Re-imagining Commercial Real Estate
This post is a summary of my Product Management internship at 99acres.
Understand the business you are in
Other players in real estate space that I analysed:
This analysis is important to understand the play of the company, I understood that from ads and leads to services where 99acres has positioned itself.
- MagicBricks and 99acres mirro each other
- Housing mostly deals with new homes category
99acres majority (90–95%) business is through residential real estate even when size of commercial real estate market (selling and renting) is bigger than residential. We have opportunity to take commercial revenue (stands at 9–10 cr) equal to residential real estate revenue (240–250 cr).
Why commercial real estate has been smaller piece of real estate pie?
99acres platform was built for residential real estate initially. Later on commercial listing was also added. This happened without much work on how commercial real estate is different from residential. 99acres started listing commercial properties using PPF (property posting form) of RRE (residential real estate). PPE is very import step for real estate platform because through this we collect important parameters that are useful for a person. When someone comes to platform they search on 99acres platform and results of this search query are also dependent on PPF. Hence we can say the in order to show right properties to user we need to capture right parameters.
What’s the Project
We analysed the data from business leads that are being generated every month and found out that ‘Lease’ section is better suited for first target compared to ‘Buy’ section in commercial real estate.
Know your customer
- Telephonic interviews
You don’t understand the business until you know the customer. So, right in the beginning of the project we got the task to call up people who came to platform looking for office space. We had collected their phone numbers when they signed up so we just dialed the numbers and talked to people.
- Meeting brokers and owners posing to be lessee
We also wanted to understand the perspective of other stakeholders, owners and brokers that deal in commercial real estate. We went on to 99acres platform and acted as a potential lessee. We went to visit bare shell and RTM (ready to move) office space in noida to understand how they take a potential lessee through information and help him/her to reach a final decision.
Design thinking workshop: Converting insights into actionable tasks, features
Once we had insights we did a design thinking workshop to make use of our insights to convert them into product features.
We used MIRO board to collaborate for the workshop.
Step of the workshop are following
(*kept following photos small intentionally, can’t show confidential info)
This part of the project was about making a platform where you can find offerings of coworking spaces and compare. There are aggregators (myHQ, Coworker) in the the market that operate on different business models ranging form All India access membership to commission.
99acres want to position itself where a person looking for coworking space should start their search from 99acres which is currently done using Google search.
We created a list of parameters that are important of a user looking for coworking space. We divided these parameters into primary and secondary category. Now we conducted primary search to validate/refute our findings through interviews.
Final deliverable of the coworking project was list of parameters which was delivered.
I am still active in the project, so edit to this story is possible.