Kolkata realty caters to non-residents

City-based realtors prefer the idea of sponsorships and co-branding for events organised by non-resident Bengalis during the festive season.





The days of real estate developers in Kolkata happily showcasing their offerings within the city, or at most the State alone, are no longer the norm.

On the lookout to capture a sizeable chunk of its bookings from the non- resident Indian (NRI) segments, city-based realtors are increasingly warming up to the idea of sponsorships and co-branding for events organised by NRIs and non-resident Bengalis (NRBs) during the festive season.

Cultural events organised by the NRI and NRB forums remain another major draw for these companies.

According to industry sources, even as people are moving out of India in search of greener pastures, the aspiration to return to their place of origin remains.

It is this aspiration that city-based real estate developers plan to cash-in on through their offerings.

Says Mr. Santosh Rungta, Chairman, Rungta Group: “There is a sizeable pent up demand for property from people living outside the country.”

“Making them aware of different companies and their offerings is indeed very helpful,” he added.

SPONSORSHIPS AND BRANDING

Be it city-based real estate companies such as Ambuja Realty, Jain Group and Highland Projects, or even NRI businessman Mr Prasoon Mukherjee-promoted Kolkata West International City (KWIC), companies have taken to sponsorships and branding to cater to the non-resident populace at various events organised by NRI and associations on non-resident Bengalis.

“Personally, I have received a number of queries regarding various Kolkata-based developers from those living aboard. Association by city realtors, with events abroad, can indeed be good for the property market,” Mr Rungta said.

Sponsorships apart, branding — for increased product visibility — is usually by way of setting up stalls, or through participation in conferences.

This year, Ambuja Realty was one of the sponsors for Probash Parboni — a pre-puja carnival for Bengalis in London. The carnival was organised by a UK-based charity organisation, Panchamukhee.

Similarly, Mr Sumit Dabriwala, Managing Director of Highland Group, pointed out that his company has, for the last 10 years, participated in the North American Bengali Conference (NABC), an annual three-day cultural festival organised by Bengalis residing in America.

CONVERSION INTO SALES

But, “It is very difficult to quantify the conversion rate of such visibility campaigns in terms of sales or number of units sold,” says Mr Harsh Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Realty.

However, industry sources maintain that at any given point nearly a third of real estate demand in Kolkata is from people living elsewhere.

Mr Mayank Saxena, Managing Director, Kolkata, at real estate consultancy firm, Jones Lang LaSalle, India, admits that sponsorships and co-branding do ensure a better visibility platform for city-based real estate developers and their offerings abroad.

However, such visibility campaigns should be supported by foreign offices of the developer for better conversion into sales.

“Visibility campaigns work best when companies have a booking office abroad for NRIs and NRBs,” he added.

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