A rising real estate market will experience tremendous expansion...

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

real estate-min

A rising real estate market will experience tremendous expansion...

The real estate sector is a major component of the Indian economy feeding more than 200 allied industries. The sector is expected to grow to reach USD 1 trillion in size by 2030, up from USD 200 billion in 2021. Even though the pandemic related disruptions affected customer visits and construction progress in the short term, the sector had one of the most successful periods in its history. The past two years have evidently had a major impact on the sector.

 

There has been major reconfiguration in the way businesses operate in the post-COVID world. With social distancing permeating the daily regime, ensuring safety of every stakeholder has become very important. Real estate developers had to think of ways of reaching out to customers with zero physical interface and closing deals without the customer having to travel to the sales office. The pandemic has forced the sector to react and adopt channels and technologies that would not have been a priority earlier. This period also modified consumer buying behaviour and increased the acceptability of the newer technologies and methods of engagement, which led to a manifold increase in the pace of adoption of emerging technologies like Virtual Reality, AI and newer analytical tools.

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Developers are now realizing the need to pivot and adapt to the changing technology landscape to gain competitive edge. Technological advances in every industry have the potential to augment business operations and change industry standards.[/box]

In line with the same, ‘Proptech’ is emerging as a game changer for the real estate industry. It is booming and transforming the way we buy, sell, maintain and interact with our properties. Some of the aspects of selling and owning a home which will undergo significant evolution are:

Customizing the Offering

A significant amount of involvement in terms of time and effort goes today in shortlisting the right property. With the power of internet, a vast amount of information available at a click of a button has made it possible to search and shortlist properties online. The property search websites rely on simple overt filters like location, size, amenities, price etc. to recommend properties. AI & ML has the potential to help customise the offerings based on inherent personality traits, likings, values, etc. which was till now the value-add brought in by expert salespeople. A particularly significant benefit that comes with the use of AI algorithms is that it tends to be adjusted to reflect special market segments and can also be automatically acclimated to incorporate latest information. This process could now literally take minutes using the technology, which allows the developers to feed big data into ML algorithms to provide them with reliable estimates.

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Nowadays, chatbots on search sites help homebuyers answer questions quickly and easily. While in-person or telephonic introductions are more effective, the ability to respond to constant queries at a large scale is a competitive advantage. Implementation of such technology is making the buyer experience faster by digitalizing the entire home buying experience.[/box]

Once people are interested in a house, they want to get a visual impression. Traditional approaches make it difficult to collect critical information, such as the neighbourhood’s prestige or how safe it feels. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are a type of architecture that can extract these visual features and showcase them through pictures. This can be further encoded into satellite images where consumers can simply zoom in, to explore the property’s surroundings.

Communicating the Offering

Nearly all potential home buyers search for properties on the internet first, followed by a visit to the property to experience it. Virtual Reality (VR) provides a more immersive and vivid experience without physically going to see multiple homes or properties for buyers. This technology adds an additional layer of depth to the previous use of two-dimensional videos and still photography to showcase a property. For long distance buyers and NRIs, virtual tours can help them get acquainted with the space, amenities, and locality to help them take an informed decision from the comfort of their homes.

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Most young buyers are already familiar with doing business online, meaning properties equipped with virtual tours will be better positioned among this rapidly increasing demographic.[/box]

Technology will play an important part in the home buying process and decrease the number of site visits. However, the final purchase decision for a property is dependent on multiple variables including location, accessibility, neighbourhood, amenities available around the property etc so site visits will not go away completely.

Construction and Maintenance

Every product starting from consumer electronics to vehicles to utilities and other everyday objects are being combined with Internet connectivity to provide massive amounts of data that has the potential to transform the way we live, work and play. The vast amounts of data being generated by the smart devices and sensors can not only alert owners, property managers or even developers of problems but even provide predictive analytics to help fix problems even before they arise with the help of predictive maintenance. With the help of Internet of Things (IoT), home buyers and property managers have access to comprehensive data on their home maintenance, HVAC, plumbing, electricals, etc. By combining real estate with IoT technologies, smart buildings take the notion of smart houses to the next level.

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Internet of Things (IOT) is also making its way into the construction Industry in a big way. This is an industry, which requires well-coordinated efforts between different fields using large numbers of skilled labour force working in safe site conditions. For all of these, technology applications like collaboration tools, visualisation tools, project tracking and monitoring tools are very pertinent. Technology can be extremely useful in saving time and costs besides achieving quality.[/box]

In this new era of the real estate sector, developers will be harnessing technologies to maximize the value of their properties and propel their business forward. Going digital would not just aid real estate players in adequately tapping new customer base but also embrace a customer-driven approach which is changing the face of this traditional sector. With the growing internet user base that is expected to reach one billion by 2025, the opportunity for real estate developers to take advantage of technology in the sector is colossal.

 

KT Jithedran[author title=”Written By” image=”http://”]KT Jithendran, CEO, Birla Estates[/author]

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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