Housing.com – Are They Brokers? Real Estate Portal? Cheats? I am Confused!

I am really not sure where to begin with when it comes to Housing.com. It originally began with an innovative design (at least where the Indian Market is concerned) for a web portal based on real estate. The concept was simple – list your properties to prospective buyers and renters in a brilliantly designed website. They made the website attractive and easy to work with. The user interface was attractive, easy to load and came with map search. The property pictures were clicked professionally by their designated staff. This ensured that what you see is what you get. Each listing was verified by their employee.

I heard about how brilliant it was from my own clients especially the young ones. The students and the bachelors who were savvy with their purchase. To attract this crowd, I spent a reasonable amount of money on Housing.com on advertisement. It was the IT thing. The results on advertising not so good. There were way too many bargain hunters looking for something that simply did not exist in the market. They allowed listing directly by owners, which is OK. However, the owners also gave properties to real estate agents and brokers. These same brokers have paid top dollars to advertise on the same platform as the owners. The policy that Housing.com has apparently is advertise the owners property and keep the brokers in the back end. So the same property is not listed. Collect money for advertising from the real estate consultants, agents, brokers but display the owner’s listing directly. Now that’s a shady picture.

OK so let’s leave that point aside, and move on to the other point of contention. It is a well known fact in Mumbai’s real estate industry that owners are not loyal to one real estate broker. They prefer to work with several brokers. For some apparent reason, owners believe the Myth that their property will get sold or leased quicker that way. Anyways, lovely Housing.com has a first come first serve basis. The first person to list their property is the ONLY one who can share the benefit. So the others who have paid subscription fees get diddly squat. No rotational listings, no multiple listings, just ONE. OK acceptable to me but then am I supposed to put only 3-4 properties where the owner has some sort of exclusivity clause with me. Good luck trying to get that in this market.

OK, now let’s leave the disloyalty of owners aside. I accept that this is the world we live in! There was great hullabaloo about how the photographers of Housing.com were trading property information among other brokers for few hundred bucks, a cup of tea or maybe just for tier friends and buddies. Real estate brokers who trusted the photographers with their information and took them to the apartments and properties. These photographers then started trading this information to other brokers for short change. Apparently this happened in Powai. Now this is just down right ugly. The story is not far fetched. It is quite possibly happened.

OK! By now I have ignored the fact that I pay subscription fees for my property listings to not be listed. I have ignored the fact that I am competing with the actual property owners to lease or sell the property. I have ignored the fact that I am competing with other brokers for getting my listing before anyone else gets it. I also ignore the fact that their photographers are cheats and steal my property data to other scrupulous brokers. But now I am dealing with a whole new set of EVIL from Housing.com. This one is a brilliant scheme. Buy your Flat directly from Housing.com. Yes folks – You can buy your Tata Home in Pune, Bangalore and Chennai directly on Housing.com. Check it out for yourself – https://housing.com/tatavaluehomes. So now they are real estate brokers themselves. I think I should just shoot myself in the head. Now I have a whole new level of IT professionals and IIM graduates who want to become real estate brokers.

Here you have it folks – my one year subscription is not even over yet and Housing.com has found innumerable number of ways to cheat me of my subscription. I think I have learnt my lesson. They are bagging money from one investor to another. Getting fresh financing from every venture capital possible. I wonder how this internal scam works for them. Take more money from the latest one and return to the earlier one with additional bonus. This reminds me of Charles Ponzi.

And at that note I will leave you to make your own decision if you would like to put money in their lovely website which reminds me more and more a lovely blonde girl friend who wants to be friends with you only till you have money to spend on her! The Rest is All …

5 Responses
  • Sanjay Bhargava
    Nov 30, 2014

    What you have said makes sense. The broker fraternity should be wary of such portals & publicize such apprehensions in all manners possible.

    Sanjay Bhargava Nov 30, 2014
    Reply
  • Keyur Parekh
    Dec 1, 2014

    I completely agree with you and i feel such websites should be banned by us

    Keyur Parekh Dec 1, 2014
    Reply
  • Gaurang Lakhotia
    Dec 1, 2014

    Yes I agree with you. Further Once I was trying to find property through their website. I tried calling atleast 15 different agents whose properties were listed in their site, but none of them answered the phone. I am still wondering whether they were real brokers or fake ads posted by these people to attract money and customers.

    Gaurang Lakhotia Dec 1, 2014
    Reply
  • Manish
    Dec 1, 2014

    According to these articles they are/looking to get into couple more lines of real estate business

    http://www.nextbigwhat.com/housing-com-model-brokers-297/

    https://housing.com/blog/2014/11/18/introducing-online-rental-agreements/

    Manish Dec 1, 2014
    Reply
  • Jan 24, 2015

    I agree with you. You are absolutely right.

    I want housing and such others sites to answer on this;

    1) if you are charging brokers then are you committed to them for not affecting their basic interests & will not become brokers too (atleast till all brokers packages running on your site by relying upon you)?

    2) Why can’t you accept HEAVY charges from owners to list their properties. As it is you are not getting direct money from them and only because of your free listings they easily say NO to brokers for brokerage. You are encouraging to reduce our income, How do you think you will sell your listing packs to us with increased prices every year?

    3) If you are so much confident then try not relying on brokers for money.

    4) if you have gutts then clearly declare that you are against brokers and brokerage.

    5) Don’t you think you are trying to cut your own legs? In future you will understand your mistake but it will be too late…

    Friends, this is what I thought…. I hope you also say something as our tolerance will encourage their next mistake.

    Nilesh Jan 24, 2015
    Reply

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