Meet the SHEROES - Priya Maheshwari
In India, it is normal to believe that investing in property or gold provide the greatest security for the future. This advice was handed down generation after generation and it does have some element of truth in it.
Priya Maheshwari returned from the US a couple of years ago and observed that there was a widening lacuna in the real estate market. She talks to us about her venture Properji and how she wants to fill the void in the industry.
How did the idea / inspiration of Properji come about?
Three years ago, I relocated from the US. First thing, on my mind was to buy a house. However, there were only listing sites and marketing sites and no independent or objective oriented advice site. I was aghast by how all Indians were putting their entire life’s savings in property based on leap of faith assumptions and blind trust in those who were ready to cheat them. So, I started Properji in August 2013 with the objective of providing buyers unbiased independent advice so that they can make an informed decision.
What do you hope to achieve with this service in the long term?
I would like Properji to achieve trust, transparency and total professionalism in the real estate sector in the long term. I would like to make a difference in the lives of customers by helping them make informed decisions with regards to property.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this line of work?
In real estate, there are still very few women. It was intimidating in the beginning for me as well and even today sometimes I am the only woman in the room full of men. But I strive to make my startup successful and solving real issues of my customers keeps me going. The journey of my startup so far has been full of excitement and learning. Ours is a unique product which is first of its kind in India so there is still a lot to achieve and learn. We launched this product which provides micro level in-depth research on properties, after we tested customer sentiments in the market and their willingness to pay. We do take customer feedback very seriously. We constantly try to improve our service strategy. The biggest challenge for us right now is to expand our reach by spending minimal in marketing and we are working on that.
When it comes to property deals, what are the top 3 tips to keep in mind?
While buying a property:
1. Price Point Analysis i.e. price comparison with other properties in surrounding area
2. Appreciation analysis: Understand what would be appreciation of that property, what has been price trend for the property, what is the rental income and market liquidity of that property
3. Location analysis: Gather information on planned infrastructural development, what has been locality price trends and inventory analysis of the project
4. Builder analysis: Do due diligence of builder's past performance, timely delivery, quality aspect and financial stability
5. Understand Watchouts: Understand what could be risk of that property from locality, builder, legal, financial and other aspects.
What words of advice would you give other aspiring women entrepreneurs?
I always believed in three mantras - hard work, determination and positive attitude. With these, you can make your life meaningful and can do whatever you want to do in life. For me life has never been a straight curve but I was always open to exploring new things and learning from it. That is what I would like to tell other women entrepreneurs or young women - Be Open and Have a Positive Attitude in Life.
Life of a woman is a combination of so many roles. Each roles keeps on becoming demanding and stressful as you grow older both on the professional and on the personal side. Having a positive attitude of "I can make it work" and even if something does not work (not every startup is a success), look on the positive side that you took an extra step to make it happen and feel proud of yourself.