The concept of ‘by-invitation projects’ is not new to the Mumbai real estate market. These projects are designed and marketed entirely for a select set of customers, and they offer exclusivity and a complete lifestyle experience.
Anand Narayanan, National Director – Residential Agency, Knight Frank India says, “Byinvitation projects largely relate to exclusivity and premium products. These units are generally smaller in number and the price range is very high.” He also points out that real estate, being a “high involvement product”, needs to be packaged properly. Customers for a by-invitation project are selected after a great deal of research. “These are the people who want to make a statement,” Mr Narayanan explains.
Sunteck Realty has their project, Signature Island, in the heart of Bandra-Kurla Complex. Kamal Khetan, CMD, Sunteck Realty says, “Reputed firms like the architects (Talati & Panthaky) and structural engineers (Sterling Engineering Consultancy Services) have been associated with the project. Each unit of the project is a duplex with a provision for a separate elevator. The project is endowed with an indoor temperature control swimming pool, spa, concierge service and audio-visual rooms for adept business communication.”
Mr Khetan adds, “The basic concept of ‘By-Invitation only’ emanates from the branding concept where a corporate wishes to market its product to a certain customer profile. In the case of real estate, it is generally related to some extra-ordinary or super-luxury offering to a select group of prospective buyers on the basis of their social status and their taste for luxury and décor, among other things. The buyers are like-minded people who prefer staying in a well maintained building. The basis for offering this kind of product generally depends on the location of the project and its ticket-size.”
Mr Khetan also points out that there is a demand for such projects among the High Net Worth (HNI) and Ultra HNI segment. “This target audience typically includes corporates such as CEOs, promoters, country heads and others aligning in the same profile,” he adds.
Lodha Group offers signature residences at Lodha Fiorenza, designed by the iconic designer, Jade Jagger. Arun Anand, General Manager, Marketing, Lodha Group says, “These are limited edition residences and only for those customers who can well appreciate the design sensibilities of Jade. These are residences that come with the finest interiors and furnishing. We have a wide range of offerings – from two-bed residences to five-bed duplexes.”
Mr Anand adds: “In a By-Invitation Project, the developer would invite only a set of potential customers who satisfy certain criteria
laid out by the developer. It is definitely not about who has the money. It is about defining some “unifying” theme that unites all the buyers of the project. Our target group is those who are well read, well travelled and who are exposed to the finer nuances of what life has to offer. We look for people who have wide exposure and who can appreciate the designer sensibilities and of course the premium attached to it.”
Marketing strategies for such projects are different from the usual. Mr Narayanan says, “The invite is special as it is hand-delivered personally from the developer or the architect after selecting the niche client carefully. The website of the project is protected by email and password and not everyone can access it.”
Sunteck’s Kamal Khetan agrees. “As it is for a niche audience, mass advertising doesn’t serve our purpose of marketing. We engage in direct marketing with the likes of fund managers, portfolio managers and investment banking firms. This is purely based on research and we don’t engage in any kind of outdoor marketing.”
Apart from the luxury quotient, the surroundings are also taken into consideration as the select audience needs that kind of comfort and private space. Mr Narayanan shares that the products have the best neighbourhood and high quality standards. Avers Mr Khetan, “It helps to bring in parity in terms of the profile of the customer and at the same time create a luxury quotient for its customers that give them a sense of pride to own such a property.”
If done carefully, this is a win-win situation for both the developer and the occupants as the developer can command a premium and the customer can choose his neighbours and surroundings in an informed manner.
Source – TOI