EXCLUSIVE | Kyron Dinshaw, Piramal Realty: Tech upgrades to disrupt real estate sector

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In an exclusive interaction, Kyron Dinshaw, Vice President – Marketing, Piramal Realty, speaks about how the real estate industry had to evolve to keep up with the growing changes and how the industry is heading towards an all-encompassing technological upgrade in the form of home automation.

He also discusses how Piramal Realty aims to become the most admired real estate brand in MMR and its recently launched ‘Reserve Memories’ campaign.

Kyron has more than 14 years of experience working across various sectors. He has been instrumental in strengthening the marketing strategy for Piramal Realty. Under his leadership, Piramal Realty has launched incredibly refreshing campaigns and transformed the business approach by adopting new-age marketing techniques.

 

Prior to joining Piramal Realty, he was with JP Morgan Chase New York, as an Associate under the Product Control Index Options Desk, where he was responsible for running global end of day and new business predicts for North America and EMEA regions.

Give us an overview of Piramal Realty, its services, and its network in India?

With 17 million square feet under development, Piramal Realty, the real estate arm of Piramal Group, is one of India’s leading developers. The company received $235 million from two of the world’s most respected private equity investors for a minority stake in 2015.

Piramal Realty stands for quality, safety, and design excellence as well as customer-centricity. As of today, our portfolio comprises of residential projects namely Piramal Mahalaxmi, Piramal Vaikunth(Thane), Piramal Revanta (Mulund), Piramal Aranya(Byculla), and Piramal Agastya(near BKC), our state-of-the-art commercial project. Apart from being cutting-edge and contemporary, Piramal Realty’s developments are conceptualized on Biophilia, community living, and practical luxury. 

Piramal Realty had combined sales of over INR 5400 crore in the two years prior to the pandemic.

What has been the impact of the second wave on the sector? What factors have helped you sustain, and what will help you grow?

The real estate industry saw an upward trend post the first wave of the pandemic as it made people realize the need to live in a safe and secure environment during these challenging times. As a result of the growing demands of customers, developers created ways to reduce the cost of purchasing and attracted them through flexible payment schemes, among other methods.  

A major contribution to the growth of the sector has been the digital transformation witnessed by the industry, from site visits to virtual tours of projects. As a result of the learnings and takeaways from the first wave, the sector was better prepared to meet the demands of customers during the second wave.

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In addition, there were two growing trends that have been noted are. The increasing number of first-time homebuyers, and another group of homebuyers seeking to upgrade themselves by owning spacious homes. Owning a spacious home became a necessity during the pandemic as people were required to stay indoors and the additional space could be utilized as a work from home space, study area, or exercise area.

Several first-time buyers discussed the possibility of buying a house but were hesitant to commit due to the high cost of ownership. While analyzing, it was discovered that these consumers were interested in buying but were afraid to make a long-term commitment to EMI payments.

To help them meet their constraints, we offered them a variety of financial schemes, including a selection of offers across all our projects that would give them significant flexibility. As part of our Reserve Memories campaign, we’re offering our customers, a Trio of offers to make homebuying for families easy.

How has Piramal Realty been enhancing customer service during COVID?

At Piramal Realty, we always strive to stay ahead of the curve and have adopted a culture of innovation in the way we conduct our business. Before the pandemic, we were trying to integrate technology to make the purchasing process more convenient for consumers.

However, the pandemic gave us the boost we needed to implement our technological integration plans sooner than expected. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have offered real-time access to our inventory.

Customers could also go through the amenities, floor plans, and walkthroughs through video calls. In addition to enhancing the virtual experience, customers can also book apartments online with an end-to-end booking process through 3 simple steps Finding an apartment one loves; Completing the booking form and Making the payment through a secured Payment Gateway.

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What is the communication, marketing strategies that Piramal Realty has adopted to reach a wider audience?

The Pandemic was a period of learning for the entire industry. The internal analysis helped us determine what is important to us and what would be necessary to strengthen direct communication channels for two-way communication.

