Every industry has suffered a setback during the lockdowns, and real estate is no exception. In fact, it is one of the worst-hit sectors. It is due to migrant construction labor going back home, projects being stopped midway, and completed flats lying empty.
People may order many items online. But when it comes to homes for sale, we check the ads online and visit the location in person to check out the property with our own eyes. With no one allowed to step out of the house unless there’s an emergency, how can one buy a home?
Still, the industry fought and adopted the latest technology and went virtual. From setting up video meetings with prospective buyers to providing virtual tours of the flats, real estate agents and companies relied on technology. It helped gain some momentum and start sales again.
And it worked. Even with everyone working from home and going virtual, things began to get back on track. Real estate news began to show positive signs as the sales improved in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.
Real Estate and Technology
Real estate is one of those industries where the use of technology is somewhat limited. Despite the sudden improvements, there’s a long way to go before the industry is sufficiently equipped to handle technology. It is not about sales but also in terms of construction. We’ve previously read about how technology is changing the construction industry.
Property Technology (PropTech) is the use of information technology and eCommerce in the real estate industry. The term first came into existence years ago when .com became famous. However, it was limited to a couple of companies in the US and UK. Over the years, builders and realtors began to create websites and list properties online.
People saw the online lists and completed the transactions offline. With a lot of paperwork involved (not to mention bank loans), it seemed like a perfect combination. But buying property this way wasn’t possible during the lockdowns. Even the signing and loan approvals have to be processed online.
Thankfully, technology has advanced enough. Artificial intelligence, big data, etc., are used for BIM (Building Information Modeling) that helps streamline the construction and real estate industries. High-speed internet connection (4G network), smartphones, and various video conferencing apps made it possible to have effective virtual tours and meetings.
Virtual reality and augmented reality have helped create virtual models of buildings that are still under construction. Buyers can see the final design of the flats in Mumbai or apartments in Bangalore even when the construction is underway.
Enhancing Buyer Experience
Ultimately, it’s the buyer’s satisfaction that decides the deal’s status and the builder’s reputation.
- Sharing drone shoots,
- Offering detailed virtual tours,
- Sharing 3D building models,
- Being accessible 24*7, etc
which gives buyers confidence that they buy online and invest in a property without personally visiting the site.
Data security and secure payment gateways for transactions also play a vital role. Buyers share their identification details and bank account information to make online payments. The data has to be protected from cybercriminals.
Real estate companies have been opting for cloud services to include the latest technology in their business process. It is helping them save costs, which is helpful in pandemic times.
The real estate companies in India are aggressively adopting PropTech. We need to continue doing the same to ensure that the industry caters to customers’ demands. It needs to be a customer-centric sector and provide real-time insights and updates.
[A1]Can internally link with a blog written last month on this topic.
[A2]Can internally link with a blog written last month on this topic.