NRIs, Are You Relying Too Much on Internet for Home Buying?

Rohit Jain, 35, is an NRI working with a multi-national oil & gas company in France. He was scouting for property in India. Originally from Jaipur, Rohit wanted to buy a house in Vadodara, as most of the companies of the sector he belonged were headquartered there. It was logistically not possible for him to visit the city and look for properties matching his criteria, in person. So, he chose to go online. He looked up for all the properties on sale on India’s leading real estate property sites and finally zeroed in on a duplex in Vadodara.

“I first registered my interest on few of the top home buying sites in India. Then, after researching thoroughly on the internet and making numerous phone calls to developers, property consultants and advisors, and work associates staying in Vadodara, I shortlisted around 7 to 8 properties. I did everything sitting either in my office or at my apartment. It took me two months to finalize a property and make an online transaction,” says Rohit. Didn’t he need an offline help? “I got my father flown in from Jaipur to Vadodara. He oversaw the entire procedure and acted as my agent in completing the sale agreement and other legalities.”

There are many people like Rohit living abroad and looking for properties in India. They don’t have the time or scope for property search. They rely heavily on the internet for home buying. But then some obvious questions arise- to what extent can they or rather, should they rely on online portals for buying a property? By depending too much on online search, do they not run a risk of being let down by the seller/ builder/ developer in the long run? How can they be 100 percent sure about the ‘quality’ of the house they are buying without having someone to see it for them?

There are many more such questions that revolve around online property search and buying and even more number of risks involved in the process. If you are standing with one foot already inside the prospective homebuyer’s court then do think about these questions. After all, buying a property isn’t like buying apparel. Without a proper offline guidance and home inspection, you shouldn’t just go click a link and invest your money in it. There are offline solutions like NRI property management services that take things forward from an online selection of a property. Educate yourself about them and make your investment truly worthwhile.

Online home buying in India: The trend and its advantages

The usage of digitally driven media in home buying has become a huge trend1 over the last decade. Home buyers are going online every now and then to gather information about their biggest purchase. They’re watching ‘How to’ videos on YouTube, reading online reviews on various sites, and looking up specific real estate sites on the search engines till they’re being able to find their dream homes. The trend has also caught up with the NRIs interested in investing in India’s real estate property market.

Statistics show that they constitute a big percentage of online visitors regularly checking the sites like,,, And most of these leads do seem to get converted.

According to Business Today, “There has been a sizeable jump in the number of NRI deals in the Indian property market2 in the recent past. In the second half of 2018, Square Yards witnessed over 20 percent growth in NRI transactions as compared to the first half of the year. The total number of deals in 2018 was itself higher by 30 percent over the previous year.”

What are the advantages of Online Property search?

Convenience is the father of all technology innovations, and internet-based property buying3, selling is no exception. Other advantages of the process are:

  • Map-based search: Online searches offer map-based views of the property to help customers understand the physical and social infrastructure. This map-based search feature also gives the customers an idea of the amenities available in the property.
  • Time and cost saving: Without wasting time or moving anywhere, one can view n-number of properties on a single platform. Just a few clicks and the best of deals are at your fingertips. The money spent on data is also minimal.
  • Offers comparisons: As a single search generates plenty of results at a time, the prospective buyer can compare them based on various parameters. They can also cross-check by clicking each link separately if needed.
  • Virtual tour and sky view: These two advantages are mostly for the NRIs or those who can’t be physically present to see the property. The virtual tour offers views from different angles of the property at different times of the day using the latest visualization software. The sky view, on the other hand, offers aerial views of the property showing the neighborhood.
  • Augmented Reality: Due to augmented reality, buyers can ‘experience’ the properties. All they need to do is point their mobile cursor on a particular real estate advertisement and the 360-degree view of the property comes to life.

Risks and Disadvantages of online property search

A house being a high-value consumer product, online buying comes with multiple risks.

  • You don’t get exact details of the unit and tower.
  • Credibility of the builder/ developer/ seller cannot be verified easily.
  • Chances of being misguided or cheated by the channel partners (builder/ developer, property advisor, local agent) are present.
  • You have no idea of the existence of the amenities that are being promised unless verified by a trusted local agent.
  • Portals do not take responsibility for the third-party interest and liabilities.
  • Booking amount is non-refundable in many cases.
  • Inadequate information available on home loan and project approvals/ project development status.

Most importantly, you do not get to know if there is any construction/ quality issues in the building or not. The online portals do not provide any professional home inspection report or certificate based on which you can take your buying decision. It is only after you decide to move in or give the house on rent that you come to face the discrepancies. Then you have to bear the extra cost to get those problems fixed to make the house suitable for safe & happy living.

