Finding a perfect place to stay or a house to rent is something is at least as difficult as booking a Tatkal ticket from IRCTC, if not more. Players like 99acres, Magicbricks including classifieds such as Sulekha and Quikr give us option to do the primary research about vacant accommodations across our desired locations. But sometimes, the information is limited and broken.
For instance, smart search capabilities, based on zip codes with important details such as nearest railway station, hospitals and eateries are not available till now. Seattle based Anish Dharmakkam and Melbourne based Natarajan Subbia have come together to solve these pain points with their startup PlanetGhar, a real estate classifieds portal based on maps.
PlanetGhar is primarily a free for all real estate classifieds platform that displays property classifieds over the web with end to end map assisted facility. The platform allows users to search accommodation for purchase and rent with filters like city, zip code and area.
The site incorporates features such as location livability, average price for given area, nearby comparable properties including save search feature that enables users to set a search criteria and save them for further references.
Currently, the startup is being bootstrapped by founders and claims to have 40,000 page views since it has been live. “So far we have had over 1000 registered users, with less than 5% bounce rate and a 5 minute average visit time,” said Anish.
Besides their new venture, presently Anish works with Microsoft as a Product Manager while Subbia is a freelance developer based out of Australia.
PlanetGhar uses smart crawlers that go to popular real estate advertisement sites and extract viable properties for advertisements. Additionally, owners and agents can also showcase ads about their property for free on the platform. Interestingly, the platform has monthly advertising budget of $30 only.
On monetizing front, PlanetGhar aims to earn money via premium paid ads, and premium users meant for real estate agents\builders – which will offer them unlimited ad posting , ability to start a ‘Group Buy’ (yet to be launched) for new properties with analytics dashboard to show statistics with handful of other features.
Its similar to Mumbai based startup, Housing.co.in which launched a map based product that actually maps out the details of the property. Earlier, Commonfloor too launched its map based search product and raised Series B funding from Accel Partners and Tiger Global. However, looks like they are going after a different geography. PlanetGhar aims to expand in Africa. “Currently we are in talks with a partner to expand PlanetGhar to Johannesburg by the end of 2013,” said Anish. Planetghar aims to release apps for Android and Windows 8 phones in coming months.
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