3 January, 2024
Unlock the doors to real estate success
Read time: 5 minutes

In today's edition:

  • In the news: Rewind, Celeb deals, Sleep and chew
  • My thoughts on: ‘Un’Real Reel
  • Q&A: Structural Insulated Panels

Handpicked stories from my weekly digest

Here are the 5 stories that you need to be aware of from this past week:

  • Rewind: Institutional investments in Indian real estate hit $5.4 billion in 2023, a 10% year-on-year rise, with the office sector leading and a significant increase in industrial and warehousing. Foreign investments, especially from Canada and Singapore, remain dominant, while domestic capital grew substantially. Investments in alternatives surged in Q4, reflecting the sector's evolving dynamics and investor interest. Read more
  • Mini REITs: India has lowered the investment threshold for 'mini' REITs to ₹10 lakh, aiming to make real estate investments more accessible and diversify the investor base. This regulatory change is set to democratise the property market and potentially boost investor participation. Read more
  • Celeb deals: Mumbai's luxury real estate market saw significant activity from Bollywood stars in 2023, with transactions involving commercial and residential properties. Notable figures like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Suhana Khan, Alia Bhatt, and others made headlines for their high-value deals, showcasing the continued vibrancy and allure of Mumbai's luxury property segment. Read more
  • Challenging economy: While India's economy is thriving with visible infrastructure investments and strong GDP growth, private sector investment lags, posing potential future challenges. The government's aim for rapid development necessitates sustained, higher growth rates, which current trends might not support. Read more
  • Sleep and chew: In the Arctic, reindeer have adapted to their extreme environment remarkably. They simultaneously sleep and chew cud, a behaviour recently uncovered by researchers. This dual-action ability allows them to conserve energy and stay vigilant in the harsh Arctic conditions, illustrating the fascinating ways in which animals evolve to thrive in challenging environments. Read more

Real estate v/s Reel estate


Image credits: Unsplash

My doctor hates it when people ask him if he watches Grey's Anatomy. He says it has given people the wrong idea of what goes behind the scenes in his profession and honestly, I relate to him. Be it “Love it or List it,” “Fixer Upper,” “House Hunters,” “Property Brothers", "Suits", or even the recent TVF series "Sapne Vs Everyone", popular media tends to romanticise (or prejudice) professions. Although I am not a very dedicated viewer of most of these shows because I live them every day, here's my take on what I make of them:

Power Plays: Suave, charismatic characters in suits navigate complex deals with persuasions and negotiations. Shows like ‘Suits’ have shown real estate deals with chicanery, drama (outside and inside courtrooms), and often outrageously criminal moves. In reality, real estate negotiations require finesse, knowledge, and a flair for dealing with people – skills that extend beyond the drama portrayed on screen. However, watching Harvey close deals is a guilty pleasure of mine as well ;)

Cuts & Commissions: ‘Selling Sunset’ and other shows will have you believe of realtors as commission cheque squabbling soulless people who would sell you to yourself if that meant more pay for them. I assure you, they are not like that. Real estate agents aren’t always in each other’s business and the drama over commission checks and stolen listings is unrealistic. Instead, your real estate agent is focused on finding your future home within your budget.

The Crimelord: Crime sells - in cinema. What does not sell, in real life, is dubious properties. If you are thinking of getting into the industry to become rich overnight by selling dubious deeds, the only place you’re reaching overnight is in police custody. India, and most of the world, has strict customer protection laws with strong enforcement agencies and any respectable realtor worth their salt scrutinises on behalf of their clients. While the industry does give you the scope of riches, it only comes with dedication and helping homebuyers with genuineness.

Quick Lessons: Popular media has established a lot of real estate tropes. Take them as seriously as the first quoted price:

  • Unscripted is not unorganised: Most of the “reality drama” you see is planned only after deals take place, and sometimes deals shown successfully on TV fall apart later on. The cycle from house appearances to shutting requires somewhere around 22 minutes on TV, in actuality, it generally takes months. TV can afford to leave out the paperwork, we can’t!
  • Huge commissions: It’s easy to run numbers and fantasise about the commission that onscreen realtors make from their home sales. In reality, the commission figure is split amongst multiple people, including the listing agent and the brokerage firm with agents also having to make several expenditures out of their own pocket. Multiple deals have to accrue over time to make for a significant income.
  • Cutthroat drama: While realtors do live a more high-speed life than other professions while always ‘being on the call’ they do have lives outside “toxic” workplace environments. Being a realtor can be a fulfilling life for those with the right skillsets, and those willing to develop it over time.

The bottom line is that real estate shows are inexpensive to produce and make for good entertainment. They are not “real” and are not even an accurate reflection of the home-buying process. While popular media provides entertaining glimpses into the world of real estate, it's essential to approach these portrayals with a discerning eye. The dynamism, power plays, eccentricities, struggles, and local nuances depicted on screen resonate with real-world scenarios to varying degrees but to make career choices or your homebuying decisions- do your own research!


What are the benefits of using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) in construction?
- Keerthana

Hi Keerthana,

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are pretty nifty in construction. They are champions of energy efficiency. Imagine a sandwich-like structure with a foam core snugly nestled between two panels, typically made of oriented strand board (OSB). This design creates a fantastic thermal barrier, keeping your indoor climate cosy and consistent. In practical terms, that translates to lower energy bills and a comfortable atmosphere year-round.

Another cool thing about SIPs is that they speed up construction. They come pre-made from the factory, so it's like putting together a giant puzzle on-site. This can save a lot of time and labour, which is great when you're working on a project with a tight schedule. Just remember, while SIPs have a lot of pros, proper design and installation are key to unlocking their full potential.

Have a question? Reply to this email - if it's relevant to the broader Open House community, I'll feature it here!



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Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Please conduct your own due diligence prior to making any decisions.

By Ashwinder R. Singh
Step up your real estate game with exclusive access to tribal knowledge accumulated over decades.
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