2 years ago
Finding place to be
KATHMANDU: When we think about a dream house, a nice, open space with high end furniture and a lawn to relax in the evening comes to our minds. But with the rampant house construction in Kathmandu, it has become nearly impossible to see a space that fits the description.
A few years back, amid the concrete jungle Kathmandu was turning into, Binit Sharma was searching for a space to stay. But he could not easily find a decent space for himself. He also came across many brokers and agents that were charging a high commission for a seemingly low price land.
In November, 2014, Binit started working on the idea of Basobaas to make house-hunting experience hassle-free for people and as a platform for brokers and agents to take their business to another level. His brother, Biplav Sharma, came on-board and together they started preaching their idea to brokers and agents. In the span of three years now, Basobaas has made a name for itself and people now come looking for their office, in Sankhamul.
When Basobaas first started, they could operate for only few months. Belonging to the new, technologically advanced generation, they chose to start using online forums as their marketing tool. “At first it was hard to even make people understand the idea—of Basobaas and of online marketing—and how it would be beneficial. We were rejected and insulted at many places, by the brokers and agents we approached, completely misunderstanding our idea as the effort to try to possess their market,” Binit shared.
When the earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, Basobaas also fell apart. The earthquake hit the real estate business hard and they had almost decided to quit. But, Basobaas had become Binit’s baby and he just couldn’t put it to sleep without trying again.
After much consideration, he and his team shifted to Sankhamul from Gothataar and restarted their idea in November, 2016 under the company name, Asterdio Inc. They registered their business and officially started working on February, 2017 and envisioned Basobaas to flourish as real estate as well as housing improvement marketplace.
Basobaas picked up the business and recently was also felicitated with the ICT Start-Up Company Award 2017. The new and improved Basobaas now has an integrated network with agents working within and beyond Kathmandu. It is also capable of providing its clients with many options. Agents, brokers and house owners can log in to their website and upload or track information that leads to interested customers.
Similarly, buyers can sit on their computers; roam around Kathmandu Valley and shortlist the houses they would like to visit. This saves both time and energy.
A team of 17 members and five core members roam around Kathmandu to talk with buyers, sellers and their agents on a daily basis.
Any potential house owner or broker can get a free space on their website, while if those who want to be featured have to pay Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000 for priority sharing which comes with a range of guaranteed views and reach. These are all one-time fee. In comparison to the conventional advertisements, one can save money as Basobaas takes full responsibility of selling the house.
Basobaas also has a fool-proof security arrangement. It checks the sellers’ and buyers’ citizenship certificate, land ownership certificate and relationship certificate to avoid any fake or illegal activities.
However, Binit said cross-checking these certificates are a hassle and they have dropped doing that altogether, “We tried cross-checking through the government offices, but they were not cooperative enough. Extracting tiny information took a lot of time and effort.”
Another pulling factor of Basobaas is the easy loan scheme by Standard Chartered Bank and NMB Bank to its clients, lessening the weight of home loans and interest.
As their long-term goal, they want to advocate the government to make proper policies and laws for real estate, claiming that the sector is in a dire state where uncertainties not only affect the business but also the buyers’ investment. “We are working on a fair property valuation system that would soon be launched in our website. Once we are done, one can know the exact price of the house and hopefully will avoid getting cheated by few of unfaithful brokers and agents.”