All posts by Myfollo

Problems faced by NRI’s while investing in India

“A person without correct knowledge of his past or history or origin is like a tree without roots. It can’t grow”

No matter where we come from or how horrific the past was, we mustn’t forget it for the simple reason that it brought us where we stand today.

When you think of an NRI, you think about Indians with a good command over English carrying aam ka achaar or pickle in their luggage while travelling through airplanes.

That’s the kind of image that bollywood films have set in our minds.

The reason is that we Indians love our country. We might complain about how we’re cheap and how power cuts are still common in our country and how street food has insects drooling over them but at the end of the day, we know how these power cuts have given us so many memories like going for a late night ice cream and how the same unhygienic street food is our first stop when we go out.

So when one of us goes abroad, we miss our motherland.

To cater to this need that we have to connect with our homeland, NRI’s often buy property in India for the simple reason that they don’t have to waste money on hotels when they come back to visit or sometimes, for investment purposes as well.

Unfortunately in our country, what starts as love for the country ends with fraud and we end up despising it.

Maintenance of that property is just a headache and a responsibility that comes with buying property. But NRI’s face n number of problems when they invest in our country.

 

 

  1. Lack of clarity of legal rights

All real estate dealings by NRIs are controlled by the Foreign Exchange Management Act also known as FEMA. The rules clearly state that NRIs can only purchase residential or commercial properties. Any agricultural land including farmland or any kind of plantation property cannot be purchased by a NRI or person of Indian origin.

Yet, only because NRI’s are unaware of this, end up buying agricultural land through fraudulent practices of real estate agents.

  1. Land Grabbers/Property Gatecrashers

NRI’s often end up outsourcing property management to local agents or family members or acquaintances which turns out to be a very poor decision.

Family members often take over illegal possession of the property and local agents often resell the property and disappear with the money earned.

  1. Builders with dubious records

Builders or real estate agents in India often don’t have good work ethic. You could try your look but in 9/10 cases, you will end up regretting not screening the builder/real estate agent. They often make NRI’s sign false illegal documents and take over possession of the property.

  1. Indian Law System

After all these problems, even if an NRI wishes to file a case against the guilty party, a civil case like this will end up taking years to settle. At the end, the parties will have to settle to just end the trail and the NRI will never get the good end of the bargain.

Indian law is slow and sloppy which is why 90% NRI’s would prefer bearing losses than filing a case.

  1. Maintenance and management

Relative to all the other problems, this is the simplest of all. Managing a property so far is difficult. Especially in a country like India, where thefts and vandalism is so common, it’s even more difficult.

This is why NRI’s often hesitate to invest in Indian real estate.

 

At the end of the day, there are a lot of solutions.

One could screen real estate agents properly and one could hire a top notch lawyer to fight the case. But at the end of the day, nobody likes a headache.

Propcare, turns out to be one stop destination for all NRI’s as it not only guides you from the minute you buy the house, it also leads the way to every time you visit and need your keys.

 

 

 

 

 

Why selling/leasing a house is like arranged marriage?

 

Focused and rightful way of marketing of my property:

 

Buying a house is like arranged married, only a little less temporary and it costs more.

What does one do when he/she wants to get married?

They look for a match.

That’s the obvious answer but it’s not the first step on the staircase.

When it comes to arrange marriage, people are sold like a product. So first, we develop the product.

We lose weight, we get hair smoothening worth of Rs.6000, we update our wardrobe and we make sure that we meet a certain standard.

The same way, when sell/leasing a house, we make sure it meets a certain livable condition. We dress our house to sell/lease for more. We paint the walls, check the electrical equipment, replace cracked floor tiles, fix leaky taps, polish the kitchen cabinets and we fix the parking space.

This is the most basic to-do list one must check before he/she sell/leases the house.

Once we’ve developed our product, what is the next step?

We let the word out.

In arrange marriage, your mother will let you whole family and her social circle know that you’re in the hunt for a husband/wife.

Sooner or later, the phone starts ringing and relatives you don’t even remember the names of will start suggesting you the person you plan on spending your life with.

Similarly, when sell/leasing a property, you let everybody know that you’re sell/leasing by making calls to friends/family and acquaintances that might strike you as potential buyers.

In case this doesn’t work, you hire a matchmaker.

