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MUMBAI: With the dynamics of the real estate sector changing in post-Rera and GST era, developers are increasingly becoming dependent on channel partners to push sales through innovative ideas.
"Channel partners have started adding more value to marketing and sales. They are increasingly acting as advisors -- sales professionals than brokers. They are taking more responsibility and are accountable, with their registration with Rera, professional practice is improving fast," property consultant JLL's research head Ashutosh Limaye told PTI.
Due to their changing roles, developers, too, are thus happy rewarding these channel partners higher for the value addition they bring in.
Channel partners are agencies which take complete responsibility of selling realty projects. The selling services are designed but are not limited to a pre-agreed duration, for which these channel partners receive a set fee or commission for the services rendered.
Omkar Realtor's chief marketing officer Rajat Khandelwal opines that incentivizing channel partners is primarily a strategy based on market and project dynamics.
"For us, they are not only channel partners but also our direct business associates, making them a very vital link to achieving the targeted sales. Developers understanding their importance offer them healthy incentives from time to time," he says.
Property broker Sai Estates Consultants' Amit Wadhwani says developers are talking about providing amenities but nobody actually talks about the people who sell the inventories once it's ready.
"So, it is only going to be more and more important to give a larger share of the pie to channel partners. Also, a lot of B-school graduates are joining realty broking firms today or setting up startups that are servicing developers in major cities.
"Whether it is a commercial broking or residential broking, this is going to be the space for next five to eight years where a lot of youngsters, new talent and technology will play an important role," says Wadhwani.
Emphasising on the role of channel partners, Nahar Group vice-chairperson Manju Yagnik says engaging a channel partner largely means increasing access to a wider audience.
"This marketing technique only means the industry is getting more organized, transparent and also more reachable without hassles. Having a channel partner eases the processes of looking for a property a lot and also increases options for customers. We engage with channel partners after extensive diligence and let play an advisory role to customers by guiding them appropriately.
"This trend is looking progressive largely with a vision of having to meet the need of the relevant audience by studying sentiments and demands," he says.Himanshu Kanakia, managing director of Kanakia Group says looking at the competition, it is important to incentivize channel partners as they are the first pillars of sales. He said the group incentives the channel partners with more brokerage, easy payment plans, international holidays, among others to motivate them to market well. Ashok Mohanani, chairman of Ekta World, says channel partners are organized in such a way that they reach out to the right target and their personalized approach helps them create that rapport and conclude the deals.
"There are occasions when developers give channel partners accelerated incentive programmes along with preferential pricing for a limited period. Such programmes drive them to perform and achieve targets within stipulated timelines. Channel partners are an important extended arm for sales to the developer," he adds. Echoing similar views, Dotom Realty's Manoj Vishwakarma says, "where standard brokerage is 2 %, we are paying 3% for some of our projects to attract channel partners. When the brokerage rises usually the down payment slab is also increased to clear the brokerage."
"However, to lure the channel partners we have kept the brokerage release on 20% of the down payment and have not increased the barrier. Based on performance and volumes, we have a healthy incentivization plan for them," he concludes.