Haider Ali Khan is the man behind the overwhelming success of Bayut.com. In this interview, he talks about real estate trends in UAE, property investment and how his company is focused on providing high quality customer service.
How did the concept of Bayut.com evolve?
Haider Ali Khan: When we founded Bayut in 2007, the real estate market suffered a downfall soon after. Despite competitors charging extortionate advertising rates, we decided to keep Bayut as a free service to support the struggling real estate sector. This, of course, meant that Bayut was going to be a non-profit company for years to come, however due to the trust instilled in the brokers, and our independent ownership, Bayut has now become one of the most widely recognized power players in the UAE real estate market.
What makes your property portal different from so many others in UAE in terms of enhancing customer experience?
Haider Ali Khan: What truly sets us apart from other property portals is our firm belief in being as transparent with our clients as possible. We have an entire section dedicated to intelligence reports which are designed to help our members monitor their leads, keep a close eye on any changes made to their property feed as well as offer an in-depth analysis of what’s going on. Some of the other things which make us different from others are: Exceptional inquiry/lead response time, quick problem resolution over live chat support, technically trained staff, advanced and comprehensive reporting systems, dedicated account manager for each client and user-friendly interface
“Research is perhaps the single most important factor that makes the difference between good and bad investment.”
How do you describe the customer journey when a visitor comes to your website?
Haider Ali Khan: Bayut.com is very user friendly. We try to make sure it takes a user fewer steps to find what they’re looking for. We’ve kept the whole affair pretty straight forward where visitors start searching the properties by applying search filters to narrow down the results as per their requirements. Alternatively, they visit location/category pages directly to look for properties available for sale or to rent in the locations of their interest. Upon finding the right property, visitors contact the advertiser (real estate agent or property owner) directly to get further information and to make a deal.
What kind of online customer service and support are you currently providing to web visitors who are searching for property in UAE?
Haider Ali Khan: We are currently providing customer services over the telephone and email. Live chat support, which is still a pretty rare service as far as property portals go, is also available for all our premium clients.
What are the common complaints which customers have when looking to buy property and how do you deal with them?
Haider Ali Khan: We’ve found that people are more concerned about the actual value of the property, return on investment and authenticity of the broker. We do not get as many complaints but we do get a lot of general queries about prices and trends.
To deal with such queries, we launched a few tools on our website which let the visitors know the latest pricing and search trends in all localities. Other than that, we also have a forum, property experts guide people on making fruitful investments.
One of the biggest concerns of customers is the accuracy of information provided and the fluctuation in prices, how does your company guarantee the best deal for customers?
Haider Ali Khan: Around 80% of the advertisers on our website have their CRMs integrated with our website and that helps us keep our data accurate and updated at all times. In addition, all the property listings on our portal have to go through a manual screening process before being displayed online.
In your opinion, how important is customer service for property portals and how have the customer service trends evolved in the region’s real estate market?
Haider Ali Khan: Customer service is the key to success for any business and for property portals, it’s no different. An outstanding customer service can help you grow by leaps and bounds. Competition and current business environment in the region has made it all the more important for the business owners to provide unparalleled customer services to their clients.
What is your advice to customers looking to invest in property in UAE?
Haider Ali Khan: Research is perhaps the single most important factor that makes the difference between good and bad investment. The importance of studying pricing trends, identifying areas offering better ROI with good future prospects cannot be overstated. An astute investor always does his homework.
What are the future plans of your organization which will guarantee customer satisfaction?
Haider Ali Khan: Our plan includes, extending customer services hours to at least 12, having live chat support activated for all the visitors and the expansion of CS and IT teams.
Bayut.com is one of the leading property portals in UAE. Starting in 2007, when Dubai’s property market was in recession, Bayut.com set out to revive one of the most happening and lucrative real estate markets in the region. In doing so, Bayut became not just a UAE portal, but a key location for people across the world to make informed decisions while investing in the Emirati property market through unique, pioneering initiatives and tools.