Why was the startup founded? What issue did it want to solve?
Why was the startup founded?
Buying a property is quite an intimidating task or might not sound too enticing, perhaps because most of us have had at least one bad experience with an incompetent broker or builder in India. We are depended on unprofessional partners who are empowered by listing platforms, these sites do not do any background verification leading the end-user to a biased opinion. Buzzbricks has been saving the consumer from such bias and making available properties that would suit their requirements perfectly.
What issue did it want to solve?
When you are not keeping well you consult a DOCTOR When you are filing your income tax return you consult a CA But unfortunately, when you are buying a home you consult a non-QUALIFIED BROKER Indian Property Listing platforms like 99acres.com, Housing.com, magicbricks.com lack trust & transparency, they have empowered the broker/builder community, not the end-users. As soon as you give your number to these sites you start getting multiple calls from any Tom, Dick or Harry! And with a plethora of options to choose from, a homebuyer may find it impossible to distinguish one property from others and may end up making a wrong choice!
What does a startup do?
Buzzbricks.com is India’s first real estate consulting firm with honest, transparent & hasslefree end to end real estate service. We help home buyers to take the right property decision through our extensive market research from legal, construction and sustainability checks of properties. We don’t want customers to fall in a price trap. We understand customer’s pain points, hence have devised a comprehensive list of parameters to rate projects which in turn could be used as a guiding tool. We work with all the reputed builders, but we judge builders on a project to project basis, we don’t blindly follow brands. We understand the dilemma, hence our team of engineers and law consultants has surveyed & rated properties on the following 10 parameters
✓ Construction Quality
✓ Legal Checks
✓ Location & connectivity
✓ Builder’s Background
✓ Project Amenities ratio
✓ Value of Money
✓ RERA Compliances
✓ Vastu Analysis
✓ Prestige Index
So that a Homebuyer takes a logical decision.
What is the unique selling point of your startup? How is it different from other competitors?
- Cutting edge market research:
With lots of options to choose from, a homebuyer like YOU may find it impossible to distinguish one property from others and may end up making a wrong choice! We understand your dilemma, hence our team of engineers & law consultants have surveyed, ranked & rated properties on 50+ parameters.
- Experienced Consultants:
Our licensed real estate consultants work on salary instead of commission, ensuring you get a full-service, pressure-free experience.
- State of the Art Technology:
We are powered by technology that enables our consultants to deliver superior service at a lower cost with utmost transparency.
- No Brokerage:
We do not charge our customers. 100% Service, 0% Brokerage. We charge our customers nothing. Not today, not ever.
- Best price guaranteed:
The lowest price guaranteed. But if you find a lower price (from the developer) for the same home you want to buy, tell us and we will not only match it but also give you an additional discount of Rs 21,000/-
The one thing that has made us successful and distinguishes our organization from others in the field by far is an obsessive-compulsive focus on building trust & transparency in real estate buying for our customers as opposed to obsession over the competitor.
The challenge is not searching homes and finalizing a project, the majority of the challenges comes into the picture when you make the 10% of the payment. Then the buyer dance in the tunes of the Builder as he left with no option since even the broker stop responding to the calls as he gets his commission.
Following are the Buzzbricks exclusive services which no other companies provide:
- Ensuring the BBA (Builder Buyer agreements) is free from any hidden clauses: Ensuring the BUILDER BUYER AGREEMENT (BBA) is free from any hidden clauses. As the BBA is the backbone of the complete transaction our legal experts help you in ensuring that your BBA is free from any hidden/ambiguous clauses.
- Guarantee on specification: You get what you are told and we ensure that. Each & every specification will be inked down in your legal document called BBA
- Hassle-free Post booking services: We provide doorstep services for all the post-booking activities like home loans, documentation, etc.
- Quality Inspection: Before the handover of the flat, Buzzbricks (BB) quality engineers check the entire unit and if there is any discrepancy we ensure replacement of the same. Once BB quality Engineers gives a go-ahead then only keys are handover to the client.
- No price escalation guarantee: Builder cannot charge any unsaid amount at the time of possession. If he does so, we pay the differential.
When was it founded? Where is it based out of? Any particular reason to choose the place as your base?
Founded in the fall of Nov-2018. Currently based out of Noida.
The founding team and background of the founder (age, education, previous work)
Anirban Chatterjee is an entrepreneur at heart & educationalist by demeanor.
He is a serial entrepreneur and he has successfully co-founded two ed-tech companies: Tweak Skills and Buddy4Study. Tweak Skills is an IIM Bangalore Incubated venture. An educational and recruitment (End to End) solutions offer skills on-demand solutions. The mission is to bridge the growing demand-supply gap for the skilled workforce in the core engineering sector.