So, more than just being a risky process, online home buying is an incomplete process, for it ends with short-listing a property. An offline liaison has to then take over to complete home inspection and other property handover formalities.

Can ‘online’ and ‘offline’ tie the knot?

According to Mr. Nikhil Hawelia, Managing Director of Hawelia Group, “For NRI buyers, online leads will get translated into sales, only if there are friends, family or peer groups, to endorse the project and the developer. Online advertising or online reputation management is not enough to freeze the deal. Once they finalize the deal, they also need a local agent for hand-holding.” Mr. Hawelia also included that online exposure is useful only for communicating and connecting with the NRIs but cannot fully suffice the home buying requirements of an NRI.

Now, who these local endorsers are likely to be? Gone are the days when a local channel partner or a friend or relative would come in helpful if you are an NRI. Logistics no longer favour that choice. They can still help you by collecting information about the developer and its track record but only a professional assistant can actually guide you through the home buying process. A professional property manager can make you understand the difference between how the property looks online and in what condition it actually is.

For a better and authentic home buying journey of an NRI or cross city community individual, online media and offline services must tie the knot.

What all property managers do for remotely based home buyers?

There are new-age companies that offer NRI and CCCs with comprehensive property management services. These services cover:

For the ongoing construction supervision

  • Periodic visits to your property and regular reports via email
  • Supplementary videos/ photos (live on site pictures) are shared
  • Coordination with the developer/ seller for immediate rectifications
  • Periodical MIS/ updates

For ready-to-move-in properties

  • Pre hand-over inspection
  • Coordination with the seller/developer for rectification
  • Post rectification verification
  • Periodical MIS/updates

Legal assistance and paperwork

  • Sales deed documentation
  • Suggesting/ arranging property finance
  • Complete property handover process including collection of keys, access cards, and documents

These business entities also offer support services by trusted partners and vendors like reputed interior designers, tiling experts and plumbers.

Thousands of miles away from your motherland you can only look for options to find the best home for yourself there. Internet is surely the most important medium today to connect with developers and property owners. You have to keep faith on it for faster communication. But at the same time, you must also take the help of the local property managers. Only a logical blend of online and offline dynamism can make your home buying process free of tension and your buy worth its value.

NRIs: Are You Losing Sleep over Your Home Back in India?

“A home is where the heart is,” goes the famous saying. If you are an expat then you are probably living with two hearts for one heart lies where you are based presently with your family and the other one is at a place which is thousands of miles away. It is perhaps the place where you were born and spent your precious growing-up years. For the NRIs, ‘the place’ is India. If you still have a home here, then in most likelihood, you must have arranged for a supervising system too to for it. But does that make you feel totally relaxed? If it isn’t your parents who are shouldering the duty of property care then who are you relying on? Is your property in the right hands? Let us find out the answers and try to see if NRI property care and management services ( can be the right antidote for your sleeplessness.

How does it feel to be a remote landlord?

‘Challenging’ is the word, for sure! Let’s face it, a home- occupied or vacant but certainly not lived by the owner, is a constant source of tension. As an NRI, you are always struggling to find out the next best solution to ensure its proper care and safety. There are problems galore to handle and none of them can be simply done away in a single swipe of a magic wand.

Professional end-to-end property care and management services have come up as a good solution to these problems. The companies providing such services make sure that the homeowners sitting at remote locations only have to check their inboxes and bank accounts to monitor their property managers’ reports and rental incomes respectively. The need to regularly check on their property is no longer necessary.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, ‘’Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.” Keeping this in mind, NRIs are now seeking the services of professional home care management companies.

But what are the issues that have been bothering you, the NRIs, about your homes in India so far? What is it that led you to consider NRI property care and management services as a feasible solution to deal with the problems? Here’s an overview:

Property management issues related to vacant homes

Vacant properties bear the brunt of neglect and often fall into despair, reducing the chances of someone actually buying or renting it. No matter how sincerely you try to take care of it by deploying a friend or an associate, the lack of professionalism in property care turns your efforts into sheer waste. Then it is again like being back to square one. You lose sleep over your property planning your fastest possible visit to India in the next few months to fix things to the best of your capacity. Following are a few common problems that can occur in an unoccupied house:

  • Aesthetics gone for a toss: Overgrown shrubs in un-mowed lawns, shabby exterior paint with watermarks and moss growing on them, clear signs of damp on the interior walls, popping paint, leaky ceilings, broken window and door parts, pest nests, blocked gutters, and dust all over will rob the property of its appeal. You may have to hire many people to clear the mess and make the place habitable once again.
  • Theft and vandalism: There can be incidents of break-ins. Thieves may lift valuable items from your home and vandalise the property.
  • Threats of encroachment: Unscrupulous developers, local clubs, and other miscreants tend to eye vacant properties. After observing for long that no one is keeping a proper watch on it they may try to encroach forcefully.
  • Plumbing disasters and other accidents: Due to lack of regular maintenance, the pipes may get damaged. Or a fault in the electrical wiring system may lead to short circuit and fire accidents.

