Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Do the real estate business lies in misleading the buyers?

There have been many advertisements by Real Estate agents in the recent past. Some of the advertisement have been by Amrapali Group, Krishna Bhoomi, Shri Banke Bihari Kunj, Ansal API etc.

All these advertisements have been stating the location of their sites from some prominent points stating as " ... minutes or hours drive". The standard unit of measurement for the distances is meters or kms etc.

Amrapalli Group: Their advertisement in The Times of India stated "Few minutes drive from existing Noida City Centre Metro Station" 

Krishna Bhoomi: The advertisement appeared in Navbharat Times dtd. 16/11/2014. The advertisement does not indicate any address of corporate office as well as site offices.

Shri Banke Bihari Kunj advt. appeared in Navbharat Times dtd. 16/11/2014 stating site as " 2 hours drive from Ashram Chowk, New Delhi" and "1 hour drive from Palwal"

Ansal API advt appeared in Times of India dtd. 15/11/2014 stating distance as "just 20 minutes drive to Delhi on NH-24."

The advertisement of Krishna Bhoomi not stating any address of corporate office as well as site office does not find objectionable to Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI). There have been incidences of fraud when the money is collected from the perspective buyers and then they become niight by fly operator. 

As stated the standard unit of measurement is meters and kms. The distance shown in " ..... time drive" seems to be misleading. Drive time indicated in any site location could vary as to how you are driving. city traffic condition, class of the vehicle being used for driving etc. In metros and adjoining cities, the purchase decisions are affected to a large extent depending upon the requirement the buyer may have. Surprisingly, the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) does not find any objection to such advertisement.

A case study was done for two estates namely Amrapalli Group and Ansal API. The actual distance for Amapalli Group was more than 7 kms from Noida City Centre Metro Station. The advertisement stating few minutes drive should have been ranging 1-2 kms. 

The Ansal API estate advertised is 16.9 kms from Anand Vihar bus stand. It shows 28 minutes drive in non-traffic condition and otherwise the google map shows 48 minutes drive from Anand Vihar Bus Stand. This in any case does not meet with the advertisement stating 20 minutes drive from Delhi. Anand Vihar bus stand is located on the Delhi border. 

A question arises as to why the builders could not indicate their sites in terms of kms from certain prominent points instead of indicating in time drive. May be the business of real estate lies in the misleading of the buyers and Advertising Standard Council of India is the Industry own  self regulatory organisation and hence the advertisement is also not found objectionable. 

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