Friday, 5 October 2018

Chatbots, AI and Real Estate


Chatbot: “Good Morning! How may I help you?”

Buyer: “Hi! What apartments are available in your new project in Hebbal?”

Chatbot: “We have 2 BHK and 3 BHK apartments.”

Buyer: “What is the price for both?”

Chatbot: “2 BHK starts at Rs. 75 lakhs and 3 BHK at Rs. 90 lakhs. Would you like to see a sample apartment?”

Buyer: “Yes. Can that be arranged?”

Chatbot: “Sure. When would you like to visit?”

Buyer: “Next saturday would be good.”

Chatbot: “Sure. Please type your mobile number and email address and we will follow up with details for the site visit.”

This hypothetical conversation between a prospective homebuyer and a chatbot provides insight into the ease with which customers can explore home buying options without human intervention. Chatbots or intelligent virtual assistants present an opportunity for customers to gather important information and even set up initial project site visits. All this can be done without calling a contact centre, standing in long queues, being put on hold while retrieving important information or call drops. In essence chatbots offer a seamless interaction to the customer at any and all hours of the day, week or year.

Technology’s unbridled advances continue to offer previously unexplored avenues for better customer interactions, data gathering and analysis, improved customer services and much more. Most of us are already familiar with intelligent virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa on our mobile devices. Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have the capacity to engage with customers and learn with every interaction, thus enhancing the customer experience.

For customers, chatting with an AI-powered entity may initially seem underwhelming as opposed to speaking with a live customer service executive. However, some of the advantages include:

1)    24x7 access to information via chatbots
2)    Quick and polite responses to questions
3)    Responses to routine queries can be efficiently received
4)    Relevant responses can be expected since the chatbots are powered by algorithms which are based on specific built-in keywords
5)    Chatbots are unaffected by fatigue or irritation from having to provide responses to repeated queries. As a result one receives unwavering quality of responses.

As we make advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence the experience of interacting with chatbots or virtual assistants will improve further.

There are advantages for real estate companies too in adopting such technologies. Data collected from the interactions of customer with chatbots can be processed, analysed and summarised for future use in understanding customer needs better.

Many companies and large businesses are already leaps ahead in implementing this technology in some form or the other. With Indian real estate sector in the post-RERA era it is perhaps the best time for realty companies to also adopt technologies such as chatbots, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. At the end of the home buying spectrum we already have smart homes with IoT powered household devices which residents can manage from their smartphones. Thus, it makes sense to power the first step of home buying - information gathering - through intelligent virtual assistants or chatbots.

At House of Hiranandani, we are already in the process of using technology in a big way so as to improve customer’s experience. Technology is an empowering force and we are empowering our customers.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Hebbal - One Of Bangalore's Scenic And Well-Connected Suburb



Hebbal was once known for its pristine lake and scenic beauty situated away from Bangalore’s city limits. But now, this suburb has transformed into a residential and commercial hub in the northern quadrant of this thriving city. Hebbal has a vibrant real estate market that is supported by a network of flyovers that enable access to Outer Ring Road and NH-7.

Hebbal has witnessed massive growth and development particularly in the last 15 years because of IT hubs like Kirloskar Business Park and Embassy Manyata Business Park, which are located nearby. This suburb is also only 10.3 km away from central Bangalore (Majestic). If you are looking for a home in a suburb where there is a balance between nature and the city, Hebbal is just the place for you.