Taking the necessary steps to combat these problems is essential. Otherwise, your house gradually loses its resale value. Employing a broker or asking a close relative or a friend to do that hardly helps you in this case.

Property management issues related to homes given on rent

We all know that renting out a property is a smart idea. It not only saves the property from damage and miscreants but also helps the owner to monetize it. But even renting out does not promise you complete peace of mind. There can be problems like:

  • Tenants not abiding by the rent payment cycle
  • Breaking of rules and common policies
  • Non-payment of common household bills
  • Damage to the property
  • Disputes with neighbours
  • Illegal claiming of ownership by the occupant

Besides, there are duties like rental agreement ( renewal. You either have to do it yourself after every 11 months or hire a company to that for you. Vacating the tenants after their tenure is over, also sometimes turns out to be a problematic affair. If you are not present in person to handle this situation then it can seriously hamper your peace of mind.

A complete set of NRI/ CCC property care & management services is the way forward

An offering gains a foothold in the market only when there is a latent demand for it- this is a proven fact. The way the property care &management services for NRIs and CCCs (Cross city communities) ( are becoming popular it is clear that people have been waiting for something like this. As said earlier, a home is the most valuable of all investments. Any solution that ensures its proper management and care is sure to find acceptance on a large scale.

360-degree Benefits of Choosing NRI/CCC Property Care Management Services

Property inspection at regular intervals
  • Interior: Walls, ceilings, roof, floor, doors & windows, woodwork
  • Plumbing, electrical, appliances etc.
  • Exterior: Walkways, driveways, etc.
Safeguarding of the property from encroachers
  • Monitoring
  • Erecting boundary if required
  • Handling legal issues
Time-to-time reporting
  • Findings along with scanned images
  • Corrective advice
  • Video clippings
  • Virtual tours
  • Reference of the associated third party service providers
Tenant Management
  • Finding new tenants
  • Rent collection & depositing
  • On-spot complaint redressal
  • Liaising with the landlord
Assistance in legal work & related documentation
  • Rent agreement documentation & renewal

Property care services for vacant homes

As part of the complete property care and management service for NRIs and CCCs, reputable home inspection companies conduct a thorough inspection of a property from time to time. With the help of advanced scanning devices, their team of professionals scan each and every part of the building or an apartment and come up with detailed reports showing areas of damp, leakage/seepage, or electrical wiring faults, etc. They send periodic reports to the landlord via email along with relevant images and/or video clippings. Besides, they also arrange for remedial plumbing, waterproofing, repainting and other repair jobs- everything keeping the landlord in loop.

Safeguarding the property from any kind of miscreant and encroachment are also included in their service.

Property care services for homes given on rent

From finding you the right tenant and helping you with the rent agreement documentation to collecting timely rent on your behalf and resolving everyday tenancy issues- property care companies do everything for NRI and CCC homeowners. Yes, it’s true that you have to shell out a percentage of your rental income to pay your property managers but the benefits that you get from the service more than balance out that cost.

Managed properties always stand a better chance to attract ‘good’ tenants. So, instead of leaving a property vacant, you must consider renting it out while assigning the duty of managing the property and the tenants to a professional home care company at the same time.

Need help to sell your old property? Trust on your property manager.

At a certain point in your career, you may decide never to return to India or settle in a different city other than your hometown after returning. Then, you have to look for an agent to sell off your old property. However, if you already have a dedicated property care manager you don’t have to look further. You just need to communicate to him your decision to sell your house and other specification about the prospective buyer, if any, and he and his team takes care of the rest of the things. Right from giving an add on ‘NRI Property Sale’ ( in newspapers to assisting you in preparing the sale deed, the company does everything for you making the process absolutely hassle-free. It even conducts a pre-handover home inspection ( so that you can do the necessary renovation and quote a better price for the property.

Donning the hat of an NRI homeowner may sound ‘elitist’ but managing the property remotely can be a real hard task. At times, it can even give you sleepless nights. So, why bother when you have the right solution at your disposal?