You trust somebody who you’re paying to find the person you’re going to spend your life with.

You tell the matchmaker your type, your needs and he/she begins the hunt for you while you sit at home eating popcorn and waiting for the phone to ring.

Similarly, in the real estate world, you hire a real estate agent and you tell him how much you wish to sell/lease your house for and then you wait.

If that doesn’t work as well, you up your game another level.

You log on to an online portal like shaadi.com and you get yourself registered and you upload the best profile picture you’ve ever had. Hell, you might even spend money to get a photo shoot especially for that online portal.

Similarly, in the real estate world, you log on to magicbricks.com or 99acres.com and you list your house, maybe upload a professionally shot video with a view of your house and fill in the details and then, you wait for someone to make an offer.

 

These three are the first four steps for marketing your property which you must know if you intend to sell/lease it. 99%, one of these will get you a reasonable offer or a suitable husband/wife for that matter but if you think about it, it’s TOO much effort. Moreover, how do you trust another person who you don’t even know to sell/lease your house with the same passion that you would?

How do you expect a computer based program to understand what type of people you want to sell/lease your house to?

In case you do it alone, are you ready to do the following things?

  1. 1.      Keep An Eye On The Competition.
  2. 2.      Make Yourself Easy to Contact.
  3. 3.      Create a Killer Business Card.
  4. 4.      Make Use of Local Images.
  5. Create an Irresistible Content Offer to Capture Leads.
  6. Hire a Photo Pro

 

Create a Virtual Tour.

It’s TOO MUCH work and one might not have the patience or the skill to do all of that, which is exactly what makes sell/leasing a house difficult.

While I don’t have any solution to matchmaking, in the world of real estate, there’s a ONE STOP outsource to all your problems.

www.myfollo.com is the solution to all of these problems. Right from grooming your house, to screening your buyer, we do it all with proper management and efficiency and at reasonable prices.Give it a try and you will realize how EASY sell/leasing a house can actually be.

To hire a Property Manager or to not.

Over time, and with the constant and rapid development that the world is undergoing, the only thing that’s scarce now is TIME.

Time is money and indefinitely the most valuable resource there is. We have needs we can’t cater to because we don’t have the time. We feel the need to look pretty but we don’t have the time to go to the salon. We have the time to feel hungry, but we don’t have time to cook a decent meal.

Similarly, we have the money to buy new property but we don’t have the time opr patience to manage it.

Managing a property takes effort.

Like a dog has to be fed, a property needs to be maintained. The way we as humans, need to go see the doctor from time to time, a property needs repairs from time to time.

You can’t just buy a property and let it be. You have to take CARE of it or in professional terms, you need to manage it.

These days, renting property is the most common choice. It has a variety of benefits like; imputed cost turns into real money, you’re basically earning money sitting at home, instead of one lump sum, large payment, you get a fixed amount of rent every month and it keeps your property from turning into a ghost bungalow.

Since too much optimism isn’t good for health, let’s weigh the cons as well.

  1. The equity may be required to purchase another home
  2. A tenant could make it more difficult to sell
  3. The possibility of bad tenants
  4. it’s difficult to manage the property from out-of-town

In the midst of such chaos, a property manager can prove to be the middle ground.

Majority o property owners don’t rent out property only because they don’t want the inconvenience being a landlord can cause.

Not everybody who buys property is cut to be a landlord. Some people just don’t have the patience or the management skills required.

For people like these, property management can come to the rescue.

Property management is the operation, control, and oversight of real estate as used in its most broad terms.

A property manager is the EASIEST way out because all you need to do AFTER you’ve hired one, is write the checks.

One small payment and a property manager will change your life. The flow chart below shows the MAJOR responsibilities of a property manager.

 

 

So the question is not if you should hire a property manager or not.

The questions are:

  1. Do you WANT to be become a landlord?
  2. Do you think you can handle pestering tenants about their monthly rent?
  3. Do you want your personal cell number to be a 24/7 hotline for the tenants?
  4. How well can you handle stress?

Answering the questions for you:

  1. Nobody sets out to be become a landlord. People always end up being one because they have extra property.
  2. Even if the money is yours, it’s never a pleasant job if it involves asking people for money.
  3. Obviously you don’t. But tenants are similar to kids. They will call you about EVERY little problem.
  4. Nobody likes stress.

