‘Possession on time’ is the latest mantra

Published: March 23, 2009

When it comes to selling residential projects in a downturn, the promise of ‘timely completion of project’ has become as good a bait, as any other — affordability, complementary club membership or swimming pools.

With the slowdown in sales and cash crunch delaying real estate projects, some builders have started pitching ‘on time completion’ as their Unique Selling Proposition — a commitment that until recently was taken for granted.

According to Mr Sanjay Verma, Executive Managing Director (South Asia), Cushman & Wakefield, this new positioning is a response to restore consumer confidence. “The biggest fear of a real estate buyer today is protection of his capital invested into a project, and its completion,” he says.

A case in point is the recent marketing campaign unleashed by Crossings Republik which declares that despite the “tough times” and “slump in global economy”, its project has been running on schedule. Another ad campaign, by Purvanchal Construction Works, talks of a commitment to “completion and possession on time”.

Industry experts feel that when the market was ‘euphoric’, completing projects on time was a given. Now with funds drying up and projects getting stalled, real estate buyers are already feeling the heat — for some possession has been delayed by over one year. Builders are now hoping to differentiate themselves from the rest, by meeting project deadlines.

“In the case of Crossings Republik, we felt that some people had raised doubts on whether the project timelines could be maintained in the current market scenario. We wanted to reassure them that the first phase of 2,000 apartments is on track and would be delivered this year,” explains Mr Sanjeev Srivastva, Managing Director of ASSOTECH, a real estate company which has a project in the mega township of Crossings Republik.

Mr Pankaj Bajaj, Managing Director of Eldeco Group, says, “The past bull run in the property market had seen entry of many non-serious players, but the market has now realised that fly-by-night operators are unlikely to deliver. At the same time, the serious players are making a conscious attempt to differentiate themselves from others. They are reiterating their commitment to adhere to time lines.”

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