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‘Online property trading possible in Pakistan’

KARACHI: With the increasing use of Internet for various purposes with arrival of 3G technology in the country, there is a huge opportunity for businesses to go online to connect with customers of the targeted market not only at local but at international level. But it depends how much a business could provide customers a friendly platform that caters their demands and needs of commodities, services and immovable properties like real estate.
The classified website of properties provides a window of information to users about the market trend. It also connects buyers from sellers and vice versa saving time and cost while providing insight of investments at the finger tips.   
Yes with the rising internet usage, more and more businesses are shifting online. Down the road, website portals/mobile apps will be the first choice for consumers, searching for properties as it provides convenient searching from the comfort of your home and allows you to easily evaluate the market before going out in the market, said Saad Arshad, Lamudi.pk Country Director.
I see a bright future for online business model as hundreds of thousands real estate agencies have come on board with different classified websites and Lamudi.pk as well showing the improving level of confidence of realtors towards online websites. 
But these websites do not work on transactional model. These are classified portals where real estate agents are connected with potential buyers. So, it generates quality leads for agents trying connecting them with the end users. This model gives end user a chance to inspect the properties, negotiate over prices and finalize their purchase.
The revenue generation model of the property webportals is simple but successful due to frequent visits of the buyers on the websites and availability of space for advertisers Google Adsense, local realtors, builders and property traders. 
Normally, these websites do charge the real estate agencies and developers for posting their ads. Then an after-sales team collects the listings and pictures of the properties and these materials are sent to the content team who write their descriptions and upload them along with the pictures on the website. 
Property trading websites such as Lamudi adopts aggressive marketing strategy. It has a dedicated online marketing team which ensure to fully market these properties via all channels, be it social media, Google ads, website banners etc. In addition, it also has an  offline marketing team and PR to create awareness about our brand and market it via the traditional channels, Arshad said.
We started off with the 3 major cities of Pakistan: Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi and fully exhausted these by bringing in listings from all over the city. After that we expanded to Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi with more to follow soon, he added.
In mature economies, this transition is complete. Since, we are a developing economy, moving at a faster pace to catch up with the rest of the world, I think 5-6 years will be needed for such transformation.
With 30 million internet users, 15 million smart phone users, introduction of 3G & 4G internet services, e-commerce businesses are on the rise. Pakistan’s real estate market has a huge potential and seeing such mushroom growth is an eventuality. But in long run when market consolidates few players with proper financial backing and professional expertise would sustain. In our case, we have a strong backing from Rocket Internet which has been building online ventures since a long time. 
Currently, Pakistan is going through a real estate boom with foreign direct investment flowing in, rupee stabilization and new housing societies springing up which is attracting buyers and investors. 
With online media, our supplier properties get a chance to get exposure not only from Pakistan but also from international buyers and this adds a huge value for whosoever planning to post ads via us, Lamudi.pk country chief said.

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