The secret to selling real estate to India’s rich

By Fresh Easel Editorial / Art & Culture

In the drawing room of Saroj Poddar’s plush Kolkata home, the first thing that greets you is a rare Jamini Roy painting. Walk a further bit in and you’ll find an equally stunning work by S.H. Raza. Roy’s paintings works can go for well in excess of 15 lakhs while most of Raza’s works range from Rs 5 – 25 lakhs.

The 68-year-old Poddar is known for two things. One, his business acumen which has made him a fortune, being the force behind the Rs 18,000 crore Adventz Group. And two, his love for contemporary art, having bought more than 100 artworks to display in his home.

The love for good authentic, handmade art is shared by many rich Indians like Poddar – and it’s a fact that many real estate companies are now slowly beginning to realise. Add a high-quality painting to the wall of well-designed living room , show it to the prospective buyer and it’s bound to create more interest.

In this Manhattan penthouse, the artwork on the left is an oil on canvas from the ‘Bindu’ series by SH Raza. On the right is the Falling Man oil on canvas by Tyeb Mehta

In this penthouse, the oil on canvas work (left) is by SH Raza. On the right is the Falling Man by Tyeb Mehta

‘The Property Sells Itself’ Myth

In the Indian real estate market where amenities like swimming pools and gyms barely raise an eyebrow, the stakes are high. Think from the perspective of a home buyer: When they go to see four to five properties a day, what is going to stand out? It’s art that is becoming a major differentiating factor in clinching the deal.

From commissioning artists to buying abstract art, real estate developers are harnessing the emotional power of contemporary art to engage home hunters. In luxury villas and office buildings at upmarket places, interior design is only complete after paintings are adorning lobby walls and common spaces. A generous chunk of retail space is now also being devoted to revolving art installations.

India’s real estate market is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020 and for developers to tap into they need someone with expertise. Because those who invest in high-end luxury homes also tend to have a strong knowledge of art.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

A penthouse dressed up by Fresh Easel

The rich know quality – you should too

There is often the chance for clients, particularly those wanting a turnkey property, to buy the works, or have them thrown in. So it’s crucial to get the artworks right. People like to be able to talk about their house and have others know it, and for people to feel they live somewhere unique.

It’s not all artworks that go in every setting though. Most of the properties dressed up by Fresh Easel’s veteran art experts – having worked directly with real estate developers – have been decorative or abstract. The paintings are very tasteful, but simultaneously they have an edge to them. This has – in our experience – worked best to attract clients looking for houses in upscale neighbourhoods.

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