For most of us, our home is the biggest property investment we make in our lives. Yet while taking such an important decision, we have to rely on the suggestions given by our family members and friends to find out about the quality of construction and reliability of the builder. This not only limits our choice to a few projects but also makes us uncomfortable about making such a big decision.
“Three years back, I relocated from US. First thing I had on my mind was to buy a house. However, only listing sites and marketing sites existed and no independent and objective advice was available. I was aghast by how all Indians were putting their entire life’s savings in property based on leap of faith assumptions and blind trust in those who were ready to cheat them. So I decided to start Properji with the objective of providing buyers with an unbiased and independent property related advice so that they can make an informed decision before buying a property .”
says Priya Maheshwari, founder of Properji. Priya started Properji in August 2013 with her cofounders. Prior to Properji, Priya has 9 years of experience working in US and India in the field of International Business , Research and Management Consultancy. She holds a Masters of Environmental Studies with concentration in policy and economics from University of Pennsylvania and undergraduate in Business and Computer Management from India.
Properji is trying to bring trust, transparency and professionalism in real estate market. They are the only technology driven pro-buyer (B2C) research analytics platform for home buying. Their online research dashboard provides buyers with unbiased independent research analytics so that the buyer can make informed decisions. The company today has close to 5,000 registered users, a team size of 10 employees and is currently present in Bangalore. The company plans to expand to Mumbai and Delhi another 1-2 months.
Through Properji, Priya has been working very closely with customers to create a strong product right from the start. The company thrives on research and customer feedback to build a strong commercially viable product.
“We launched this product after we tested customer sentiments in the market and whether there is willingness to pay. This product was launched this July and so far we have decent number of paid customer. We do take customer feedback very seriously and our focus has been how we can improve our product and our research.”
says Priya. The company is currently looking for corporate tie-ups as they feel that their product is more suited to corporates. The company is also currently looking for funding to expand their operations.
So what does a Women Entrepreneur like Priya working in the male dominated industry of startups and real estate think about the startup environment for women in our country ?
“The environment is improving. It is encouraging to see that a lot of first generation women entrepreneurs these days. But still in my opinion the gap exist, I feel women are less risk taking than men. I get very few jobs applications from women than men. Also, one area where I feel there exist lot of gender gap is investor community. I have spoken to so many investors so far and only two were woman. Also, there is need for strong women mentorship community.”
says Priya. So what advice does Priya have for other women entrepreneurs out there trying to start off on their own ?
“In startup everyday is a challenge in itself and very different, some are really good days and some are really bad days just opposite of corporate life where everything is so structured. I have done everything in my company – hiring, sales, business development, investor discussion, product discovery, digital marketing, payroll, accounts, end to end operation etc. and learned a lot. I think running my own company is the biggest gift and learning I have given myself. So, if you get an opportunity, please take that first step and things will fall in place. Don’t fear about failure of a startup, think on the positive side about the opportunity, learning’s and doors it will open.“