Easing up customer engagement In the real estate sector

Easing up customer engagement In the real estate sector

Consumer Tech

Sunday Mobility has developed a realty app to facilitate better interaction between property developers, agents and customers

JOSEPH GEORGE, FOUNDER, SUNDAY MOBILITY

Sunday Mobility.  Just the sort of company name that heightens consumer curiosity. “It started as internal branding to establish the work culture of our venture,” explains Joseph George, founder of this Bengaluru-based realty management venture. “The idea is to foster innovation in an open environment inspiring trust,” he says while adding that when you do what you love, everyday’s a Sunday!At the consumer’s end, property hunting is at its highest on Sundays, and therein lay a perfect fit between name, business and objective.

Aimed at the realty industry, Sunday Mobility has developed an app that facilitates agents and developers to interact with their customers and manage their portfolio better. “There are several sites that service the developer and agent segments of real estate. They are good enough for buyers to get information about available properties but these do not help in informed decision making,” explains George.The decision making process for buying property is fairly complex and instead of trying to substitute the existing solutions, Sunday Mobility aims to add a meaningful layer that addresses the complexities by enabling lifecycle management of property buying and selling.


The decision making process for buying property is fairly complex and instead of trying to substitute the existing solutions, Sunday Mobility aims to add a meaningful layer that addresses the complexities.


One of the primary challenges consumers face is to find reliable developers and agents. The Sunday Mobility platform has about 20,000 agents signed on after they fill an online registration process that ensures proper authentication. The 70 builders in its database have been signed on after personal interaction, thus, assuring their credibility.

Building business

While the current app took a year to develop, this was an offshoot of the work the company was already doing in the realty industry since its inception in 2012, providing customised solutions to high-end builders primarily in Mumbai and Pune. “It was a customer lifecycle management solution which included distributing interactive brochures, managing transaction, overseeing payment stages and updating  project status right up to the handing over of the association,” says George.Despite the need for such a solution the number of builders who could afford the same was small. The learnings from the experience of working on the solution was used to develop the mobile app and the existing relationship with the builders enabled the company to sign up builders for this app. Through the process of building cold calling and pursuing referrals, Sunday Mobility has created a strong network, especially amongst agents of builders.

It will soon release a feature that will enable consumers to use its app for their real estate needs. In the near future, the company also plans to establish teams in New Delhi and Bengaluru for direct selling to builders and agents.

Enabling growth

SmartAgentConnect, the company’s app for agents, began as an inventory management solution for them. But since online sites were already involved in this space, features such as allowing agents to network with other agents and add their inventory has helped the agents expand their offerings. They can also create their own professional website within three minutes and manage it using the mobile app. Their friends’  inventory can also be added to the website. “More than 40 per cent of the agents in our listing have already created their websites,” says George. The builder-agent apps are also integrated for better flow of marketing information between the two. Additionally, the app works as a diary and a CRM solution.

Maintaining focus

Started as a bootstrap venture the company received seed funding from high net worth individuals. Having broken even it will close out the existing loans soon. Looking to the future, George remarks that technology development and marketing go hand-in-hand at Sunday Mobility. “As a technology development company it is easy to get swayed by what one can do. What is more important is to be market centric,” he points out.

Amongst the most significant challenges the company faces is market inertia. Though technology usage is on the rise, the inertia to use it effectively exists. For instance, Sunday Mobility’s CRM solution has users, but the momentum is yet to build.

Getting the right people on board is another challenge. The team has grown from 30 to 70 in two years, and attrition has been low due to the open work culture. “While we do have a lower attrition rate finding replacements as and when someone leaves has been difficult,” admits George.

Sunday Mobility faces fragmented competition as it caters to three arms of the real estate market; the builder, the agent and the customer on an individual basis. George anticipates that the company’s solution will be effective in bringing these three together and this could prove to be a winning factor.

Its vision is to become the go to platform for all relevant segments and it hopes to get there by streamlining processes.

Though the company has a five-year revenue target George was reluctant to share the details. “Cost structure is just as important as revenue. Cost-effectiveness and viability will be the underpinning factors for growth,” he says.

At present, Sunday Mobility is optimistic about its growth prospects as there is untapped potential in the two cities it is present in – Mumbai and Pune. In the years to come it hopes to replicate this success pan-India.


Snapshot 

Sunday Mobility 

Year: 2012

Founder: Joseph George

Industry: Mobile app for the realty sector

Meera Srikant has been working with publishers and publications since 1993, writing and editing articles, features and stories across topics. She also blogs and writes poems, novels and short stories during leisure. Writing for The Smart CEO since 2010, she is also a classical dancer.

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