TheHouseMonk.com: A hassle free house search process

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Today, searching a house or renting a house is a task with highest degree of pain associated. Sometimes, even if you pay fat money as brokerage, your troubles are not reduced.

There are few cases reported of fraud as well. Mr. Ajay & Ankit, saw this problem and came up with a solution in the form of “The Housemonk“.

Thehousemonk.com eliminates the hassles associated with the home search process by sharp use of technology along with their team of trusted field agents.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit-chat with Mr. Ajay Kumar, Co-Founder @thehousemonk.com. Let see what he wants to share with us.

Techaloo: When did you start your journey?
Ajay: We conceived the idea for TheHouseMonk mid-2013 though we officially launched the product in April-2014.

Techaloo: Where are you based out of?
Ajay: TheHouseMonk is based out of Bangalore. We have our office in Indira Nagar

Techaloo: What motivated you to start TheHouseMonk?
Ajay: House hunting is not an easy task. It’s a painful process which involves looking online on different property portals, hunting offline with multiple agents, negotiations, paperwork, etc. The whole process is heavily unstructured and we faced a lot of challenges when we were looking for a house ourselves. We wanted to solve this problem for other house hunters and thus, started TheHouseMonk

Techaloo: What was your vision/mission while starting TheHouseMonk?
Ajay: We notice that there are 2 worlds in Indian real estate – The online portal world and the offline brokerage world. The property portals are very technology driven and are great information aggregators. Real estate agents add value by helping customers on the field and closing deals. Though portals and agents are supposed to work with each other and help property seekers, we feel they’re disconnected and this is leading to more problems in real estate.

Our vision is to create a man-machine ecosystem in Indian real estate where the website people use for searching property works hand-in-hand with the offline real estate agents who helps the customer close the deal. We aspire to build great technology which helps our agents streamline their life on the field and better serve end customers.

Techaloo: What hurdles did you face while starting?
Ajay: We’re competing in a heavily crowded space where most of our competitors are backed by strong investors. Being a late entrant in this space, we faced many challenges in attracting early customers/users.

Techaloo: Are you looking out for any kind of funding?
Ajay: We are looking to raise a seed round of funding over the next couple of months

Techaloo: Tell us something about your services.
Ajay: If you’re looking to move houses, TheHouseMonk can be a one stop solution for you.

Property seekers can search for property on our website (www.thehousemonk.com), shortlist properties that they like and schedule visits at the click of a button. Post this, TheHouseMonk will pair them with one of our agents who’s best suited to serve them. Our agent on the field will accompany customers during sitevisits, help with negotiations and do the paper work as well. The online website you use to search listings + offline age

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nt who helps you close the deal – the entire transaction comes under the umbrella of TheHouseMonk.

Techaloo: What is your pricing model?
Ajay: Customers are charged a fee upon closing of a deal

Techaloo: How are you different from your competitors in various segments?
Ajay: We’re different from property portals because we have a set of agents who help customers fulfill their requirement – we’re not simply an online marketplace.

We also compete with existing real estate agents. Our agents are armed with cutting edge technology provided by TheHouseMonk, so it gives them an advantage over other players on the field

Techaloo: Why should a person seeking for property trust you?
Ajay: TheHouseMonk agents verify listings that they get by talking to owners personally and visiting the property. If the deal gets to a closing stage, we work with property lawyers and ensure that the papers for the property are in place as well

Techaloo: What kind of post-deal support do you provide?
Ajay: We can take care of paper-work and any associated processes customers require our help with. TheHouseMonk is tying up with companies in allied industries(like packer n movers, rental furniture, etc.) where our customers get great discounts with these vendors!

Techaloo: How is the response till now?
Ajay: The response has been great! We’ve had over 10000 users on our platform till now and have received great feedback from them about what we’re building.

Techaloo: What are your plans for next 3 years?
Ajay: By the end of 2017, we hope to be A Technology Powered Real Estate Agency with operations in 5-6 cities in the country.

Techaloo: What will be your advice for budding entrepreneurs?
Ajay: I’m of the opinion that a startup cannot be done part time. If you strongly believe in the company you’re building, quit your job!

Techaloo: What do you think about techaloo.com?
Ajay: The role of startup coverage websites is increasing with each passing day. Be it exposure, workshops or providing a platform for startups to talk about what they do, media plays an important role in helping startups get their message to the target audience. TechAloo has excelled at doing this for many years now – I wish you guys all the best in taking this venture to the next level!

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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