 500+ clients, the interesting part is around 54% of them were referrals from our existing buyers. We have spent zero money on Marketing, our focus is delivering the best customer service to our clients with various referral schemes to be a part of our ecosystem. Number of projects ranked and rated (On-boarded till date): 47
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: I have no failures I consider ever instances as a learning experience. There was a time when I hired a great sale guy in my team. He was the top performer consistently for 3 months. But unfortunately, he was spoiling the culture of the company. I personally had a word with him many times and thought he took my feedback.
I somehow ignored his behavioral issues with other staff. It took me 6 months to finally fire him. It was a great learning experience as it doesn’t matter how “great” an employee’s performance is if he or she makes all the other team members miserable. If they constantly spread negativity or indulge in office politics, you should not delay to remove the weed as maintaining a company’s culture is the most fundamental thing while building a team or a company.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc.? Explain your thought process.
Ans: Revenue Model (B2B) with Builders (Under construction properties or fresh properties) and Offering:
Step 1: Property Identification
Step 2: Assisted Site Visits
Step 3: Share Comparative analysis based on our research report.
Step 4: Negotiating the best price
Step 5: Scrutinising BBA
Step 6: Hassle-free Post booking services
Through our Bulk booking model (BBM), we not only negotiate the best price from the builders, but buyers also get our entire agent commission in cashback/Vouchers, minus a flat fee. (Flat fee varies depending upon size of the property, location, floor preference, property segment)
- For Property < Rs 1,50,00,000 : Rs 20,000 to 70,000
- For Property between Rs 1,50,00,000 to 6,00,00,000: Rs 75,000 to 1,50,000.
Thought process: It’s a win-win situation for all the parties as for builders they get bulk bookings from us, for buyers they get subsidized rates from us as compared to market rates. Buyers get our entire agent commission in cash back, minus a low flat fee.
We also have a B2C subscription with Home Buyers:
(Only for Resale properties)
Flat fee: Rs 3,999/- (Valid for 120 Days)
- Search properties & fixes meetings
- Document verification of each property
- New property alert: emails
- Negotiate the price on behalf of Client
- Personalized Dedicated relationship manager assistance
- Home loan Assistance
- Complete (End to End) Assistance in the documentation process
- The number of Assisted Site visits: 6
- Thought process: Quality end to end services at low cost
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: We were fortunate to get our 1st set of customer from the participants of our initial survey. Hence I strongly believe to build products and services that people want and willing to pay for!
Q.: Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it?
Ans: Once there was a case where one of our clients wanted to finalize a property before getting married, but unfortunately, the sanctioned loan amount was Rs 18,00,000 less than the required amount. The only way out was a joint loan. So, we eventually helped the couple to get the court marriage done, three months before their actual wedding. That is one of the most memorable incidents or amusing experiences along the journey.
I call it the ultimate level of customer service! (Hahaa)
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: Buying a property is quite an intimidating task or might not sound too enticing, perhaps because most of us have had at least one bad experience with an incompetent broker or builder in India. We are depended on unprofessional partners who are empowered by listing platforms, these sites do not do any background verification leading the end-user to a biased opinion. Buzzbricks has been saving the consumer from such bias and making available properties that would suit their requirements perfectly.
We are trying to build India’s first home buying platform with honest, transparent & hassle-free end to end real estate service.
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? What is the current turnover? (From Launching till date total no. of visitors on website/persons registered/enquiries and enrollment). Please explain in details:
Ans: In the past nine months, we have served more than 500 clients, and have crossed Rs 78 lakh in revenue, with a profit margin of 35-40 percent from its B2B business.
Buzzbricks currently offers its service only to Delhi-NCR region.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: Over the years, many startups/companies have mushroomed in Indian Real Estate Space. However, most of the proptech startups are either on the listing side (search platforms) like Housing.com, 99acres.com, Magicbricks.com, etc. which has eventually empowered the broker community not the home buyers, or are on the resale or rental space like Nestaway, Oyo living, NoBroker.com. Nobody is actually solving the real pain area for property buyers, which lies in-between these, where the multi-million worth of transactions is happening every day, which is predominantly an unorganized sector,”.
Very few people want to get their hands dirty and solve the grass root problem which cannot be solved only by building an online platform. Buzzbricks offers an end to end support to help the home buyers from research to purchase a property- offering a personalized experience to buyers.
Following are the Buzzbricks exclusive services which no other companies provide:
- Ensuring the BBA (Builder Buyer agreements) is free from any hidden clauses: Ensuring the BUILDER BUYER AGREEMENT (BBA) is free from any hidden clauses. As the BBA is the backbone of the complete transaction our legal experts help you in ensuring that your BBA is free from any hidden/ambiguous clauses.
- Guarantee on specification: You get what you are told and we ensure that. Each & every specification will be inked down in your legal document called BBA
- Hassle-free Post booking services: We provide doorstep services for all the post-booking activities like home loans, documentation, etc.
- Quality Inspection: Before the handover of the flat, Buzzbricks (BB) quality engineers check the entire unit and if there is any discrepancy we ensure replacement of the same. Once BB quality Engineers gives a go-ahead then only keys are handover to the client.
- No price escalation guarantee: Builder cannot charge any unsaid amount at the time of possession. If he does so, we pay the differential.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: As a serial entrepreneur, I have done all sort of work starting from cleaning office, distributing pamphlets, hiring, marketing, sales, operations, customer support, business development, copywriting, experience in managing large projects of fortune 500 companies, leading a team of more than 100 employees to successful outcomes and to raise $3 million dollars of VC funds, I mean I did whatever it takes in setting up systems and processes in order to help an organization build a robust foundation and scale.
“I do not have a co-founder or so-called core-team member at Buzzbricks, but I never feel alone”. But I am open to the idea. I did not want to delay starting up because there is no co-founder.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: Competitors are Anarock, PropTiger, Investor Clinic etc are organised brokerage companies and apart from that there are many other local players in every state. The No. 1 thing that has made us successful and distinguishes our organization from others in the field by far is an obsessive-compulsive focus on building trust & transparency in real-estate buying for our customer as opposed to obsession over the competitor.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: In the next 12 months, the company aims to achieve 50 percent month-on-month growth while on-boarding 1,000 projects in Delhi-NCR.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: I am concerned about the culture of celebrating the fundraise. I have been in this so-called start-up world for more than half a decade, it’s sad there are fewer entrepreneurs, and more wantrepreneurs these days. Because people are starting a business as if it’s a get rich quick scheme. I feel this is one of the biggest psychological barriers which can hamper the growth of an entrepreneur.
Being a serial entrepreneur, I have raised funds in my previous ventures. But I am a bit reluctant to raise funds in the beginning. Because at the end of the day, I treat it like a business, and not a start-up. Don’t start a business just to make money, but to solve a real-life problem. Do not rush for funding; initially focus on customers.
Thanks Anirban. All the best.