Careers at Housing.com
Housing.com is a Mumbai-based real estate technology company which operates an online search portal that enables users to search for housing in India based on a range of criteria, including location and number of rooms. The company has 6,000 brokers and serves 40 cities across India.
Housing.com was founded in 2012 by a group of 12 Indian Institute of Technology students: Rahul Yadav (“Yadav”), Neeraj Bhunwal, Abhishek Anand, Snehil Buxy (“Buxy”), Sanat Ghosh, Ravish Naresh, Amit Raj (“Raj”), Rishab Agarwal, Advitya Sharma (“Sharma”), Jaspreet Saluja (“Saluja”), Vaibhav Tolia and Saurbah Goyal. Of these co-founders only Buxy, Saluja and Raj remain at the Company. None of the co-founders currently sit on the Company’s board of directors.
After graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology Yadav and Sharma realised how difficult it was to obtain detailed information of property listings in Mumbai. They also realised how much money real estate brokers were making in the city, and decided that they would start operating as brokers themselves, using their classmates as their first clients. While this generated some revenue the pair did not have the experience or contacts to begin operating nationally, so instead changed focus and began developing the concept behind Housing.com, with the help of their fellow co-founders.
In 2013 they acquired the Housing.com domain and the 03-333-333-333 phone number for a reported $1 million. The Company began attracting funding that same year, receiving $2.5 million in seed capital from Nexus Venture Partners. Housing.com has continued to attract venture funding, notably receiving an investment of $100 million from SoftBank Capital in 2014. An additional investment of $14.7 million by SoftBank in 2016 brought the Company’s total funding to $154.2 million.
Benefits at Housing.com
Business model of Housing.com
Housing.com provides services to two distinct customer groups: general consumers seeking to buy, rent or sell properties; and property developers, brokers and agents that wish to sell properties and market their services.
Professional customers primarily comprise small businesses and independent agents that do not have their own online sales portals and have limited market reach.
The Company’s real estate portal currently only covers properties across 40 of India’s largest cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. Among its customers the Company includes brokers and agents from Indian real estate companies such as Dosti Real Estate, Rithika Realtors, Gemini Properties and Vyankatesh Property.
Housing.com’s key value to its consumers is the functionality, convenience and flexibility of its platform. The Housing.com search portal allows users to filter search results using a range of criteria, including by developer and by locality.
The Company also provides information regarding local amenities, commuting times, floor plans, price trends and location of nearby services. For brokers and agents, the platform greatly enhances their marketing reach and enables them to take advantage of the growing trend of online real estate sales.
Developers and builders are also provided tools to better track their inventory, sales, leads and commissions, all from a single platform.
Housing.com operates a real estate search portal at www.housing.com, or www.housing.co.in, which is accessible through mobile and desktop browsers.
The Company also has a mobile app that is available through the Apple App Store and the Google Play marketplace. The Company can also be contacted directly over the phone to discuss its services.
The Housing.com portal is entirely self-service for general consumers who are looking to buy or rent properties. Users can search the portal without registration but must set up an account before completing any transactions; this can be done via the Housing.com homepage. In order to sell a property, owners must fill in an online form providing information about the property and submit to an in-person property inspection before a listing can be completed.
Agents, brokers, developers and builders can take advantage of the Company’s services and platform by contacting the Housing.com sales team directly. Housing.com provides support to its customers via email.
Customers can interact with the Company directly through its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Google+ accounts.
Housing.com operates an online real estate platform that allows users to search for properties across 40 cities in India, with filters for price, location and child-friendliness.
In addition to providing information regarding properties for rent and sale, it offers information on new residential projects, real estate agents, home loans, and rental agreements. The Company supplements this by providing a range of data science products that analyse trends within the Indian property market.
Housing.com also operates a cloud-based sales lifecycle management platform for developers and agents that includes sales management, inventory tracking, call centre management, and lead tracking tools.
According to a corporate profile, the Company also provides ancillary risk assessment, project monitoring, business intelligence, and back-end research services.
Housing.com partners with a range of real estate companies and bodies, technology companies and financial institutions. In October 2015 the Company agreed a 3-year strategic partnership with trade organisation the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, with the Company agreeing to set up an online platform that would help developers to engage more effectively with customers.
Housing.com has also recently partnered with Uber, integrating the ride-sharing company’s functionality into its own mobile app so that customers can book a ride after identifying a property of interest.
It also has an integration partnership with Google Now that ensure customers can receive real-time property updates.
Housing.com also cooperates with a network of affiliate banks and credit institutions as part of its home loan comparison and tracking service. This includes tie-ups with leading institutions such as Citi Bank, Tata Capital, Axis Bank and Indiabulls Home Loans.
Housing.com’s key resources are its technology and property search portal, its IT infrastructure, its community of brokers and agents, and its personnel. The Company has no patent applications filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in the name Housing.com or Locon Solutions. Patents in India do not appear to be searchable by applicant name.
Housing.com incurs costs in relation to the development of its online platform, the maintenance of its IT infrastructure, and the retention of its personnel. In recent years the Company is also reported to have spent significantly on advertising and marketing, spending around INR 2.5 billion on an advertising campaign in 2015. This was reported to be the Company’s largest expense that year, ahead of human resources costs.
Housing.com’s revenue model has undergone several changes throughout its short lifespan. The Company originally generated revenue through a subscription system, with real estate brokers and agents paying a six-monthly or annual fee to list an unlimited number of properties on the Housing.com platform. Reports from 2014 suggest that subscriptions were priced at INR 5,000 (currently around $74) for six months or INR 8,000 (currently around $119) for a full year.
In 2014 Housing.com reportedly made attempts to further monetise its platform by providing technology products and solutions to builders, including a product named Slice View that enabled users to accurately view building plans. The Company also introduced media buying and advertising services for builders and developers. These new revenue streams ultimately proved unsuccessful after the Company’s new products and services reportedly failed to meet customer expectations.
Housing.com has since returned to a subscription-based model. Recent report’s, however, state that the Company has launched a series of new digital advertising and marketing products targeted at developers and brokers. Housing.com also operates an online marketplace that allows customers to compare, apply for and track home loans from a network of affiliate banking institutions. The Company reportedly expect to generate $10 million in revenue in fiscal year 2017.
info: Jason has served as Housing.com’s Chief Executive Officer since 2015, having joined the Company in ten months earlier as its Chief Business Officer. Kothari replaced co-founder Yadav, who was fired after several months of controversy in which he publicly criticised investors and board directors. Kothari is also Vice Chairman of Valiant Entertainment, an entertainment media company that he co-founded in 2007, and is owner of Agordian Media Holdings, a private holding company established in 2013 which is focused on investments in the media, entertainment and technology sectors. Prior to operating as an investor through Agordian Media Holdings, Kothari served as Valiant Entertainment’s Chief Executive Officer.
info: Mani joined Housing.com in 2015. Rangarajan has held a number of senior financial roles. In 1992 he was appointed Vice President of Operations and Risk at Citi Bank, where he stayed until 2000. In 2002 he joined Yahoo as Finance Executive and Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer, a role he served in until 2008, when he moved to J Consultants to take on the position of Chief Financial Officer. From 2011 to 2013 Rangarajan served as Chief Financial Officer at Media Boost, which operates an online marketplace for service providers. His final role before joining housing.com was as Chief Financial Officer at software company Evergent from 2013 to 2014.
info: Snehil was appointed to the role of Chief Product Officer at Housing.com in 2016, replacing Shriram Bagavathyappan. Buxy is credited with being creating the early vision and design of Housing.com, and is reported to have played a key role in spearheading the Company’s product development and front-end platform development.
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