Connectivity
When we search for our dream house, we always look at suburbs which have good connectivity to reduce the time spent on the road. The Hebbal flyover is the heart of this locality, with an expansive length of 5.2 km which connects it to two main arterial roads - Outer Ring Road (ORR) and Bellary Road (NH7). The MG Road is also connected to ORR, making Koramangala only 12 km away from Hebbal. This suburb is also just 20 km away from the Kempegowda International Airport, which makes national and international travels easier.
There are many BMTC buses which run to and from Hebbal, and connect it with the rest of the city. These buses are very frequent and reliable and you can find one which goes to almost any locality you want to go. The Hebbal railway station improves the connectivity of this place even further. The proposed Namma Metro Station nearby would give Hebbal’s residents access to places like Banashankari, K.R. Market, M.G. Road, Indiranagar, and many more.
Employment Hub
The boom of IT companies in this locality has put Hebbal on a fast route for development. Hebbal is home to many giants such as Philips Software, Integra Micro Software Services, Electronics Limited, IBM and AstraZeneca. There are prominent employment hubs like Kirloskar Business Park and Embassy Manyata Business Park. This attracts IT professionals from all over the country. Yeshwantpur which is a business hub is only 10 km away from Hebbal. Other important companies located in Hebbal are Shell, BEML, Tyco, Wipro Fixtures, and National Seeds Corporation.

Well-Developed Social Infrastructure
Hebbal has easy access to many prominent schools, colleges, hospitals, shopping centers and several other amenities in close vicinity. Reputed schools in Hebbal include the VidyaNiketan School, Jain Heritage School, VidyaShilp Academy, and MallyaAditi International School. Famous engineering colleges like REVA University, Altria Institute of Technology and NITTE Meenakshi College are also located here. Presidency College, National School for Journalism and Karnataka College are other important colleges situated in this vicinity.

The famous Columbia Asia hospital, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore Baptist Hospital, and M.S. Ramaiah Hospital are located in Hebbal. There are numerous shopping centers located in Hebbal such as Elements Mall, Esteem Mall, Orion East Mall and Mantri Square Mall. These shopping malls along with cinemas, restaurants and branded stores cater to more than just daily essentials.

Gateway to Adventure
Hebbal Lake is one of the most desired rejuvenating spots of this suburb. This lake is well known for its park, boating facility and for the bird watching; numerous bird lovers can be seen here regularly watching out for their favourite bird species. Hebbal is close to Jakkur Aerodrome which offers adventurous folks the thrilling experience of parasailing. Soaring through the limitless horizon like a bird provides an unbelievable adrenaline rush. The Jakkurlake is also a popular destination which is located near Hebbal.

At House of Hiranandani we believe in the balance that nature provides. We are developing luxurious residences close to nature in Hebbal. Hiranandani Glen Classic is a 10 acre development which offers homebuyers urban-centric amenities balanced with the grandeur of space and comfort of privacy. Finely crafted 1, 2 and 3 BHK apartments are available which offer unmatched lakeviews. Come, experience a unique home created by House of Hiranandani in a picturesque, emerging suburb of Bangalore.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

6 Neo-Classical Influences in Modern Indian Architecture



Architecture and culture have been intertwined since the beginning of human existence. In fact, architecture can be considered as the cultural expression of the people of its time. It is the reflection of the challenges faced by our forefathers and their pioneering and thoughtful ways of getting around them with intelligent design. Those solutions are the backbone of modern day architecture. They speak of who existed, their influences and act as anchors of our past.

Indian architecture is rooted in its varied cultures, history, traditions and religions. It is as old as the history of civilization. The earliest remains of recognizable building dates back to the Indus Valley civilisation. Moreover, India’s architecture is an amalgamation of the various influences that stemmed from its global discourse with other countries of the world throughout its millennia-old past - the French, Portuguese, Mughals and Britishers among many others.

Here we take a look at the various neo-classical architectural styles that were inducted into Indian architecture over the centuries. These forms have evolved with time in terms of its aesthetics and functionality but still bear the signature of its influencers.

Balcony



Balcony is derived from an old Italian word ‘balcone’ meaning scaffold. It is a platform or external extension of a floor enclosed up to a certain height by a wall, balustrade or railings. They are generally supported by columns or console brackets. The balcony serves to increase the living space of a house and also ensures adequate amount of sunshine and greater ventilation in the house.

