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Shop for a dream home at the mall

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By SUBHRO SAHA
  • Published 13.08.09
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Calcuttans can now go house-hunting in the air-conditioned comfort of a mall. A real estate consultancy firm has set up permanent property kiosks at City Centre and Mani Square.

Placing such kiosks in malls is a popular marketing tool abroad, but in Calcutta, realtors have promoted their projects through temporary stalls earlier.

“The kiosks have product panels, information booklets, audio-visual presentations and customer-service personnel,” said Abhijit Das, the joint managing director of Lemongrass Advisors, which has put up the kiosks.

One can also register a property for sale or lease at the kiosks, informed a city-based real estate agent.

Credai, the umbrella body of realtors in the country, which is pressuring selling agents for “greater clarity” and “better customer service”, feels this marketing module can go a long way in making property purchase a hassle-free experience.

“People usually visit malls with family or friends. Realty kiosks at malls can provide useful information on various kinds of property, which could often lead to conversion as the entire family can be involved in the decision,” said Santosh Rungta, the national president of Credai.

Customers are happy with the arrangement too. Ashish Gupta, a senior executive with ITC in Chennai, booked a flat during a recent visit to Mani Square with his family.

“We had been house-hunting in Rajarhat, but it wasn’t on our shopping list that day! But we ended up picking out an apartment in the upcoming Tata Housing project,” Gupta told Metro.

“The concept of chic kiosks like the one near Pizza Hut at City Centre is really appealing, since there’s a refined lifestyle element attached to it,” said techie Akash Juneja.

Ashray, a real estate marketing agency, had set up a one-stop property shop in Homeland mall on Chowringhee a few years back. But experts feel a realty kiosk works better in high-footfall shopping malls.