Abstract of an interview with “Realties”, Volume 10, issue 2”, Topic: Homes for Rich & Famous.
Q: What is the principle trend that you are observing in the luxury homes segment?
Harsh Jain:During the slow down, the customer for high end luxury homes tends to defer purchase, whereas if we offer a combination of quality and value, sales are quicker. So the lower priced the apartment, the quicker the off take.
Q : What are the prominent features of this segment?
Harsh Jain:Customers looking at high end apartments take longer to buy, they generally need more personalised attention before they can decide. From a realtor’s perspective what is important is spending personal time with them to provide the necessary confidence. Intending buyers need the promoter’s assurance! You can’t leave it to an executive to convert.
Q: One would presume that the basic difference between mid priced and high end apartments
would be the income difference?
Harsh Jain:That’s precisely what one would have thought as well! But the essential difference that
has emerged is what buyers would like to do in their apartments. With lifestyles having changed, buyers want to put in that extra to experience a better living standard willing to climb to the next segment while choosing a new home especially if the quality and uniqueness attracts them. Earlier one saw a Kolkata that was price – sensitive; now there is a city that will stretch to spend if you have a product good enough to excite it.
Q: Obviously a segment like this must be presenting challenges?
Harsh Jain: A number of detailed preferences have come into play! A convenience is no longer about central air conditioning; it is about the cooling advantage, lower carbon footprint and lower cost. When someone is spending crores for a new home, he or she is more likely to get into the customizability of the micro details. At that level, this business is not about volumes; it is about embroidery! What this means is a higher emphasis on planning, intimation, deadline – based feedback and complete customization! In fact, at that level the business is no longer about real-estate but about luxury management. Completely different ball game.
Q: So how do promoters market to such customers?
Harsh Jain:We would have liked to provide the best to the richest in the most exotic Kolkata location .However, given budget constraints we have selected to occupy a niche -the best of conveniences at almost half the price of a top notch location in equally serene locations like Jodhpur Park, only minutes from Ballygunge. This is our principle strategy – location plus product,convinced as we are that these will work better that aggressive marketing and packaging.
Q: An interesting question. What is the role of vaastu in designing these homes?
Harsh Jain: Each promoter has his own take on this, but we believe in aligning with some basic principles.
Abstract of an interview with “REALTIES”,VOLUME 11,ISSUE 1, Topic : GATED COMMUNITY FOR ELDERLY.
Q: What kinds of opportunities exist?
Harsh Jain: Most people believe that the needs of the elderly are the same as they are for others. This is wrong. Over the last decade, there is growing recognition of the specialised needs of the elderly, which is beginning to translate into customized real estate properties .The elderly need ramps – cum stairs, the elderly need hand rails in walking areas, the elderly need a community to interact, staircase to have lower elevation. The whole idea is not just to make minor architectural adjustment but to approach the subject with new eyes.
Q: What proportions of gated communities comprises elderly individuals?
Harsh Jain: My estimate is not more than 15% of the apartments inside our gated complexes are
exclusively owned by senior citizens (as opposed to those who live with their families).however, I am optimistic that if one were to create an exclusive property for the elderly, the response would be encouraging. This is a trend that is here to stay.
Q: What facilities would the elderly consider before they buy into a gated complex?
Harsh Jain:Security and for a good reason. Today’s nuclear family is usually marked by extensive travel for the entire family for a vacation, minus the parents (who may not be able to stand the strain). In such an enjoyment, the family members need to be assured that their elders will be safe while they are away.
Q: What are the other facilities that the elderly generally appraise?
Harsh Jain:The other draws comprise the open space within the gated complex because it provides the elderly with the convenience of taking their morning walk without needing to move out, as well as the incentive of creating a likeminded community . We have discovered that if the gated complex comprises green areas, walkways and sitting areas (especially overlooking a water body) then one has practically “sold” the facility to the elderly.
Q: How does living in gated community enrich the social life of the elderly?
Harsh Jain: Gated communities are ready made communities woven around the common resident’s interests, ensuring that there is never dearth for company. Since residents are able to enrich their social life, they can overcome loneliness, which is one of the biggest challenges of urban life.
Some modern complexes have an active social calendar comprising the community celebration of festivals. In a lot of ways, such active complexes help in bringing back the magic of old paras, not merely a cohesive festive celebration but also daily “adda” sessions.