Baluster or Balustrade


A baluster also known as spindle or stair stick is a moulded shaft square or lathe turned form, cut from a square or rectangular plank. It is made of wood, stone or sometimes metal. Multiple balusters are known as balustrades. Balustrades stand on a unified footing and its function is to support the coping of a parapet of a staircase, handrail, balcony or terrace. Throughout history, balustrades can be seen in the architectural creations of a wide variety of cultures like the French - ‘balustre’, Italian - ‘balaustro’, Latin - ‘balaustium’ and Greek - ‘balaustion’.

Canopy


A canopy is an overhead roof or structure over which a fabric or metal covering is attached. Its main function is to provide shade or shelter from external weather conditions, but they can also be constructed for decorative purposes. Modern day canopies may be independent of other structures or may project out from a building, typically providing shelter at an entrance.

Pier


A pier in architecture is a support for a structure or superstructure such as an arch. It acts as a vertical load bearer thereby minimising load on the structure. They are mainly made of concrete. Example of piers can be seen in multiple monuments across India like the India Gate, Gateway of India.

Grillwork


Grillwork or simply grill comes from the Old French word greille. It is a decorative grating of metal, wood or stone or other materials used as screen, divider, barrier, or as a purely decorative element. In Indian homes, grillwork is predominantly featured in windows, verandahs, balconies and main gates.

Pediment


A pediment is an architectural element consisting of a gable of triangular shape, placed above the horizontal structure, typically supported by columns. The pediment is a widely present feature in the architecture of classical Greek temples as well as Renaissance, and Neoclassical architecture.

Architecture is an expression of style and culture. At House of Hiranandani, we have cultivated a unique style of architecture which is expressed in all of our real estate developments. Architectural features such as balustrades, canopies and grillwork sit elegantly alongside contemporary Indian elements such as Mangalore tiles, as seen at our Devanahalli residential project. Piers are a notable feature of the stately towers of our project ‘City by the Sea’ in Egattur. House of Hiranandani celebrates architecture in every project we design and develop, ensuring stylish yet comfortable homes with a signature design.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Evolution of Architectural Elements in Indian Homes: Traditional to Contemporary



The evolution of mankind and architecture has always moved hand-in-hand. Many elements of architecture have developed across eras, civilizations, climate change and geographies such that there evolved an established indigenous style in every part of the world. These elements have metamorphosed in design over time, from traditional to contemporary. The story of Indian architecture, through history till date, has numerous unique architectural elements which are still imbibed in our contemporary structures in interesting ways. Here are a few such elements which have made it to modern Indian homes.

Jaalis
As soon as we hear the names of palaces in Rajasthan and Gujarat, the first thing that comes to our minds are the intricately cut-out patterns on the doors and windows of these structures, known as ‘jaalis’. These patterns allow sunlight to filter through the openings and create an interesting play of light and shadow. Jaalis also prevent direct sunlight from entering the room as they dissipate the light. Also, they enable ventilation in the room and provide privacy for users of the space.

While passing through the jaali holes, the air is compressed and hence the temperature is lowered, thus cooling the home. Jaalis are represented in modern home designs as an external aesthetic feature or in internal partition walls.


L- Traditional Jaali in at Sarkhej Roza; R- Contemporary Jaali style in Brick Curtain House by Design Work Group

Jharokas
A traditional balcony which also acted as a semi-open space is called a ‘jharoka’. This architectural element is generally designed in the form of an overhang with intricately carved railings in stone or wood. Jharokas are also covered on top with domes or other semi-circular styles, usually supported by posts or columns. The original use of these jharokas in palaces or houses was primarily for the female members of the family who preferred to be a part of functions without being visible to the public. Jharokas also have a romantic element involved in the stories from our history, as the princess was generally ‘spotted’ standing in the balcony. Apart from this, jharokas also added to the aesthetic appeal of the structure.

In contemporary structures, jharokas have been imbibed using different materials such as brick, concrete or marble. They add a traditional appeal to the design and also provide a semi-open space in the house which can be an inlet to natural light and ventilation.



