awarded ‘Best Property Portal of the Year’, India’s leading real estate platform has been awarded with the title of ‘Best Property Portal of the Year’ for their contribution to the online real estate industry in India. At the ceremony held by Realty plus, Excellence Awards were conferred to industry leaders to recognise their contribution towards accelerating the growth of Indian realty sector. It is a platform which recognizes the contributions made in the Real Estate space in the country.


Sumit Jain, Co-Founder & CEO,, said, “I would like to thank Realty Plus for bestowing this honour on us. The award comes in recognition to our consistent endeavour and commitment to drive to create an organized and holistic ecosystem for the real estate industry in India. Our innovation-led and consumer-centric approach paves the road to our future”

Realty plus Excellence Awards acknowledges the efforts of the Indian realty sector for their outstanding achievements in developing infrastructure facilities and promoting state of the art designs and architecture.

Firstpost in conversation with Sumit Jain on his Entrepreneurial Journey & Evolution of CommonFloor

It was his love for technology that got Sumit Jain, 31, CEO and co-founder, to go beyond what he was expected to do as an intern and as an employee. However, that zeal also helped him throw in the towel on the spur of the moment without any concrete plans of what he would do next. Jain talks to Firstpost about what CommonFloor has been able to achieve in the real estate ecosystem and his plans for the future.

What was your earliest exposure to business?

My father had a shop where he sold building products. As a child, sometimes my father would leave the store under my care for days with strict instructions that I should not call him up for any reason. If I did something wrong,I was to tell him about it later. I knew everything about the business as I spent most of my time in the store. It was at my father’s store that the seeds of running my own business were nurtured. My father would tell me, ‘Enjoy what you are doing and whatever way it works for you, I’m fine’.

My childhood was a lesson in self-reliance. That was because of a simple philosophy my parents practiced – which is make mistakes.

Were you a model student in school and college? 

As a student, academic excellence was not my top priority. However, that view changed when I was in Class 11 and entered a mathematics competition arranged by the local district magistrate at Khatauli, a small town in Uttar Pradesh where I grew up. Almost 100 top-scoring students from various schools participated. I attempted questions carrying 84 marks and skipped a question of 16 marks. When we came out of the exam hall, a lot of students said they had attempted all the questions. Desolate, I was about to leave when I heard my name being announced on the loud speaker. I was the topper in the district! I could not believe it and more so in a subject like mathematics.

I became a celebrity overnight. The local newspapers covered the news of the competition and in the process my school became famous. My parents were invited for the award giving ceremony in school.. As soon as we entered, everyone started clapping. My mother received the award. That day I realized the joy such an event can bring to one’s parents and the school, too. This realization to do my best has stayed with me since then.

What did you want to do after IIT Roorkee?

My confidence was reinforced when I cleared IIT for I realized that I could achieve whatever I put my mind to and that meant not holding a job but starting out on my own.

In the first year at IIT,  I went to work in a start-up for my internship. During my third year, I received an email from one of my seniors who was looking for an intern for his startup in Bengaluru. I told him I was keen but did not have the funds to take care of my expenses. He agreed to pay and gave me Rs 4,000. I stayed in a dormitory at Rs 1,500 per month. Sometimes I used to sleep in the office so that I did not have to pay for the commute and those days idlis used to cost Rs 6. I survived on that.

I thrived in that environment. If I had to do one project, I ended up doing four. It was a very good experience. After IIT, I joined Oracle. I learnt a lot over there, though I never wanted to take up a corporate job. I left the job after a year and started my entrepreneurial journey.

What led to CommonFloor?

Before CommonFloor, Lalit (Mangal– one of the co-founders of CommonFloor) and I were colleagues in Oracle. We started a product called ‘Ban Karo’ for banning telemarketing calls. People we spoke to told us that one of their major problems was unwanted calls from telemarketers. So we built this service — a social spam filter. We got featured in the top 10 mobile companies. We talked to Vodafone and others but they wanted 90 percent of the revenues. We were a young start-up and it was impossible to break through the mobile cartel.  But we were determined to build something for the Internet. We knew mobile would be the future (a fact validated today). And this belief was further strengthened when Vikas Malpani, our other co-founder joined us.

CommonFloor started out of an issue that Mangal, Malpani and I faced when we came to Bengaluru in 2007. One of the biggest problems then was that the apartment complex we were living in had a major sewage blockage. The issue wasn’t being resolved as very few residents knew each other. So, the three of us decided to find a way to bring people on a single platform. That was how was created.