Now a property manager may seem like a luxury to some but as they say, “If it makes you sleep at night, it’s worth it.”

So stop troubling yourself with managing an additional house. Living in ONE house and maintaining it is hard enough. Nobody needs another.

Hire a property manager and get rid of not only the problems but the WHOLE process itself.

It’s easy. It’s simple and now, it’s available at the click of a button.

PropCare has a lot to offer and you have a lot of hassles to lose.

So visit, https://www.myfollo.com/propcare for one of the top notch property management services in India.

How to estimate and evaluate property?

 

EVALUATION OF PROPERTY is the first and the most important step of Real Estate investment because of one SIMPLE reason.

If one doesn’t know how much a property is worth, one can’t buy/sell/rent it.

They will probably end up paying more or less for the property and both of those options have adverse effects on the economy. Apart from those, who don’t know HOW to estimate a property’s value, even those who do face a variety of problems which aren’t easy to solve.

There are three common ways of getting the right evaluation of property.

  1. Self Estimation
  2. Real Estate Agents
  3. Online Real Estate Portal

Each way has its own pros and cons, which you might want to keep in mind if you’re thinking about which road to take.

 1. Self Estimation:

Most people who don’t want to spend any money on brokerage or want to sell their property as quickly as possible opt for this option.

In this the seller first makes an assumption that his property has an area of xx sqm.

Then, he calculates the selling rate (INR/sqm) as Price/Area for each property.

The selling rates of all properties should be roughly similar with a variation of maximum 10%.

Then, an average of all the selling rates is multiplied by xx to arrive at the valuation of the property.

This is obviously not the most accurate method as the calculated price is just an average rather than being an exact estimation. Moreover, a lot of factors that affect the sale or purchases of a property are not taken into consideration in this method. This method is more like a rough draft which all investors make BEFORE choosing any other.

 

  1. Real Estate Agents

Sellers/buyers/investors often hire these agents or real estate agencies which sell their property for them in exchange of a fee called commission. More than 90% of real estate transactions are carried out with this method as it often appears to be the easy way out. Your real estate will right away give you an evaluation of your property and truth be told, it will be 25% more accurate than the estimation you made yourself. Yet, this option is not the most ideal option. Here is why you should hire a real estate agent and why you should NOT.

Advantages Disadvantages
The avoidance of a lot of paperwork and red tape Having to pay commissions
The saving of a lot of time and energy Being just one of many clients
Not having to coordinate repair and upgrading efforts on your own  Having at least one “middle man’’
Having an expert in your local real estate market on your side  Being at the mercy of someone else’s timeline
Common fraudulent practices regarding the selling price to get earn more commission
Listings will be limited to only that of the agent/agency
Lesser control of the transaction

As you can see when put on a weighing scale, the right side weighs more.

The agent/agency will always treat your property like another file in their office and will never be even half as motivated as the one who hires them. A lot of transactions that go through these agents/agencies do not take place in good faith.

Your agent/agency will give you a value with which they can maximize their profit. If that means giving you a higher value, they won’t hesitate.

                                             

  1. Online Real Estate Portals

Online portals like Magicbricks, CommonFloor, 99acres, Indiaproperty are some of the most popular ones when it comes to real estate.

If you visit any of these websites, you will probably find a tool called a Property Evaluation Calculator which will help you evaluate your property sitting at home just by entering a few details like sqm, BHK, locality name, etc.

It sure sounds tempting but again, it has its flaws too.

If you run a group of properties through all five of these portals, you’re likely to find that each online valuation site will give you a different – sometimes a very different – estimate for the same property.  They may not all be using the same comps and each is probably using a different proprietary algorithm that works better with some data sets than with others.  So the best advice is that one should not expect to type an address into any of these sites and get back a value that’s carved on a stone tablet.

What you can expect is that, at least with most of these sites, you will get back a good deal of data that you can combine with your own judgment to develop a reasonable idea of a property’s value.

To sum it up, online services, while great sources of information, often strive to offer quick and easy answers to complicated questions. And determining a home’s value is definitely a multilayered problem.

Thus, it is safe to say that Estimation of property is not an easy job. It requires a proper mix of all factors to get the most accurate estimation possible.

