Blame it on Dot Coms: Valuation rises with stay on site and not content

smartcitiesBy Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi , LLB, PhD

A valuer of website gave a hypothetical theorem as to how real estate listing dot comes are valued. It is not generic traffic or organic traffic but sheer time spend by visitor and stay on for how much seconds. It is not the mater of fact that how much leads is generated or how much clicks transferred to advertiser’s link but Bounce Rates, Daily Preview of Pages and Daily average of time spent on site.

Surprisingly, the valuer depend on the data which is generated by traffic analyser sites like Alexa which also offers paid modules to sites for generating traffic and ranking them accordingly. Advertisers on these sites are shown Alexa data and comparison analysis to their advantages which is already sponsored by the site.

Looking at the content, the listing sites are detoriating with classified and listing content and heavily depended on other sources like newspaper classified. Call centres are generating listing through brokers by giving them packages on yearly basis. They also generate leads.

Market capitalisation of 99acres for 2014-15 was recorded at 120 cr while new entrant Housing managed to figure out at 40 cr. Now look at the table where and how these sites stand as of Dec 2015. Data taken from Alexa for comparison.

Dot Com Rank Bounce rate Daily Preview Time Spent
Housing 484 21.50% 6.91 7.32
99acres 146 31% 5.32 7.26
Commonfloor 224 27% 6.55 13.34
Magicbricks 170 38.3 4.09 5.44

The valuation of Dot Coms and presence in the international market seems to be inflated. If millions of people visiting your site and property being very specialized subject, only those who are interested will visit and search your site, what is the conversion ratio? The valuation should be on conversion of visitors into customers. Otherwise what difference it makes when millions of visitors visits and be on your site for whole day and do not buy or inquire?

The latest being quickerhomes emphasizing on ease of inspection to reduce time spent on physical searching site with the help of technology but in the past, brokers were having issues that when they give address of their deals for photograph purposes, the deals are stolen. Real estate is such a commodity that nothing can replace physical inspection. Unless you feel the property and its attributes it is risky to purchase it virtually under Indian legal frame work.

After Housing Regulatory Authority website start statutory listing of projects under licence, visitors will certainly wold like to visit government website rather than listing website for authentic and accurate information. Brokers wants privacy hence may not give accurate info on listing site. Confederation of Real Estate Brokers’ Association of India is developing a huge listing site for its members hence content on listing site will soon be dummy or not accurate.

The valuation is bubble, feels peers in capital markets. Some have said on condition of anonymity that these are money laundering cases and will not stand for long.

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