It was only the other day a friend of mine, a desperate “dream home hunter” was venting out his frustration on how he was not able to find the perfect home. I heard him out patiently till he had cooled down a bit and then asked him whether he had heard of GOHF.
He got excited and said that he had got his mobile phone and his PS4 at a great price. I rolled my eyes and slowly but firmly phrased the word GOHF, Great Online Home Fest. He was again excited and asked me if Google is having a Home Fest? That would be awesome as he would be getting good deals and he was sure of that. He was bang on target at that J
I then sat down and explained to him about the Great Online Home Fest (GOHF), a joint collaboration of Magicbricks, GroupM and Google. Commenced on July 18, 2015 GOHF brings together the finest deals from the finest names of the real estate, home décor and homecare products on a single online platform.
Spread over 10 days till July 27, 2015 GOHF would be helping buyers in choosing their dream home from more than 25 real estate projects with property stock worth an eye watering Rs. 3000 crores. Apart from looking at projects which is promised to be hassle free, buyers could not only benefit by availing tempting deals on home décor but also get very good deals on homecare products.
Talking about this first of its kind Fest Sudhir Pai, CEO Magicbricks said, “GOHF is a bid to reignite transactions in the real estate market… We hope that the event will delight consumers with an end-to-end home buying experience.”
GOHF comes at a time as a breather to the realty industry when it was showing sure signs of slowing down. Due to an ever-increasing price trends, an average of 20% per year for the past fifteen years, the Indian Real Estate sector had been on a downward trend. The high prices had made buying homes almost unaffordable to the common man.
The Google Research team found that consumers spend a great amount of time online researching on information related to property. A fast changing consumer behavior has led to a rise of an entire segment of buying property online. Validating the change in behavior the Google research showcased that in the last three years, there has been a three-fold growth in queries relating to real estate.
With the advent of high-speed mobile technology and communications, the online consumer wants the whole experience of buying online to be linear and simple.  Speaking on the same lines, Lakshmi Narasimhan, Chief Growth Officer at GroupM, South Asia observes that the new tech savvy consumer is willing to buy a high end purchase purely based on the information available online. He hopes to establish this initiative as a win-win proposition for both the consumer and the industry.
Google’s venture has led the realty players to try innovative methods of show casing their inventory to the right target audience. A few early adopters have benefitted from selling their inventory online. Looking at a few key benefits that the fest would offer the Realty participants:
1.      A larger target audience, which is not restricted by a physical geographical boundary.
2.      Minimal infrastructural costs.
3.      Larger database of potential clientele.
The Indian online real estate space has close to over ten players including Quikr, a classified service that is looking at expanding its portfolio and getting a foothold in the real estate market.
I strongly feel that initiatives like this will help more real estate developers to realize the true potential of the Internet and engage more buyers online. With the Internet spreading its wings and engulfing more people, the scope of online property sales is heading towards a new era where you should not be surprised if you hear your door bell ring and it is the delivery man delivering the keys to your new home.

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