Property care services to find more takers among NRIs & CCCs

The process of investing in real estate may start as a long-term, post-retirement plan among NRIs and CCCs but that doesn’t mean it has to lie idle until then. With a professional property management service under contract, they can turn their well-managed, vacant property into a useful source of income. This and other benefits discussed above are sure to make hiring a complete property care service provider the order of the day among NRIs and CCCs.

For NRI’s especially, the most magical thing about their home in India is that it feels good to leave but it feels even better to come back, whether on holidays or after retirement. At the end of your working career or when you are coming home for a visit, the last thing you would want is being greeted with a headache called a poorly managed home. So, start taking the matter of property care seriously from now so that when you come back permanently, it is the same haven of love and security for you as you left it like many years ago.

5 Reasons: An NRI must Opt for a 360-degree Property Care Service

NRI investment in India’s real estate property market has risen over the last three years. Post implementation of the Real Estate Act (RERA) in 2016, things are finally looking up. Now, there is regained price stability in the residential property market. Further, backed by lucrative rentals and somewhat flexible lending policies, investments are again back on the track. However, if you already own a property in India, you would know that managing the property while living in a different part of the world / city is not an easy task!

Until recently, NRI homeowners would entrust the duty of managing their properties in India with traditional brokers. The brokers with little knowledge about homecare would only repair or repaint a house when the homeowners’ return date was near. They never bothered to look beyond the superficial damages of the house. As a result, the condition of the property would deteriorate forcing homeowners to make a hurried comeback to sell it off. Mounting legal issues related to tenancy and other outside factors would also wait for them whenever they made a homecoming plan.

Nowadays, there is a shift in practice. NRIs are now seeking the expertise of professional homecare management companies to take complete care of their properties. They are now realizing that homecare is not just about supervising and superficially repairing the damages in a building. It includes a whole set of services that allow the inmates of the house to live safely in it. Home and property care, in a true sense, can be the key to achieving a better quality of life in terms of safety, security and health.

Here are five good reasons why as an NRI you too must opt for a complete property management solution for your India home instead of engaging a broker or a liaison:

1. Onsite, dedicated property management

Owning a property and taking good care of it are two different stories. There are a thousand hassles to deal with on a day-to-day basis. You have plumbing problems to solve, broken roof and leaky ceilings to repair, flaky walls to re-plaster, weeds to remove from the terrace and adjoining areas, rent to collect from the tenants, taxes to pay on time, and so on! It is impossible for you to do all that while living in a different country altogether.

Gone are the times when you could entrust the duties on a friend or a relative. That person would visit your house at regular intervals and do the chores for you. Today, everyone is busy and it is not possible for anyone to take care of someone else’s property in a dedicated manner. Also, you cannot bank on that person’s knowledge level of property care.

For instance, you cannot expect him to know that a mouldy, wet patch on a wall is due to a deeper and more serious problem like damp. There can be leakage/seepage inside the fabric of the building which may need an urgent waterproofing. But since it cannot be diagnosed from outside, it remains largely unresolved. Every year, during monsoon, the situation keeps worsening leading to huge financial loss at a later stage.

Engaging a property / home inspection company can address such a gross lack of care. They send their team of experts to our house. The experts conduct in-depth damp/seepage assessment periodically, using advanced technologies like thermal imaging and share detailed reports and images with you via email. Based on their assessment and suggestions, you can get the required repairing and waterproofing done in a timely manner.

The inspection can cover all the elements of your house including the wall, ceiling, floor, doors, windows, plumbing, electrical, etc. Besides, you can also highlight concerns on any specific issue regarding the property and the home inspectors will pay attention to it.

2. Prompt handling of tenancy and encroachment problems

Leaving a property vacant and unattended for long can give rise to several problems. Some damages can go unnoticed for days, valuable items can go missing, and fines may be levied on your bills due to the delayed payment. In worst cases, squatters may move in pretending to be your tenants or new owners! To save your property from any such damage and miscreants it is better to rent it out to people matching your criteria.

By hiring a property management company, you can easily get in touch with interested parties matching your criteria. The company advertises your property, helps you to shortlist tenants, and also provides you with drafting assistance for standard rent agreement. Once rented out, the company collects the rent on your behalf and manages renewals from time to time.

However, if you want to keep your house vacant but secured from encroachment, you can also opt for fencing or any other safety measure. The property management service provider makes the necessary arrangements.

3. Buying/ selling/ advertising assistance for your property

One of the recent The Hindu BusinessLine report noted, “They (NRIs) are not coming home as much as buying homes.”

NRI investment in India’s real estate sector stands around 30-35 per cent of the total NRI remittances. According to a World Bank report, the country received US$80 billion in remittances in 2018, out of which nearly US$13 billion worth of investments were in the real estate sector.