Buddy4Study.com: Which is India’s largest scholarship platform connecting scholarship seekers with the scholarship provider Infused with passion, this IIM – Calcutta Alumni, leads by action. After taking a successful exit from Buddy4Study last year he ventured in Prop-tech space with a vision to bring trust and transparency in the unorganized real estate sector. He has been a serial entrepreneur & board advisor of various companies, an experience that has given him significant insights into the best global practices on corporate strategy, governance, asset management, and value creation.
He is also known as a RERA Expert in the Real Estate Industry for his in-depth knowledge of the sector.
How did this idea of the startup pop up? What was the inspiration behind this idea?
When I was buying my 1st property I faced lots of challenges and also, I was duped by a broker. And once my booking was done the broker stopped responding to my calls and I was left on the mercy of the builder. I felt helpless! So, decided to “Scratch my own itch”. I strongly feel the best way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use. If you are solving someone else problem, you are constantly stabbing in the dark. That’s how Buzzbricks.com came into existence. I strongly believe every opportunity comes with a mask called “problem”. After I purchased my first property one thing always used to linger in my mind – if I had faced so many problems being from an educated technical background, then this problem is certainly faced by millions of people every day across India while buying properties.
Why the name? Any significance behind it?
We wanted to Buzz the myths related to the real estate industry and create a transparent platform for Property Buyers.
Where do you provide your products or services?
Currently operating in Noida and Ghaziabad. Planning to expand our operations to Gurgaon and Delhi by October end.
As a serial entrepreneur, I have done all sort of work starting from cleaning office, distributing pamphlets, hiring, marketing, sales, operations, customer support, business development, copywriting, experience in managing large projects of fortune 500 companies, leading a team of more than 100 employees to successful outcomes and to raise $3 million dollars of VC funds, I mean I did whatever it takes in setting up systems and processes in order to help an organization build a robust foundation and scale. “I do not have a co-founder, but I never feel alone,”. Even the richest man on earth Mr. Jeff Bezos was also a solo founder of Amazon (Haha). But I am open to the idea. “I did not want to delay starting up because there is no co-founder. We have a small team of 8 people including myself.
How exactly does the operational model work?
Explain the model Our unique 6 Step end to end process to help homebuyers in their home search:
Step 1: Property Identification Our team has done advanced research of all the projects in Noida and Ghaziabad region and rated them on 3 major aspects i.e. Construction Quality, Legal Clarity in the project & Future sustainability. So, the assigned account manager calls you to understand your requirements and suggests the best options available.
Step 2: Assisted Site Visits After understanding your requirement and budget, your account managers will shortlist some good projects and he will schedule your site visits.
Step 3: Research Report After the site visit, the assigned account manager will share you the comparative analysis report of the projects shortlisted
Step 4: Negotiating the best price Through the unique model of bulk booking, we ensure that you buy your home at the best market price with additional perks.
Step 5: Scrutinizing BBA Ensuring the BUILDER BUYER AGREEMENT (BBA) is free from any hidden clauses: As the BBA is the backbone of the complete transaction our legal experts help you in ensuring that your BBA is free from any hidden/ambiguous clauses.
Step 6: Hassle-free Post booking services. We provide doorstep services for all the post-booking activities like home loans, documentation, etc.
How long does it take to complete a transaction? (from planning to buying the property?)
What are your products or services and how much do you charge for your products/ services?
In B2C we have a subscription-based model:
Buzzbricks Premium (BBP) Offers:
- Search properties & fixes meetings.
- Legal Document verification of each property.
- New property alert: Emails and WhatsApp.
- Assisted Site visits.
- Personalized Dedicated relationship manager assistance.
- Home loan Assistance.
- Complete (End to End) Assistance in the documentation process.
For Indian Clients, we are running a fermium model. And for NRI clients we charge nominal fees of $49 (USD) for 60 days subscription period.
In B2B: Aggregator of Properties Our revenue model is similar to the usual aggregator business model like OYO. We on-board and work with good projects/builders as a strategic consultant in return we take a part of the project’s inventory beforehand creating a win-win situation for all the parties. As builders as they get Bulk-Booking from us and buyers not only get subsidized rates from us as compared to market rates but also legally vetted agreements to protect buyers from any future financial escalations.
Tell us about your target audience. How did you acquire its first set of customers/ clients?