Courtyards
Courtyards are open spaces within the structure itself; in India courtyard styles vary based on the climate of the region. Be it the Wadas of Maharashtra, Havelis of Rajasthan, Pols of Gujarat or Nalukettu of Kerala, courtyards played a major role as a functional and aesthetic space of these houses. Courtyards work on the principle of convection currents, where warm air is drawn out and replaced by cool air. Therefore it works in both summer and winter- to keep the house cool and to bring in the winter sun, respectively. These centrally located courtyards also serve as spaces of congregation for family get togethers and other functions. They also act as buffer spaces between public and private areas of the house.

In modern day homes, this architectural element is a mark of luxury where architects use their creative energies to make the space unique and well connected to nature.



Verandah, Pitched Roof and Mangalore Tiles
Pitched roof with Mangalore tiles or red baked tiles are a common sight in Indian villages. Coupled with this, we usually find a verandah or a semi-open space - generally at the entrance or as a buffer between the closed and completely open spaces. Mangalore tiled roofs add to the beauty of a house more than a concrete one. They are also suitable for India’s climatic conditions as they keep the inner spaces of the house cool. Pitched roofs add on to the height of the ceiling of the house as well.

Verandahs, which make the intermediate space- are also a symbol of the Hindu tradition of welcoming guests with an open heart or more precisely- an open and welcoming house.




The wonderful aspect about architecture is its unstagnant nature- it will always change with time. This gives one the chance to keep modifying necessary elements of structures in one’s own creative way. At House of Hiranandani, we explore with design and meld the traditional with the modern. Our residences boast large living spaces with spacious balconies. Our project in Devanahalli boasts roofs with the classic Mangalore tiles. To quote from a movie- ‘we have to take the tradition and decorate it in our own way’.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

OMR - Why It's One of Chennai's Preferred Residential Destination



There are few stretches of roadways as iconic, scenic and steeped in culture as Old Mahabalipuram Road in Chennai popularly referred to as OMR. This 20 km long highway stretches from Madhya Kailash Temple on Sardar Patel Road in South-East Chennai right up to Mahabalipuram in the south where it connects with the equally famous East Coast Road (ECR). OMR, also known as the Rajiv Gandhi IT Expressway, has witnessed huge growth and development in the last decade as it gained a reputation for becoming the IT Corridor of Chennai. Life in OMR has upgraded in a big way and it has become the residential destination of choice for both - families, and developers looking to meet this rising demand. Here’s why:

Connectivity
Ease of travel is a major USP of any good residential area and OMR boasts of excellent infrastructure which boosts connectivity. This includes the entire stretch of OMR with its flyovers and dedicated MRTS routes and direct connectivity to the Chennai airport as well. East Coast Road and the GST Road further enhance connectivity to other suburbs of Chennai such as Thiruvanmiyur, Palavakkam, and Neelankarai. Other arterial routes such as Velachery-Tambaram Main Road and Kelambakkam-Vandalur Road provide a good road network. Proposed infrastructure such as a 17.7 km elevated road from Siruseri to Taramani, alongside the upcoming Metro line on OMR will be a game changer for residents and businesses along the OMR.

Employment Hub
The IT and ITeS industry is one of the highest employers in India. OMR is home to one of the biggest agglomerations of IT and ITeS businesses such as TCS, Cognizant, Syntel, Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys, Hexaware and more. Most of these companies are set up in large IT Parks such as SP Infocity, RMZ Millenia, Ascendas, SIPCOT, ELCOT SEZ and TIDEL among others. The presence of major companies such as these means numerous employment opportunities and further growth of the city’s ecosystem.

Well-Developed Social Infrastructure
The commercial and residential growth of OMR in the last few years has meant an upgrade in the civic amenities and infrastructure as well. A number of good education institutions and hospitals serve residents here. IIT-Madras, Hindustan University, Sathyabama University, St. Joseph’s Institute of Technology are some well-known higher education institutions, and among schools there’s Gateway International School, Hiranandani Upscale School and Ramana Vidyalaya among others. Apollo Hospital, Global Hospital and Chettinad Hospital are among those that provide excellent medical care and services.

