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The Evolution of Pakistani Real Estate Marketing

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2 years ago

Offbeat

If housing bubble’s have taught us anything, its that real estate has a direct impact not only on home valuations, but also on a nation’s mortgage markets, home builders, real estate, home supply retail outlets and foreign banks.

According to The State Bank’s Quarterly Housing Finance Review, Pakistan’s “housing units’ shortage can be estimated more than 9 million units” in a nation where property prices average USD 480,000 and buyers have weighed down by a GDP per capita that barely brushes the USD 2,000 line.

Local and international players have convened on Pakistan to solve this problem, the first of which was Zeeshan Khan and his brother in 2006 with their online property portal Zameen.com, a site that educates, informs and empowers nearly 1.3 million visitors every month. The brothers have dominated the property portal market place in Pakistan ever since.

Rocket Internet’s entered Pakistan in 2012 with eCommerce start-up funding for electronics, fashion and apparel verticals, and further invested a year later with Lamudi.pk, a property portal with strong brand recall, footing & trust in northern regions.

But Pakistani’s don’t just live in Pakistan.

Overseas citizens send around $10 billion back home each year and most of that money goes into real estate. Sadly, they are often misguided about property prices by real estate agents and at times by their own relatives. While Zameen.com and Lamudi.pk fill this need for locals, the nation needs a property evaluation and consultancy service to help the millions of Pakistanis abroad as well.

Enter Arazi.pk, a property portal (founded by business magnate Umair Sheikh) that aims to revolutionize the user experience for real estate customers in Pakistan. It’s the first (and so far the only) Pakistani startup to be recognized as a disruptive startup by WebSummit and was also selected for the upcoming RISE Conference.

Apart from having similar features and services to Lamudi.pk and Zameen.comArazi.pk is the first property portal to introduce virtual tours, panoramic views and floor plans. To ensure a much safer experience, advanced security features include the automated account verification system (activated via a short messaging service).

Property evaluation services for Pakistani diaspora can help settle family disputes that are often caused by misunderstandings rather than bad intentions. The only components of this missing is a a value assessment service for foreign embassies (immigration services) and commercial banks as well. Corporate customers of real estate demand access to a map showing the recent value assessments in a particular area, ensuring transparency and accuracy. Time will tell which new player will bring this to the fold, or whether existing players will add it on.

Babar is an advertising and marketing reporter for numerous business publications around the globe. His coverage areas include internet companies such as Rocket Internet and advertising companies such as WPP PLC. He is interested in the business of online market places and the dynamics of advertising including industry topics such how media and advertising is being transformed by technology. He can be reached at Babarkj@Gmail.com

  • Umer Paracha

    Why is it trying to monetize on adsense in such an infancy stage? I think he is looking for a quick buck. Will circle back in 6 months and see it’s progress. Good luck none the less.

    • Umair Sheikh

      We’re currently running the beta version and the full site will be up very soon. We would love to get feedback from you once that is available.

  • osman

    average property prices in Pakistan are 5 crores? maybe for large houses in defence, Karachi. is that supposed to be representative of how the common man in the country lives like?

  • Umair Sheikh

    Property prices differ according to size and location. As for DHA Karachi, the average price of a new 1 Kanal (500 sq yd) house is definitely more than $480,000.

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