Samir Arora is Hon. Secretary – National Association of Realtors – India, NAR-INDIA; President – Confederation of Real Estate Associates (India) CREA (I); and CEO & Founder of Huts Global.
“This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumours. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma. We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together.”
I would like to start with a quote from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation, that I hope will become the mantra of the entire Real Estate industry.
On behalf of National Association of Realtors-India as the Hon. Secretary of the National Association, On behalf of Confederation of Real Estate Associates (India) CREA (I) as the President and On behalf of Huts Global as the CEO & Founder, I would like to extend my support and best wishes to all of those – whether industry associates or citizens – who have been affected by the recent outbreak in many parts of the world.
I also want to express my sympathy to our friends and peers in the Real Estate Industry whose businesses have unfortunately suffered.
Like SARS, Ebola and Zika, as well as various natural and manmade disasters, COVID-19 is yet another new difficulty to overcome – but there is no business more resilient than Real Estate.
Given the global pandemic times and the challenges that come with it, some are busy painting an optimistic positive outlook and some are busy painting a very grim picture, both for COVID-19 Virus and the Economic Virus that may follow suit. Here’s a simple 10 point ready reckoner for my fraternity in Real Estate to follow.
1. Your Life is more valuable than your Livelihood
Follow the instructions to the T from your Government and Local Body Authorities who are being guided by the Medical Authorities to defeat the Global Virus and flatten the curve. The Life of your own loved ones is also affected by your Life and Lifestyle. Safeguard yourself and your Family first.
2. It is Physical Distancing, not Social Distancing
Real Estate will remain in business. So will Hygiene, Washing Hands, Maintaining a physical distance ( not Social Distance ). Fortunately, in India, Namaste as our old tradition is a great way forward to meet and greet Clients & Associates. Wearing Masks during discussions and site visits may become a new normal of life, for a few months at least. Be prepared for a new Normal.
3. Skill & Scale
Especially during lockdowns and even subsequently, Skill & Scale will remain a success Mantra. When you are not chopping the tree, utilize the time to sharpen the Axe. Invest in honing your skill sets with specialisations and new learnings. Invest in yourself and when the markets open up, Scale your business to compensate for these times.
4. `Get Online to Cross the Line
Business Dynamics change every few years and this one will ensure Online presence and Tools are critical to your business survival and growth. Beat your demons and get Online as that will help you Cross the line when it all reopens up as a changed business world. Starting from basics Apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram to Website, Blogs, Artificial Intelligence AI modes and Machine Learning utilities, you can acquire the knowledge and outsourced reach to use it extensively for your business. Real Estate will never be an E Commerce business but E Portals will be the portability tools to business going forward.
5. Realty is Reality
Close to 10% of India’s GDP is Real Estate Sector. Close to 19% is India’s Employment in Real Estate Sector. Not just Developers & Builders but Realtors & Brokers form an integral part of this chain that contributes so much to the Nation Building. Realty is thus a Reality. The Industry is likely to grow at a faster pace with more FDI funding and investments coming in and after an initial phase of restructuring, there will be opportunities galore for all who are ready to grab it.
6. Work from Home will mean more Demand for Homes
Organised will grow and Unorganised will vanish, be it developers, builders or realtors, brokers, real estate agents or any other associated trade associates
The Tsunami word was unknown till a natural calamity hit parts of the world. The Virus has caused a permanent dent in people’s mind & heart and everyone across the world will value their Homes a lot more in times to come. Work from Home will be a new normal too and it will fuel up demand for Homes and opportunities for all in Real Estate sector.
7. Work Life Balance
Not only for the Clients but there will be value for Work Life Balance for you too. Your ME time, Your Family Time, Your Friends Time, Your Learning Time, Your Hobby or Passion pursuance time and above all your Work Time will all come under a balance, which was not the case for Realtors earlier. Do not forget that fulfilling Need is all you need; Rest is all Greed. Eventually, with clarity on this, the Productivity of the Individual and Industry will shoot up.
8. Organised will Grow, Unorganised will Vanish
Innumerable folks will say, Big will grow, Small will vanish. I disagree. I firmly believe, Organised will Grow and Unorganised will Vanish. Whether it be Developers or Builders OR Realtors, Brokers, Real Estate Agents or any other associated Trade associates. Transparency, Ethics, Documentation, Contractual agreements and obligations, Domain knowledge, Financial management etc. are traits that will help you grow.
9. Save for the Rainy Day
Manage cash flows in a manner that you save for the Rainy Day. Minimum 15% of your earnings must go into plain savings and not investments. Do not listen to Financial gurus who will tell you that every penny must have a return on investment. Savings are the greatest resource when all that matters is Life. Then comes ROTI- Return on Time Invested.
10. Stay Positive
What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity. Stay Positive is a mindset that needs to be cultivated.