Amid the pandemic, consumers have increasingly turned to digital, which makes it efficient and successful for brands to be present on platforms where their customers are located. Digital and hybrid media are becoming increasingly important for the Real Estate industry.

Our communication efforts have been focused on building relationships with our consumers since the beginning of the pandemic. 

In an environment of dwindling marketing budgets, earned media was once again the focus. Our owned media channels provide an opportunity to communicate in a more controlled manner and a variety of formats. It was imperative to make the content engaging, genuine, relevant, and experience-driven. A digital-first approach has allowed us to reach the right audience.

We are following an integrated approach of Paid, Owned, and Earned media to engage with our customers at Piramal Realty. In this period, each of these channels has been used in a more focused way.

This has created a new communication toolbox. We closely align ourselves with our brand ethos and the customer experience in all aspects of our owned media strategy. By doing so, we enabled ourselves to create relevant content among our target audience, and subsequently build a community of consumers through experiences.

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What was the objective behind Piramal Realty’s ‘Reserve Memories’ campaign?

We believe that the most beautiful things are not linked with money; they are memories and moments. If you don’t celebrate them, they can pass you by. ‘Reserve Memories’ impersonates the call to return from wherever we are, to a sheltered haven called home, where memories are made, stories are told, and love is nourished.

The campaign is about the knowledge of where we belong and where we would return to experience a true connection and make memories that would mould our very existence into the beings we are.

Our home is a sacred sanctuary where we are truly ourselves and can find peace from the outside world. In a sense, it is a shelter that protects us from all the ups and downs life may bring.

We offer customers 3 distinct offers to take advantage of and call a new Piramal home their own special vault of infinite memories. By providing these financial offerings to our consumers, we hope to provide a comfortable buying and living experience that will help them create lasting memories with their loved ones. 

What traction has the campaign garnered?

It is a little early to comment on the traction garnered by the campaign since it started earlier this month. However, the initial numbers are encouraging.

We are already witnessing a reduction of 25% to 30% on customer acquisition cost and improvement in lead quality has led to an increase in sampling across our sites. Apart from this, we can provide a detailed analysis of the performance at the end of the campaign.

What new trend do you see in the next couple of years when it comes to engaging with your core TG?

Today, Brands are not defined by their creators; they are defined by their consumers. The emotional equation has not been a one-way street among brands and consumers.

We have developed a robust system for monitoring how our customers feel. We can enhance our content by combining data analytics and consumer insights to make the content more engaging and experience-focused.

Data-driven content is used to create campaigns that deliver engaging experiences for consumers based on their needs and requirements. Content and messages that are delivered in the right tone, at the right time, and on the right platforms are now far more open to engagement by consumers as well. 

In conclusion, it is important to balance this equation for the campaign to succeed.

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What are the challenges prevalent to real estate marketing, how can we overcome them?

Traditionally, real estate has been a physical industry, focusing on physical property tours and open houses. The real estate industry had to evolve to keep up with the growing changes, due to the ongoing pandemic and the lockdowns, with sites being closed limiting social gatherings.

During these challenging times, we realized that taking advantage of technology could really benefit us. As a result of these technological capabilities, we have been able to improve our operations and communication, which will be an ongoing process for us.

What are your plans for the brand from a marketing perspective?

Piramal Realty aims to become the most admired real estate brand in MMR. The pandemic has amplified customer expectations and emphasized the importance of customer experience.

As part of our vision for the future, we wish to offer an unmatched consumer experience that meets their changing needs, which is in line with our broad commitment to strive for quality standards and consumer-centric design.

We want to focus on serving our customers and build ourselves as an enabler for stimulating business during these times. Through our online virtual launches, we were able to launch towers and offer online tours, which has become an innovative driver in the real estate space. 

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What is the future of real estate in India?

With the constant changes in technology, the industry is heading toward an all-encompassing technological upgrade in the form of home automation through the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and other technological developments.

The work-from-home trend is likely to be a permanent one for the foreseeable future, so we may see a rise in flexible and open layouts. With this in mind, we offer smartly designed homes with wellness amenities and help them stay closer to nature, thus providing them a better quality of life.