Nevertheless, you should definitely give www.myfollo.com a try as their calculator includes a variety of factors that most portals fail to consider. Their estimations are almost accurate and you in this world of real estate where one agency is breathing down on the next of the other, www.myfollo.com proves to be breath of fresh air.

Rental Property Management Tips

There is a new wave of real estate investors, who are acquiring real estate for the purpose of not staying but to secure an additional income. But being a landlord is not as easy as it sounds. There will be numerous instances where one would have to deal with unruly tenants, following up for one’s own money, repairs and maintenance issues, like that of non-working toilet or emergencies that one has to be prepared for. Below are top 5 tips that one should keep in mind while getting into an agreement for Rental Property Management:

Provide secure premises: We are living in uncertain times with random incidents making uncomfortable headlines. One must be prepared to let out a reasonably secure premise and work towards making it comfortable for future tenants as one would do for their own use. Installation of security cameras, proper lighting, secure grills and fences are the order for the day. A study of the neighbourhood as to how others residents have equipped themselves are good pointers.

Screen tenants: While one is ready to provide comforts to future tenants, it is also expected that one would get good, hassle free tenants for the property. Often we let out properties on face value but it is advisable to run background checks or speak to the prospect tenant references or previous landlords before giving one’s property on rent.

Documentation: All communications with the tenants should be documented including responsibilities and timelines. A good rental lease agreement comes handy which should signed and registered at the local authorities, in case of a dispute arising at a later time. One can get a good lawyer to draft an agreement based on mutually decided actionable and responsibilities.

Handling deposits: A system should be established between the landlord and the tenant for receiving deposits by way of cash or bank deposits or a mix of both. All transactions should be documented and receipts of deposits shared with the tenants timely thereby establishing a fair play.

Make repairs: Before a property is let out, the condition of the property should be evaluated, photographed, and noted so the chances of disputes arising at a later date are less. Also in case the property requires repairs because of natural reasons and that of wear and tear, the landlord should take responsibility and get the service team in place required to correct the repairs, timely. If not, these issues can snowball into larger distress.

Though landlords are expected to be around 24*7 but it is not practical. With advancement of technology, there are real estate management companies like PropCare now, who can take the burden of your shoulders. You can write to us contact@myfollo.com or call us at +91-9821391006 to know more about our services.

Top 5 neighborhoods to invest

In the last decade Gurgaon has emerged as a profitable location in the vicinity of the national capital as an investment opportunity. With multinationals taking up much of office and retail space, the employees are also making a beeline to take up places on affordable rent if not to buy. We at MyFollo.com, bring to you some of the hottest neighbourhoods in Gurgaon and Delhi where one should think of investing.

Sohna Road: Just a few years ago, Sohna Road was a sleepy neighbourhood, but off late, it is fast becoming a prime residential property. Besides being connected with the NH8, it is in the vicinity of many townships that are emerging like Bhiwadi and Manesar. Sohna Road has some excellent residential apartments, villas, plots besides malls and hospitals which are already operational.

Golf Course Extension: This area is another location which investors are making a beeline for. Golf Course Extension is just 30 minutes away from the international airport and well connected with the NH8, south Delhi, Gurgaon-Faridabad road and Sohna Road. If you are looking to mingle with the elite then a property here should be your destination. Well equipped with civic amenities, this place is a buyers dream.

MG Road: With the plush malls and residences, MG Road is an evergreen location to invest. Though deemed expensive, MG Road has fetched high returns on commercial properties historically. If you have an appetite for high returns, then one must consider MG Road.

DLF Phase 1: One has seen a tremendous growth in the infrastructural developments in Gurgaon DLF City and DLF Phase 1 has emerged as spaces with high growth prospects. It is wise to invest in under construction properties from a purely investment purposes and divest it at a peak.

South Delhi: There is a certain charm of living in south Delhi in a posh locality. Always considered as prime locations the trio of Greater Kailash, Vasant Kunj and Vasant Vihar have options of bungalows, apartments and commercial properties. The high rate of returns clubbed with the benefits of being in the toniest parts of the first city, New Delhi, these are few locations which will not be affected by market fluctuations.

“MyFollo” is an online real estate ecosystem bringing in change in the way online advisory and transactions are executed. Write to us at contact@myfollo.com  to know how we can help you.