Gateway to Adventure
Located close to the coastline means residents of OMR have an easy access to the many popular beaches. Besides the many coastal picnic spots and resorts there are water sports such as scuba diving and surfing to indulge in. Other easily accessible attractions in OMR are MGM Dizee World, VGP Theme Park, artisans’ villages like Dakshinchitra and the Cholamandalam Artists’ Village. The drive along OMR is also scenic and pleasant as one passes long stretches of water bodies such as the Great Salt Lake, Sholinganallur Lake as well as Guindy National Park, and Pallikaranai Marshland which is well-known among bird watchers. For those who prefer indoor entertainment, there are several malls and multiplexes as well.

At House of Hiranandani, we understand the value of living close to work and amidst nature. Our City by the Sea project in Egattur is a sprawling 120 acre residential project with amenities such as a school, spa, salon and crèche. Choose from among 2, 3, 4 and 5 BHK spacious and luxuriously designed apartments across some of the tallest towers in OMR. While the project is located right opposite SIPCOT Park, it also has easy access to many other IT Parks and most social infrastructure. The project is surrounded by lush greenery so residents can enjoy clean air, and picturesque views of the nearby lake.


Monday, 9 July 2018

Why One Should Invest in Devanahalli - Bangalore's Emerging Industrial and IT Hub



Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India, is home to a large number of IT companies and startups, and is one of the leading employment hubs in the country. This aspect of the city draws professionals from all over the country and abroad. To accommodate this influx of people, the city’s borders are gradually but steadily expanding, and newer suburbs are emerging. North Bangalore is one of the recent areas to experience a growth spurt.

Devanahalli, a suburb located in North Bangalore is one of the emerging real estate destinations of choice. Popularly known as the birthplace of Tipu Sultan, it is now better known as the location of the newly built Kempegowda International Airport. Devanahalli is also developing as an industrial and technology hotspot. Let’s look at why homebuyers are attracted to Devanahalli.

Location & Connectivity
Devanahalli enjoys excellent connectivity to the main city centres via the NH-7 or the Bellary Road which has been widened to a 6 lane highway, thus ensuring better and efficient flow of traffic. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation [BMTC] buses operate a regular service, catering to the ever-increasing demand of public transport. It has major transport nodes located at easily accessible distances. The international standard airport located here is the second busiest airport in the country, with flights to various cities all across the country and the world. Devanahalli is also well-connected to the nearby suburb of Yelahanka, and Bangalore City by railway.

Upcoming Transport Infrastructure
Devanahalli’s multi-modal transport connectivity is set to receive a boost with future infrastructure developments. The suburb has been included in the construction of Phase 2 of the Namma Metro network which will connect the Airport to central Bangalore and thus Devanahalli as well. The proposed Peripheral Ring Road (PRR), which will complement the existing routes of NICE and ORR, will connect the outer suburbs of Bangalore and major roads like OMR and Bellary Road. This will enhance connectivity between Devanahalli and the rest of Bangalore.

Social Infrastructure
Devanahalli benefits from a well-established social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and recreational spaces. Some notable schools in this area are NPS School, Delhi Public School, Akash International School and Canadian International School. The healthcare options available to residents include Leena Multispecialty Hospital, Akash Hospital and Cyte Care Cancer Hospital. This suburb also has a D-Mart outlet as well as numerous convenience stores to meet residents’ daily needs. Devanahalli is also a popular tourist destination due to the many temples and the Devanahalli fort.

Industrial and IT Hub
The relative affordability of land in Devanahalli, as compared to many other suburbs in Bangalore, has made it a focus area for real estate and infrastructure development. This includes some of the biggest projects already operational here such as IT Investment Region [ITIR] and the Aerospace SEZ, making them employment attractions. Some big companies which have been set up in the Aerospace SEZ are Thyssenkrupp Aviation, BEML, Dynamatic and Centum Electronics.

Popular IT companies such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro are expected to set up base in the Devanahalli ITIR. Companies such as Shell already have a significant presence in this area. Also, an upcoming Science Park as well as a Financial City, is expected to compete with India’s financial capital Mumbai and the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City in Gandhinagar. This, proximity to industrial clusters and IT Hubs, is another key attraction of Devanahalli.

