Adopting technology by the real estate sector is perhaps the only way forward to deal with the disruption which homebuyers and owners are facing to stay relevant with their customer base.
- Rahul Grover
There is a significant transformation in the real estate industry by way of adopting PropTech. “PropTech” a short form for property technology, has been coined to describe the digital revolution which has overtaken the real estate industry by storm. It primarily refers to crucial parts of the real estate process in the world of online—general browsing for enquiry – from bookings to closings. The sector is fast moving from a built environment and identity to a digital future and undergoing new technology in the form of emerging businesses and alternative solutions. It is still very early to determine the level and potential of impact.
Adopting technology by the real estate sector is perhaps the only way forward to deal with the disruption which homebuyers and owners are facing to stay relevant with their customer base. Real estate service providers are fast realising that adopting tech is one of the smartest ways to tackle industry bottle-necks and keep engagement with customers real and efficient. It also takes care of peer competition. The good news is there are many options for easy-to-use technology for the service providers of the real estate sector.
Automation and Innovation
From personal networks and relationships based on work, the real estate industry has to move at breakneck speed to pick trends and tastes of digitally savvy customers. There is a lot of thought that needs to go into understanding the ever-evolving behaviour and preferences of customers.
Online search platforms
Real estate is probably one of the last sectors to adopt PropTech to cater to on-demand responses of customers. Long-standing service providers have to adopt this to stay relevant and not get left behind. It is a necessary evolution to meet consumer needs and expectations, given the accustomed habits by Amazon and Google.
Transparency and Accountability
A lot of consumers today are increasingly seeking experiences which are transparent and promptly responsive. The transactions continue being human but the solutions have to be up-to-date which can be aided only by technology.
Market research of assets and resources
Homebuyers spend the maximum amount of time seeking verified agents and clean properties with no legal litigations or disputes. It makes huge sense for service providers to bridge this customer need by adopting technology and providing a cleaner interface. Data plays a crucial role here to tap into external factors like consumer trends and behaviours.
User experience – the game changer
With most customers relying on their smartphone or by extension their laptop or home PC for market research, it is highly crucial for real estate service providers to understand customer roadblocks and mitigate the same with seamless processes be it reducing paperwork or enquiries. Use of drones, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are ways of engaging with the new age customer for better and effective experiences.
Strategy – a working Business model
The enthusiasm aside, asking the right and relevant questions while adopting PropTech is a necessary rite of passage. Service providers should be ready to adopt, both resources and skill-wise. Blending in both old-world traditional methods as well as innovative tech is the way forward in the period of transition. Service providers must also be realistic about how the business model will evolve. There must be a value add for the investment in terms of penetrating the value chain.
Making the most of Housing policies
The sector experiencing significant regulatory changes thanks to government policies and a strong focus on affordable housing and initiatives like Smart Cities and large industrial corridors like MIDC. It only makes strategic sense to adopt technology for any stakeholder to scale up efficiency and returns.
However, the enthusiasm for adopting PropTech aside there is no one-size fits all strategy that works for all. All service providers need to aggressively work on developing, implementing and integrating their collective experience into a clearly defined digital strategy to stay ahead of the game in such a dynamic environment.
Rahul Grover is CEO, Sai Estate Consultants Chembur Pvt. Ltd (SECCPL). Views expressed are the author’s personal.