What does a good Real Estate Investment Mix looks like

One invests keeping in mind the longevity of the investment and how much risk one can take. Basis our understanding, we realise that when we invest keeping in mind say retirement, then the asset allocation will be much different from when one is 30 to when one is 50. In real estate investments, one can choose aggressive investments that have a potential for high growth but then there is higher risk attached to it. With retirement the time for money to grow reduces and one has a constant need to withdraw. So sometimes conservative investments, that are less risky and low returns also seem profitable.

Another factor to keep in mind while choosing an ideal mix of investment is:

  • How soon will one want to divest
  • How comfortable will one be investing a large chunk of income on investments

Keeping these in mind, one can choose to invest in one or all the options available

  • Residential properties: Timing is a key factor to a good return on investment. If one is looking to earn regular income then there is no risk of when to exit. However if capital gains is the sole aim, then timing is a critical factor. While it is advisable to hold a property for at least three years but statistics show that good returns come only between five and seven years. For capital gains it is a good move to acquire under construction properties. The only factor going against investing in residential properties is to know the key times to invest and sell. One may end up buying at a price high hoping the prices will go higher but in reality the prices go down and one may end up making a loss, if exiting to soon. 
  • Commercial properties: Investing in commercial spaces helps one diversify the real estate portfolio while earning regular rental income. For the business savvy investor, commercial spaces both office and retail spaces are a good bet. Unlike stock market fluctuations, real estate investments are far stable and also the rental income is approximately 10% of the property value in a year, quite high than what one would earn from a residential property. Also a factor to keep in mind is that higher returns would mean higher investments unlike investing in a house.
  • Mixed use properties: These properties are seen as the golden opportunities by both the real estate sector as well as investors. While real estate developers have diversified their risks by bringing an element of commercial as well as residential into their projects, investors and buyers have also felt comfortable to gain on the benefits offered. Certainly successful concepts around the globe, mixed use properties offer home buyers to be near their work place and much requires social infrastructure. Just the thought and dream of many to stay in the vicinity of a shopping mall and other luxurious amenities is a win-win situation. Developers are bringing in residences, a shopping mall, a hotel and offices together in many metros.

“MyFollo” is an online real estate ecosystem ringing in change in the way online advisory and transactions are executed. Write to us at contact@myfollo.com   to know how we can help you.

Rental Property Management – The How’s and Why’s of it

Top 5 Rental Property Management Tips – The How’s and Why’s of it

Over the last decade the equation giving out properties on rent and managing them has changed quite a bit. It has become more professional for sure. But there are still times when the whole landlord – tenant equation goes for a toss like for example: The tenant won’t pay rent on time; the tenant will make unreasonable demands; the tenant may cause damage to the property and so on. It is always a wise decision to not be the bad guy as a landlord and hire a professional manager to take care of such issues. However one should always keep in the mind the “Top 5 Rental Property Management Tips – The How’s and Why’s of it” that will help manage rental properties a breeze.

Inventories: As a thumb rule, before giving a property on rent do document the inventories at the rental property. For example: A list of furniture and fittings and the condition they are in. It is done in the interest of both the landlord and the tenant. When a tenant is on their way out, the property manager/ landlord can match the list and in case of any deviation settle it amicably.

Create a Policy: As a landlord giving out one or many properties on rent, one should have a policy in place which can be shared with prospective and actual tenants. For example: Rent to be received by 10th of every month; the landlord will be available between 4 and 7 pm for a call; a late fee will be charged in event the rent is received late. This policy making may seem tedious in the beginning but it makes things very easy. For example a tenant may come and want to negotiate the payment date or pays late, then one can always refer to the policy and say “Well I am sorry, but our policy states that….” This helps in clearing any doubts.

Avoid Family: Include friends as well. Giving a property to friends and family is always tricky. It may swing both ways as a relation but most likely it is going to be negative, going by our experience. It is advisable to stay clear of family if they are looking for a place to rent. One can guide to similar properties, locations or agents but stay clear of giving your own property on rent to them.

Be Organised: Treat every transaction with your tenant as professionally as possible. Keep files pertaining to all the tenants that will include all documents like the Landlord- Tenant agreement, copy of all rent received and receipts issued, inventories of the property, damage and repairs done. The more organised one is, more easily things will be actioned upon.

