User Patterns on a Property Portal – What Indian Consumers Like & What They Look For

This article has been updated

Indian users are logging on to websites for their property needs and there are a growing number of online portals offering Property solutions. Solutions may vary from finding a house to rent / sell / buy to offering advice on where to invest money in property.

However, Indian mindsets are still offline and look at online portals in the same way as they interact with offline property dealers (that’s what they are called in India!). Since the number of portals has increased and so has the competition amongst them, it’s important to differentiate yourself from the others. The one way to do that is by giving premium User Experience that leaves the user delighted and satisfied.  While websites are engaging a heavy mass of audience, it is essential to pay attention to their usability and the experience these websites provide. Good visual design and a delightful UX is what users would adore and ideally crave for.

Here are some ways in which property portals can immensely improve User Experience (holds true especially for the Indian Customers):

  1. Aspiration and Yearning to Stay in Leisure – Property purchase is emotional for consumers. In India, property is viewed as sacred and Vastu, havanas etc play a major role when buying property. It’s not disposable and is usually bought after saving a lot of hard earned money. People look up to property seeking as a very significant activity and take it very seriously.

    Does your web portal instigate that desire among the audience to search property on your portal? Does it trigger the emotional quotient and motivate users to stick to your website to find a house of his dreams?

  2. Use of Multimedia – We like to buy property after looking at all aspects of the property which include infrastructure, facilities, locality etc. People are looking at sites that ease their search by providing them a real time experience. When they go through the site, it’s great to provide them a view which they expect while actually visiting these properties.

    It is vital to use multimedia in a way that informs and educates users visually about the property and its surroundings. Have you ensured that these media play well in their mobile phone as well? They may visit property and later share pictures and videos on mobile phone with their family members.

  3. Post Requirements – Indians may not like to endlessly browse and may want someone to get in touch with them to fulfill their requirements. Does your property portal have only one way where the user can look for property or does it allow them to leave their requirements and let someone get in touch with them? When you ask them to leave their requirement, it is crucial to keep a check whether you are asking for too much information or just the basics. Asking users for more information as they come again on your site will engage them and will help in creating a fulfilling relation with the portal.

    The portal has to serve the needs of dealers, property buyers as well as sellers and so it has to be ensured that everyone can post their requirement on the website. It is of mutual benefit to the sellers as well as the seekers; the sellers can view the requirements and reach the prospects easily, while the buyers’ search becomes easier as the people try to get in touch with them.

  4. Offers – In India, consumers are more often than not offer grabbers and love it when they can purchase online at a price lower than offline price. To lure the audience portals should take this lead and give them offers that run exclusively on that portal.Running exclusive property bazaars (Indian term for local market) where people come together to buy property at a discounted price from a range of choices is one way.
  5. Social Experience – Buying property in India is a social experience. Family is consulted, friends are asked, neighbors are told and everyone is an advisor. It’s thus imperative to make your property portal socially active. User should be able to share property on Social Media websites; they should be able to take an online advice on property from friends. Also, it would be great to see friends and family already residing in that locality and to share their experience. That is how people build an emotional rapport with the site, as they find people who they recognize on the site, experiences and stories being told by people, as they communicate with their social network through the site. Providing this social engagement on the site helps a great deal in gaining trust and credibility from users.
  6. Lead Generation pop ups – However ugly these pop ups may be, analytics data shows that users do fill them. So, certainly in Indian markets it cannot be avoided, but the task is to find a way such that the experience is improved. Pop ups are a turn off for the consumers and most of us hate to see them on any site, for the simple reason that they disrupt the flow of mind. The challenge is to have these forms grab the visitors’ attention on the site and not annoy the users. Lead generation forms should always mandatorily come with information on why it’s important to provide this information and how it could benefit the user. Only then will the users be prompted and motivated to fill it up. It should explain (preferably pictorially) on the after effects of filling the form.

It is vital that the property portals gear up to provide an overwhelming User Experience through web. With customer experiences get better day by day and everyone being in a constant effort to take the best care of their customers, these ways can help in pleasing the today’s well treated consumers.

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