When people saw real value in the product, appreciated our efforts and began partnering with us in improving the platform, we realised that would work. All three of us managed to work on a bootstrapped model for more than a year.

Why do you think CommonFloor was able to make a difference?

While everyone in the online real estate sector looked at it from a classifieds perspective, we look at it from a community perspective. On our portal we engage with users right from the time they are looking for a house to when they move into their homes, and even when they want to sell it. We are the only real estate platform that offers to cater to all property information needs across the property cycle – search, research, property management, sale and rent. Currently, we have over five lakh active property listings from over 200 cities and one lakh residential projects listed with us.

What are the revenue streams for CommonFloor?

We are akin to the Google model, in which the platform is free for the end-user (property owners), while the business customer pays for the services. The property developers or individual owners who are looking to sell their property have an option of listing their property for free and we charge cost per lead. It’s a cost per lead model.

What are your future plans for CommonFloor?

We want to be do something like what Google has done by indexing every web page on the internet, and making it easy to search for end users. Our vision is to map every property in India and help consumers find what they want on our platform, , and take an informed decision before buying or renting.

Which category of your business is doing well?

Recently, we have seen a great surge in mobile usage and our mobile user base has increased exponentially. Our platform has changed completely in the last six months, and the average time that users spend on the website has also increased. Our conversion rates have improved by up to 50 percent on both desktop and mobile.

How do you unwind? Are you able to indulge in sports on a daily basis?

I enjoy travelling, exploring new destinations and meeting people from different cultural backgrounds, besides budding entrepreneurs and sharing our experiences. I am a sports enthusiast and I like table tennis, billiards, cricket and basketball. When not working, I like to play the game of billiards. It’s a great game to network with varied people.

Read the original article here breaks new ground in marketing featured on

Everything one ever desires can now be obtained with the click of a button and one such thing on the never-ending list, is real estate. Whether one wants to buy, sell or rent property without resorting to dusty travels and dingy meetings with shady brokers and real estate agents, now there are portals galore to fulfil our needs. Taking a cue from the boom in the online real estate segment is, a one stop shop real estate destination, which brings builders, buyers owners etc together under one roof, is now riding high on innovative marketing strategies to rise above the clutter.

One such marketing strategy was the portal’s association with the recently released film Katti Batti starring Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut. CommonFloor was integrated in the script of the film, wherein the protagonists choose their dream house with the help of the portal.

Speaking to, co-founder Vikas Malpani said, “It’s a wonderful link up to the film, which appeals to mass audience. Basically what we have been doing is experimenting with all possible new age media, which connects to young brands. We were the first ones to tie up with The Viral Fever and one of their series Permanent Roommates, which was quite a global success.”

According to Malpani, movie integration and activation helps connect with audience on ground as well as reinforce the brand.With the ever increasing completion between existing and emerging real estate portals from to, it is always a daunting task to manage to get the required hits and enhance interaction.

“At the end of the day, a solid product and right perception really helps you to get the brand going. Moreover, in the online real estate space, replicating or competing with existing formats is not easy as a larger vision and skill set is required to take competition heads on,” asserts Malpani.

Malpani is of the opinion that the brand’s differentiating factor are based on the product, the level of interaction as well as consumer’s experience with the brand.As far as marketing strategy goes, CommonFloor has a radical and a rather confidant approach to it. Having a product worthy enough to keep themselves ahead is their marketing mantra.

Not in the least bit daunted by the competition in the space, Malpani says, “We believe that we have the entire ecosystem upfront and there are no competitors who have the strategy or vision for future of real estate in country like we do. So in that sense, we are not worried about our competitors. What we are trying to do in our marketing strategy is to connect with our audience, who can understand and make decisions. We at CommonFloor are there to empower them with information so that they can make their decision.”

Throwing light on the company’s growth, he says, “As of now 10 per cent of residential viewers take to the online medium for the real estate space. We believe that in next five years that number will touch 50 per cent, which is 50 per cent of close to about the $180 billion online real estate market. So there is a golden opportunity and we are on the right track.”For the promotions and activation around Katti Batti, while the brand name was integrated in the movie, online activation in the form of contests was also carried out wherein string association could be established.