Hire a Professional: If one is not full time into property letting out business, they should consider hiring the services of a professional who can act as a bridge between the tenant and the landlord. This way for a small fee all headaches like rent received, deposits, chasing late payments and looking after repairs, can be taken care of.

Build and Optimize your Real Estate Portfolio – myfollo.com

Traditionally investing in real estate has always been profitable. Whether one is saving for retirement or for emergencies, real estate has always been part of investment plans, however small. Once decided to invest in real estate, it is important to learn how to build your portfolio. All it takes is a little discipline, keen observation and reports that are available on the public domain to make informed decisions. One doesn’t need to be wealthy but smart to build and optimize a good real estate portfolio. Here are top 4 tips to build your real estate portfolio

Start early: Investment in real estate is nothing to be scared of and it is certainly not to be done when certain milestones are crossed. One can begin investing anytime, the earlier the better. Often one doesn’t large reserves in banks to spare but with well-paying jobs and good cash flows as a result of that, the credit taking appetite surely increases with time. It is a good idea to meet a loan officer at a bank and find out the details of taking a loan for acquiring a property. Usually as experience says, most of the money required to purchase a property is given upfront. Based on cash flows, do the mathematics including monthly expenses and EMI’s. If you are able to manage, investing in real estate is always a good idea.

Start Small:  For investing in real estate, one has to be patient. The returns are not instantaneous but spread over a long term. The longer you hold on to the real estate, the more you gain depending on the market dynamics. Hence, one should start small and continue to work upwards. For example one could acquire a property and give it on rent. And the rent money could substantiate the EMI’s. Once that process has stabilised one could start looking at investing in another real estate property be it residential or commercial. The idea is to maintain a profitable portfolio.

Look for Deals: The trick to success is to be aware of the market and keep a keen eye on deals that are available in the market. There could be properties available in the market for a bargain because of distress sale or a far location. Research has shown that investing in far locations have sometimes proved beneficial for investment purposes, because one gets to buy at less and able to sell at peak in a few years’ time.

Leverage: Real estate investors leverage their money to buy property by using a network of banks and private lenders. The more properties you are able to spread your resources, the more potential to succeed in building a healthy real estate portfolio. It’s best to keep savings aside for emergencies and not invest emotionally.

Technology has over the years helped in making informed decisions related to investments and tracks the progress of each real estate investment. One can now even invest in cities where one is not residing. The opportunities are immense and we at myfollo.com  working with our clients to help them with their investments. You can write to us at contact@myfollo.com or call us at +91-9821391006 to know how we can help you.

Real Estate Market Trends vs. Forecasts – What to go by?

In the last few years, the real estate market trends in India, have not been encouraging. The markets, especially in the residential properties segments, recorded a slowdown. The prices have remained stable with multiple options available for the buyers, though the commercial real estate has been optimistic. Also the capital appreciation in the short term has not been significantly high.

Given the background, the real estate industry is also regrouping themselves with major players working on delivering projects and building their portfolio to gain trust. Also with the new government policies like Make In India, FDI and 2020 vision, things are looking optimistic for the real estate market. The recent Start-up India will also give an impetus to the real estate market. Based on studies and experience the forecasts for the Indian Real Estate Market looks very promising. The top 3 highlights are:

Tier II cities: The meteoric rise of the Indian real estate market, specially in metros like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad can be attributed to the technology and start-up hubs. It is now the time for the Tier II cities like Indore, Lucknow and Chandigarh to taste success. Local and national level developers are now focussing on the Tier II cities like Pune because of aspirations, successful business start-ups and steady growth in employment opportunities.

Simple payment structures: The developers and banks are working towards easing the pressures of the payment plans. This would lead to more participation from buyers to invest with small monies and pay off gradually with easy payment plans.

Smart Cities: The government showing active interest in building 100 smart cities and increasing the FDI participation in the reality will give a positive boost to the real estate market. Hopefully with participation from local investors as well as NRI’s there would be a growth in these smart cities as well.

For the prudent investor it is advised to move from the wait and watch strategy to slowly start expanding portfolios to newer markets, especially the tier II cities and prime pilgrimage locations. One needs to move out of the comfort zone of familiar localities and start Identifying and investing in feasible properties for better returns.