Established in 2011 by Dileep Singh Rathore, Emmanuel and Christos Pappas, PropertyFeast had an unusual beginning. Dileep Singh Rathore and Emmanuel Pappas were in India producing a feature film, and found themselves having to set up an office, as well as find a place to live. Since the duo felt it would be more convenient to find an apartment where to set roots for the duration of their project, rather than staying in a hotel, they began to look for a place to call home.
Having gone online in the past and found apartments successfully in Australia and the US, Singh Rathore and Pappas were optimistic in their search endevour. Unfortunately for them, this proved to be easier said than done.
They looked for apartments on the popular property search websites which locals recommended, but after a couple of fruitless months had gone by, they realised that it was virtually impossible to find anything which suited them, not to mention their disappointment with the lack of adequate photographs online; open house timings; inconsistency of brokerage fees and an overall lack of transparency in the industry.
By now Pappas’ brother Christos, a web developer, had joined the duo in India and he too was in need of a place to live. Seeing that prospects of finding a home were slim, the three men experienced an “Eureka!” moment and decided to start their own property portal; a website which enable users to find quality listings, easily and without the unnecessary clutter which they had been exposed to in their own search experience.
Dileep Singh Rathore and Emmanuel Pappas began plotting the “ideal” property search portal, and entrusted the nuts and bolts of the website to Christos Pappas. Having worked as the Commercial Website Team Leader for Virgin Blue Airlines, as well as other big online names, Christos was able to architect the PropertyFeast website according to the “wish list” which the trio had compiled over their house hunting adventure.
After months of planning and developing, PropertyFeast.com was eventually officially introduced at the 3rd National Association of Realtors Convention (NAR India) in May, 2011; the company believed that this was the best platform where to launch their service. Emmanuel Pappas, Co-Founder PropertyFeast.com said: “PropertyFeast is very much agent focused, and our goal is to work closely with professional agents, assisting them with marketing solutions.”
According to Pappas, there is somewhat of a movement in India, to eliminate the real estate agent out of the process of buying or selling a home, in hopes to save money, but this can backfire. “It is in the consumer’s best interest to deal through an accredited real estate agent when looking to purchase or sell a property, as there are far too many legal details which could be overlooked in the process. An agent is a trained professional in the field of real estate, and looks out for the client’s best interest during the transaction,” said Pappas.
It seems that PropertyFeast is not the only one in India who strives for quality and transparency in the real estate market. Recently, after years of deliberation, the Maharashtra Housing Bill 2012 was passed, which sets the stage for the establishment of the country’s first housing regulator and appellate tribunal with significant powers to protect the consumer and penalise builders in case of any wrongdoing.
PropertyFeast.com’s mission is to connect home seekers to quality properties, which are represented by credible agents and developers. There are over 30 million NRIs living and working abroad, out of which over 35% in the US, UK and Middle East, and those individuals are looking for retirement homes, apartments for elderly parents and/or investments, and they are used to searching for properties on reliable and professional sites, PropertyFeast strives to provide this level of search experience to them, as well as the local potential property buyer/investor.
“Our site is all about making the user’s search experience simple, organised and intuitive. We may not have as many listings as our competitors, but PropertyFeast offers quality listings by agents who can be trusted, and at the end of the day quality prevails quantity any day,” concluded Pappas.