HOMEDRIFT is making it easy for new homeowners to keep track of how their builders’ work on their apartments is progressing.
Sheela, a young techie from Bengaluru, was happy with her job at an IT company in Electronic City. But soon, her company decided to send her to Australia. After she moved abroad, Sheela was able to save enough money to buy an apartment back home. When she came to India on vacation, Sheela decided to take the plunge.
The process leading up to the final decision was exciting. There were so many options to choose from. Did she want a penthouse or a smaller apartment? Did she want to buy a flat in a gated community? There was a variety of choices.
After a month of looking at different apartments, Sheela finally zeroed in on one. She chose an upcoming project at Sarjapur Road and made a booking. A couple of weeks later, Sheela left to Australia.
It’s then that the trouble started. When she wanted to know about the progress of work on her apartment, Sheela called the builders. But there was no response. She checked their website but there were no updates. Sheela, who was living in another country, felt helpless. She didn’t want to trouble her parents, who lived far away, to go check on the apartment.
Thankfully, Sheela doesn’t have to worry anymore because HOMEDRIFT has all the answers.
Photo source: Google Playstore
HOMEDRIFT is an app that provides updates throughout the construction period of apartments.
“We started off as an online real estate advisory firm. We used to help people buy homes. The idea of starting an app like this came from our customers actually. Most of them would call back saying they were feeling hassled after buying the apartment. The sweet-talking sales guy wouldn’t pick up his phone or the website would show no progress. We started developing this product and it went live in June 2015,” says Niranjan Rao, Co-Founder and CEO of HOMEDRIFT.
Before entering the world of real estate, Niranjan used to handle client accounts at IBM. Meanwhile, the other co-founder and CTO of the company, Visalavat Shreedhar, used to work with Sony Mobiles in Silicon Valley before coming back to India last year.
“I’ve been through this process of buying an apartment myself. It’s all rosy in the beginning. But once you buy an apartment, you actually get to see the dark side of the real estate industry,” says Niranjan.
HOMEDRIFT is a free app that is available for download as both IoS and Android versions.
Photo source: ITunes
The user needs to download the app and sign up by giving details of the project – its location, builder name, flat number, etc.
HOMEDRIFT covers many projects in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. However, if a particular project is not listed on the app, then the user just has to give the details and the team will get back to him or her with the progress on the building in two to three weeks. In case a user has bought an independent villa, which is not part of a project, then he or she will have to pay a one-time user fee ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,500. Otherwise, the service is completely free of cost for the users.
HOMEDRIFT employs a team of professional photographers and content writers. The photographers take high quality pictures of the interiors and exteriors of the homes. In the meantime, the content team prepares the information. If it’s an ongoing project, the user gets monthly updates. HOMEDRIFT notifies him or her if the electrical fittings are being installed or if the vitrified tiles are being laid, etc.
If the project is nearing completion, HOMEDRIFT gives updates every two months.
HOMEDRIFT also allows the user to monitor the pricing movement of the project.
Photo source: Google Playstore
Aside from this, the app also gives information on the development of the neighbourhood where the home is located. For instance, it tells the user if the road outside the society has being widened, if a supermarket has come up in the vicinity, or even if school buses are plying in the area.
HOMEDRIFT gives access to social plugins so that users can share the latest pictures with friends and family.
“We have had 800 plus downloads since last year. Our customers are happy and so are we. In fact, we have co-created the app with our customers. They give us constant feedback on how we can improve and we are trying to incorporate those elements in the app. You know how sometimes these builders get into legal hurdles for certain violations. At that time, the customer doesn’t know what to do. Recently, a customer suggested we get a legal expert on board. We are actually considering that now,” says Niranjan.
HOMEDRIFT has a small team of eight people in Bengaluru and an even smaller team in Hyderabad.
The company has received angel investment from a private investor who has interests in technology, real estate and the agri business. It’s now looking forward to another round of funding.
On its part, the HOMEDRIFT team wants to increase transparency in the real estate field and bridge the gap between builders and customers.
“Getting builders on board is our challenge, but we’re currently working with some progressive ones who are welcoming the initiative. We cover 30 odd builders, including VBHC Value Homes, Lanco Hills and PEBL. We are also in talks with some of the big builders. We want to have a pan-India presence and are studying other markets at the moment,” says Niranjan.
To contact the team, email at email@example.com