The Real estate Business in Pakistan
What is Real Estate?
The term ‘Real Estate’ refers to physical property. It deals with buying and selling of buildings, land and property. There are four common types of real estate:
- The first one is residential which includes houses, apartments etc.
- The second one is commercial includes shops, malls, hotels, educational buildings etc. Apartments sometimes also fall under this category as they are often rented out to generate income.
- The third one is industrial which includes warehouses, manufacturing buildings etc.
- The last one is land which includes vacant lands and undeveloped property.
In a country like Pakistan, real estate investment is considered a great way to generate passive income and to build wealth. According to the World Bank’s report sixty to seventy percent of the total wealth of Pakistan is constituted by real estate assets.
What’s the Hype?
The emergence of the real estate sector as an industry began in Karachi. The real estate agencies existed in the city even before independence. The industry began making progress in 1950’s when cities gradually became populated and the nation saw the birth of the Defense Housing Authority (DHA). Throughout the years, this sector saw many booms due to various reasons. Either it was the Afghan war of the 80s or American War on Terror, in the early twenty-first century, which broke all previous records of property boom in the country. Lately, the country is witnessing another boom in real estate which began with the arrival of 2021.
And the Boom Came !
With the recent rapid progress in IT in Pakistan many developments are made in different fields, including real estate. For instance, in past years newspapers and pamphlets were used for advertisement but now as less people read newspapers. Usually television, websites, social media and now most recently mobile apps are used by different real estate businesses to launch, promote, advertise and conduct businesses.
Now the potential buyers, while sitting in their houses, use cell-phones (not even laptops) to search for new homes, plots, property. It has now become a compulsion to learn new skills, techniques and strategies to attract customers in this digital era. Due to rapid increase in the use of social media, less and less people are prone to reading in recent times. Now-a-days reading or text has been replaced by pictorial or video-graphic representations of things.
In current times people, to learn about something, prefer watching a video or image of that thing rather than reading about it. Due to this most companies have YouTube channels and social media accounts such as, Facebook page, Instagram, Tick Tock etc. However, rather than to make an account on every social media it is better to first know where one can find potential clients for real estate business. For example, in Pakistan ‘WhatsApp Messenger’ is the most popular messaging service where not only text messages are shared but audio and video messages are also communicated.
Another real estate web portal, Graana.com, which follows the same blueprint of Zameen.com, was established in recent years. And then there are service providers like Earthlink and Agency 21 which offer digital marketing solutions for businesses.
These new big players have created many new jobs for the masses. For example, now they need a social media marketing team which includes graphic designers, editors, website developers, social media coordinators, content writers etc.
Sales Executives (Tips & Tricks !)
- Good Attire
- Neat Clean
Doesn’t mean that one should be in a three-piece suit but whatever you are wearing should be neat and tidy.
Know Your Market
- The City
- The By-laws
- The Authority
- The Developers
- The Marketeers
- The Repute
- Past Projects
Know Your Product or Project
- The Target Audience
- All Regulations & Procedures
- The By-Laws
Know Your Competitors
- All Market Players
- The Advantages
- The Competitive Edges
- Be a consultant not a seller!
After Sales Relationship and Services
- Follow-up with clients even after sales to see if they would need any help.
Similar to other social media platforms it is also used to share images, videos, locations. This app is often used in coordination with other social media platforms. For example, a Facebook business page often shares its WhatsApp number with customers for business correspondence. Often business groups are made on WhatsApp where images, videos (mostly made by YouTube channels owned by the business) locations are shared among group members/ potential buyers.
Why the Boom Happened?
At the beginning of 2021 Prime Minister Imran Khan presented the Tax Amendment Ordinance 2021 to facilitate the real-estate sector of the country. According to it builders and developers can easily get their projects registered under this tax amnesty scheme:
- This provides them immunity from disclosing their sources of income
- Fixed tax regime
- No Capital Gain Tax will be charged in case of Family house sell
- 90 percent Fixed Tax will be waived off if invested in Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme
- Rs 30 Billion Subsidy for Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme
- Status of Industry to the Construction sector
- Construction Industry Development Board to be established for the development of the Construction Industry
The expiry date of this relief package has been extended to December 31st 2021. Apart from it another factor which is playing a role in this is the element of high-rise. Though this is common in Karachi but in twin cities it is a novel concept. As the weather and geographical conditions of Rawalpindi/Islamabad are different, the question however is will this be successful here? So far it is….but would it be in the long run?
New Players in the Field
Unfortunately, Pakistan is one of the countries which lag behind in the field of ‘Information Technology (IT)’ especially when compared with the first world. However, with the passage of time things are improving especially with the birth of Zameen.com- first online property portal in Pakistan.
Khan Brothers, in 2006, for the first time in Pakistan, set up their online real estate business. For the first time the concept of digitalization of real estate businesses was introduced to Pakistanis. This portal provided an opportunity to the sellers to display and exhibit their property in front of potential buyers virtually.
Over a period of time this portal eventually evolved into a web portal of property. 1.5 million visitors per month were registered on the website in 2015. The company for the first time in the history of real estate in the country introduced ‘Real Estate Index’ in 2016. It revolutionized the buying and selling of property as it provided investors with authentic data to analyze market trends which were previously done through mere speculations.
- Success is after nine nos!