To Conclude...
As highlighted above, this north Bangalore suburb is experiencing a growth surge and is developing economically, demographically and infrastructurally. As the connectivity improves, and more companies set up base here, more residents will also follow. This will enhance the investment value of homes in Devanahalli. Hence, there is no better time than now to invest here.

House of Hiranandani understands the growth opportunity Devanahalli presents. We are developing an integrated township here which brings together elements of luxury living within green expanses. We offer 2, 2.5, 3 and 4 BHK apartments as well as 3 & 4 BHK villas and cottages. The project boasts contemporary designs, neo-classical architecture and lavish lifestyle amenities. Irrespective of the reason you choose to invest in Devanahalli, you can be assured of higher yields in the future.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

What Millennials Want - Homes Not Houses



‘Micro-blogging’, ‘photo-sharing’, ‘online shopping’, ‘sharing economy’, ‘digital-savviness’ are the various characteristics that define the lifestyle of millennials. ‘Millennials’ refers to the demographic group generally comprising those born in the years between early 1980s and early 2000s. They are also regarded as Gen Y, whose parents were part of Generation X or the Baby Boomers. India’s population today consists of more than 400 million millennials.

According to a report titled ‘Trend-setting millennials: Redefining the consumer story’ by consulting firm Deloitte India and Retailers Association of India, with a stunning 47% share of the working age population, millennials are the chief wage earners in India. They are also known as digital natives since they have grown up in the technology age.

Governments, corporates, brands and marketers have started closely tracking the consumption, decision-making and lifestyle patterns of millennials. These young people make conscious choices and many are influencers among their demographic. Though many in this age group still live with parents or share accomodation with friends and partners, a huge chunk of them- who are in their early to mid 30s today, are making home buying choices. These choices take a number of factors into consideration and chief among them are:

Convenient Location
It is always about the location. Millennials believe in living life to the fullest. This means work hard but party harder. Home should be easily accessible from work as well as play. Residences located close to offices as well as malls and entertainment are always attractive. Transport conveniences also play a big part, so homes close to modes of transport are equally important. TIme saved in commuting is spent in networking and nurturing relationships.

Integrated Communities
Developers today are designing integrated communities which offer various lifestyle amenities within the residential complex such as trendy cafes and restaurants, wellness spas and gyms, and recreational facilities. Another characteristic of integrated townships is proximity to social conveniences like educational institutions, medical facilities and employment centers. These features appeal to millennials who appreciate and desire good work-life balance.

Our 120 acres integrated community at OMR, Chennai is an example of thoughtfully designed integrated lifespaces that offer convenience and comfort packaged in elegant luxury which appeals to this jet-set generation.


Smart Homes
Known as the ‘plugged-in’ generation, millennials are always hooked to their gadgets. This love for technology extends to the space they live in as well. Generation Y is big on home automation systems, sensors, video door phones, keycards and automated car parking. In addition to comfort and convenience, these tech-enabled amenities also provide a sense of safety and style to apartments, transforming them into a comfortable home.


Green Homes
Among the many adjectives used to describe millennials and their lifestyle choices, is green generation. Millennials are very conscious about the environment and make green choices. These include reducing their carbon footprint, choosing sustainable travel options such as trains, bicycles and sharing cabs, and they also champion numerous green causes. Their love for the planet also extends to their homes which should adhere to green building norms, have more green and open spaces, as well as follow sustainable practices such as rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment, waste recycling and solar panels among other such solutions.

Contrary to their ‘live-for-the-moment’ image, millennials care about their families, friends, society, wellness and the world they live in. This is clearly visible in the choices they make which are sustainable and altruistic. Millennials have grown up in an age of technology, globalisation and economic disruption. This gives them a unique perspective and personality which differentiates from the generations before them. Millennials are the future of the country and will determine the direction we collectively take. Designing, developing and marketing homes to this cohort of young people is an intrinsic part of the House of Hiranandani.