Interview with Porush Jhunjhunwala of Banke International Properties
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Banke International Properties’ Porush Jhunjhunwala on opportunities for investors in UAE’s real estate sector

Banke International Properties’ Porush Jhunjhunwala on opportunities for investors in UAE’s real estate sector

The CEO of the Dubai-based property firm showcases his company’s operations and expansion, and the UAE’s thriving real estate market

banke international Properties

Tell us about your company and its operations.
Banke International Properties is a full-service boutique real estate brokerage founded in 2013.  Our team, which has over 200 members, has sold more than 10,000 properties, including 200 off-plan projects. We’ve won several awards, including Bayut’s Agency of the Month for December 2020; Emaar’s Broker Awards 2021; and Best Real Estate Agency of the year 2021 from IRECMS. Sobha Realty awarded us for being its Top Performing Channel Partner in 2021, and we’ve also received the Aldar Honours Award for Best Customer Service in 2021.We’ve recently expanded and opened a new branch office in Abu Dhabi, specialising in residential properties that include ready primary sales and off-plan properties across the UAE. We’ve also opened new boutique offices in Dubai Creek Harbour and Al Furjan that handle sales and leasing of residential properties primarily in these areas.

We have a dedicated property management team, who manage over 1,200 units, offering  leasing services starting from arranging property viewings for potential tenants, negotiating, preparing tenancy contracts, collecting valid and original documents, to handing over the key to the tenant. We also offer property maintenance and advisory services.

How has technology transformed your business?
Technology has made us far more efficient particularly during the pandemic. We had the opportunity to build our own in-house customer relationship management (CRM) system, which has enabled us to capture leads from all the leading real estate portals as well as other campaign leads. We’ve also built an app for landlords, which helps property owners get access to their real estate portfolio at the click of a button.

Offering virtual property tours have helped the industry, as overseas and domestic buyers can view videos and shortlist the properties they would like to view physically. This has also increased the productivity of our agents.

Technology has also enabled customers to rate us and give feedback online. Currently, we have a Google rating score of 4.6/5. Google reviews offer our business more credibility. To enhance customer experience, we’ve also developed a customised QR code that makes it easier for clients to review us on Google.

Tell us why the secondary market remains a good option for investors.
We mostly know the benefits of buying a ready property that includes being able to physically inspect the property before the potential purchase and to move in just after the paperwork is completed. Other advantages include immediate rental income generation, higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratio (when applying for a mortgage from the bank); higher returns when market prices spike and no risks of delay during the handover.

Whether you’re buying an off-plan or ready property, it is important to conduct a competitive market analysis. Also check rental prices of similar properties in the area to give you an idea of the rental revenue you can generate.

What are the benefits of buying off-plan?
Off-plan properties are available at competitive prices compared to ready ones, as developers compete to offer customers the best deal. The market value of an off-plan property also gets a major appreciation upon handover as surrounding areas get better transport links, amenities and retail infrastructure.

The payment plans for off-plan developments are linked to construction which means you don’t have to pay the entire cost upfront but in smaller installments. Many off-plan projects in Dubai have a booking fee of only 10 to 15 per cent and in some cases the DLD fee is also completely or partially waived off, giving the buyer added price benefits. Projects with long term post-handover payment plans let buyers pay for years after getting possession of the property. This is not possible with ready properties unless you’re buying the property on mortgage where a loan interest is applicable.

Buying  off-plan property in Dubai is safe. The Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority has implemented a system of regulations protecting the buyer against any type of delays or project cancellations. Buyer installments are deposited only in regulated escrow accounts and developers can access them as they meet construction milestones.

Any tips for property investors?
It’s a great time to invest in real estate, as inflation is at an all-time high and real estate investments’ value can hedge against inflation. The returns on your investments are higher due to
higher demand. The rental yield is still strong and with the rental prices increasing we see the yield improving.

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