We generally connect with clients between the ages group of 25-50 years. Our Target audience is primarily working in IT companies like IBM, Barclays, Infosys, TCS, Amazon, Google and PSUs like NTPC, Coal India, ONGC, IOCL. For the ultra-luxury segment, we target CXOs of various MNC, business owners, diamond merchants, celebrities, etc. 28% of our clients are NRIs and mostly high net worth individuals. Initially, we started off with budget segment properties which are worth more than 35 Lakh1 crores. Seeing the enormous response from the clients, we entered the luxury & ultraluxury segment ranging between 1.5 Crores to 15 crores. It took us almost 18 days to get our first client he was of our age working with IBM, he understood our business model and our value proposition, after that we got 2 more references from his side.
Tell us something about the customer base, traction, and growth since inception.
We were cash positive from day 24th. In the past 8 months, we have served more than 500+ clients, the interesting part is around 54% of them were referrals from our existing buyers. We have spent zero money on Marketing, our focus is delivering the best customer service to our clients with various referral schemes to be a part of our ecosystem. Our competitors have customers, we have brand ambassadors.
What is the revenue model like?
97% of current revenue is coming from the Property Aggregator Model (B2B) Under the Bulk booking model, Buzzbricks groups a set of buyers interested in a property and helps negotiate the best price from the builder basis the volume of sale. As a strategic consultant in return, we take part in the project’s inventory beforehand creating a win-win situation for all the parties.
We have a quarterly target of 20+ bookings depending on projects; on each booking, we take a low flat fee (no commission) Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 at the end of the quarter for our end to end consulting services from the builders. We are playing on high volume and low margins; the focus is to get as many clients in the portfolio.
What are your revenue data? (Current, target revenue, profits, and growth)
Buzzbricks is a pain killer, not a vitamin it actually solves the unaddressed problems of property seekers. Paying customers are the testimony of product-market fit. In the past 8 months, we have crossed 78Lakhs in revenue with a flat profit margin of 35-40% from our B2B business. In the next 12 months, the firm aims to achieve 50 percent month-on-month growth while onboarding 1000 projects of Delhi-NCR.
What are the funding details?
I have been in this so-called start-up world for half a decade, it’s sad there are fewer entrepreneurs more wantrepreneurs running behind raising funds without having to pay customers. I have raised funds in my previous ventures. I am sort of an old school guy, a bit reluctant to raise funds in the beginning. At the end of the day, I treat it like a business, not a start-up. I prefer to make money by adding enormous value not necessarily by raising funds. I am concerned about the culture of celebrating the fundraise. A startup without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby As far as buzzbricks is concerned, we are cash positive and not looking for funding as of now.
How is the market space like? (Market data)
“The Indian Real Estate Sector is projected to reach a market size of USD 180 billion by 2020, a sharp rise from USD 126 billion in 2015,” according to a joint report by CREDAI and JLL. Regulatory reforms like RERA, steady demand generated through rapid urbanization, rising household income and the emergence of affordable and nuclear housing are some of the key drivers of growth for the sector. The recent relaxation in the FDI has provided a huge boost to investment in the industry. Prices would continue to remain dependent on demand and supply dynamics within micro-markets.
What and how are the challenges so far? How did you overcome them?
Biggest challenges were to make our customers understand what exactly we are doing and how we are different from Brokers. Very often, Buzzbricks was misunderstood as a brokerage firm or listing platform, making it harder to get the first set of customers. As there is a stigma associated with this real-estate sector that nobody willing to trust anyone. The only way we are able to overcome the situation and gain confidence among clients by providing the utmost transparency.
Tell us about the other players in the market.
There are many startups mushroomed in real estate space. The irony is most of the startups working in this space are either on the listing side (search platforms) like housing.com, common floor, 99acres.com, magicbricks.com, etc OR on the resale or rental space like Nestaway, Oyo living, nobroker.com, etc. But nobody actually solving the real pain area for property buyers which lies in-between these, where the multi-million worth of transactions are happening every day which is predominantly an unorganized sector.
As we are getting more than 25+ behavioral data points of buyers which are acting as a key driving force in finalizing a property. So with the help of data science, we are developing a cutting-edge technology to match property seekers’ requirements with available projects according to their taste, interest & buying behavior. And all our allied services like facilitating agreements, home loan processing, post-booking services, etc, will be online, which is currently managed in our internal CRM.
Next 12 months we will only be focusing on the Delhi-NCR market and work on improvising on our model through continuous customer feedback. I strongly feel calling oneself a ‘technology company’ might be helpful while raising funds but it is a small part of a giant puzzle, especially when you’re playing in the Indian real estate market. There are a lot of pieces that need to be fixed and it is best to compromise scale till one hits the perfect model.
Any interesting or memorable incidents or experiences along the journey.
I am deeply thankful and blessed for the love that our customers have shown to us. We not only try to help them in the end to end home buying process but also be a part of their house warming parties. I personally try to attend all the housing warming parties but it’s taking a toll on my health.