So, it totally makes sense of you to be in the big league of NRI real estate market investors. But, are you aware of the nitty-gritty of buying a property in India? Or, if you are wearing the hat of a seller, do you know how to go about selling a property as an NRI?

Buying or selling properties requires a huge amount of research and paperwork. It is impossible for you to manage everything from abroad. If you hire a home / property care management service it provides you with a 360-degree solution for your property buying / selling needs.

4. Supervision during construction is critical

While buying an under-construction property it always helps if you are able to visit the site in person. But if you are an NRI you cannot do that. In that case, the property management companies fill the gap.

The property managers get down to guiding you from the very start of the building construction. They visit the site and keep updating you about the progress at each phase. They also send you photos and video clips for your ready reference from time to time. They constantly coordinate with the developer for any ongoing rectification and take proactive participation in property financing and legal matters and any kind of documentation.

Additionally, some renowned property care management brands such as MACJ also provide you with references of interior decorators and other vendors. You can check them and plan your next steps conveniently.

5. Ensuring if your property is ready for moving in

Trust deficit with builders is a big issue in case of NRI property investors. If you are not knowledgeable enough about construction, chances are that you will be cheated by your builder before the handover and you will not know! You will only start to discover the faults once you have moved in and that will add to your cost and frustration. To avoid that, it is important that you get your property thoroughly checked by a team of professionals.

The property inspection company inspects the completed property, reports any visual defect to the developer as well as to you and gets it repaired before handover. After that, you can safely move in to enjoy a peaceful stay at your new home.

Owning a property in your home country is a great thing. The property not only serves as a good source of income by grossing decent returns but also gives you a sense of security for the later years of life. However, if you cannot manage it properly, you end up losing more than you gain. So, catch up with the changing trends. Do not let time and ill-maintenance erode your asset’s value. Go, opt for a complete property care management solution and enjoy a stress-free homecoming every year.

For details you can also refer to

NRIs and their Long Distance Relationship / Phir bhi dil hain Hindustani

Being away from your hometown (NRI / CCC) is tough. To fulfil the foreign country’s dream, one has to overcome many hurdles. From food habits to language problem, from culture issues to finding a place to stay and most importantly homesickness, staying away from your family and friends and your home sweet home. But there is one thing that never leaves your mind; nagging fear about your home especially if it is kept away from you under lock and key. Being an NRI, your home is back in India and you are very familiar with that almost constant worry of its welfare lurking at the back of your mind. Added to that worry is also a lingering sense of guilt, for having left home.

Your worry increases particularly if you don’t have siblings or relations to take care even in emergency situations. The call from Home makes you alert and cautious if not always but sometimes fearing the unknown. So this long distance relationship with the beloved ones at home and with home itself is a very emotional draining experience.

If you have elderly parents back home, you will be only too aware of their sense of health, safety and security issues. There can be another scenario wherein your home is left alone and no one is there to take care of it. Your home withstands a lot of issues like seasonal changes, general wear & tear and low or no maintenance.

Introducing a service for managing your biggest investment when you are away from it – your property / home.

Well, worry no more. It is precisely for this reason that MACJ – A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections in collaboration with A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI), a leading American home inspection company was founded in India.

Who are we? We are your home doctors.

Basically we are India’s pioneering professional Home Inspection company providing non-invasive, visual examination of all accessible areas (systems & components) of a property using modern technology and specialized tools uses normal operating controls, is designed to describe the condition of the systems and components, identifies and reports issues within specific systems and components, reports issues (with relevant pictures) that are both observed and deemed critical by the inspector, generates software driven home inspection reports.

Our Services include:

  • Complete Home / Property Inspection
  • Damp / Seepage Assessment with Solutions through Thermal Imaging Technology
  • Electrical Inspections of a Home / Property
  • Construction Finishing Inspection for Real Estate Developers
  • Complete Property Care and Management Services

Complete Property Care and Management Services – For NRIs / CCCs

These services have been especially put together for our NRI friends keeping in mind solely the different types of issues that they might face while they are far away from their dwelling.  These services include:

  • Home Inspection to map your property condition and providing a complete docket of your property.
  • Other related services for upkeep and maintenance of your property including:
    • Construction Supervision / Updates
    • Pre-handover Inspection
    • Property handover and Key Collection Inspections
    • Tenant Management Inspections
    • Periodical Inspection
    • Property Monitoring & Management
    • Other related assistance

So now do not take stress, and leave the rest to us. Your property care is our assurance. We not only assure, but we will keep you informed in every step. Our honest, ethical, transparent services will heal all your headaches, worries and tension.

For more information on Complete Property Care and Management Services, please go through