“Our social media is more about putting out the right information, keeping the audience engaged to our pages and put out relevant real estate trend information, which can be consumed over social media. We also interact with people on Facebook and Twitter, who are looking for a house and connect them with relevant options,” informs Malpani.

While earmarks about 70 – 80 per cent of its marketing spends on television and print, the rest is dedicated to social media activation. As online real estate companies are briskly climbing stairs two steps at a time, the next phase of growth in the space as well as players’ strategy for maximum brand reach will be interesting to watch out for.

Read the original article here

“We want to be the best in property visualisation because real estate, essentially, is a visual experience” says Lalit Mangal in an exclusive with Business World

“We want to be the best in property visualisation because real estate, essentially, is a visual experience,” says Lalit Mangal,while showing a ‘Live-In Tour’ of an apartment on his mobile.

A 360 degree tour of the property, right from the entrance, ’Live-In Tour’ is just one of the innovative features CommonFloor has put into place to stand out from the pack, but Mangal and the team at CommonFloor realise that in an attractive space with a lot of competition, there is the need for constant, as well as fast paced innovation.

“I think that there is nothing today that is non-replicable, apart from your culture and some of your key people. Whatever innovation we bring to the market, at most it’s going to take someone six months to replicate. So we have to be on our toes to come up with the next big innovation. That is our approach and we are already working on things that might be super relevant two years later,
In Mangal’s view competition is inevitable but the company’s ambition is to become the obvious choice for users. “It’s clear. We have to come up with an unending pipeline of ideas,” he says.

One of the things CommonFloor is working in a big way on is artificial intelligence to help recreate, simplify and enhance the experience of physically going and scouting for properties. Mangal explains that finding property is an extremely difficult task and people have varied concerns, but it is often very difficult for an individual to grasp the complexity and different attributes of the real estate space simply because there is an overwhelming amount of information.

“To simplify this, by moving forward with our research on artificial intelligence we could potentially have a computer understand and make sense of all the news and updates about real estate and also understand the end user and give him relevant advice,” he quips.

“The day is not far where you should be able to talk to and say that you are looking for a spacious three BHK in South Delhi and your budget is Rs.60 lakh. So CommonFloor will find that 3 BHK, show it to me (the user) on my screen and I can talk to it,” Mangal optimistically claims.

Read the original article here

Need A break From Work? Maybe a Game of Foosball would Help!

Ever thought of thinking outside the cubicle? Try this for a change – If you ever get tired of answering emails, are not able to formulate a new strategy for a project or are just not able to think something different, then get out of the cubicle space and step on the play space. We at CommonFloor believe that all sorts of creative new connections are made when one is playing. A game of Foosball, carrom, dart board helps the employees to recharge whenever they feel that the batteries are down.


The ‘CommonFloor Sports Challenge’ as we call it, kick started with the first ever challenge of carrom. Every month a challenge of a different sport is kept open for the employees ranging from indoor to outdoor. The recently held ‘Football Challenge’ saw 12 teams with employees from various functions coming together and fighting it out for the title. Such team activities are wonderful ways for employees to take their professional relationships to new levels, and discover new ways of working together.


So what has sport/game got to do with the world of work? Quite a bit actually.

These numerous sporting events turn into plusses for teamwork and motivation, boost creativity and productivity in people of all ages and also contribute to the development of the organization’s values/culture. And make no mistake, it engenders a more light-hearted atmosphere.

It is important to remember that our most important assets are our employees! We want our employees to enjoy their work environment, and to bring the best of themselves to their jobs every day. Encouraging our employees to participate in sport activities reaps substantial benefits of higher morale and team spirit! – says Tony, senior HR manager at CommonFloor.


Even discussing about sports during leisure time at work fulfils a host of functions. Employees can bond with each other over a chat on the football game they had or about the all-important Wimbledon match. CommonFloor has a huge fan following of cricket and if it’s about the cricket World Cup, the craziness soars up to a new level.

When CommonFloor decided to host a special screening at the office of the high intense semi-final match, the event saw the thrilled employees come together even those who ordinarily profess no interest in cricket. Occasions like these not only provide an environment for social inclusion, but also breaks down hierarchical boundaries one may have in a department.


Think about this – When we play a game, we have a sense of urgency, the urge to go to the next level, the intense concentration and deep focus on tackling a problem. What if we take all those feelings from the game and apply them at our everyday work in the office? You bet every day is going to be an exciting day.