Like any other industry, real estate is adopting to technological change. The need to deliver a better customer experience, make processes simpler, reduce costs, make properties more attractive, and stay compliant with industry regulations has ensured a steady rate of technology adoption. Let’s take a look at some tech applications that are gaining popularity in real estate:
Listings, marketplaces, and forums
The days of scanning newspapers and circling “To Let” and “For sale”signs are long gone. One of the first technology applications in real estate was the emergence of web portals such as magic bricks, and 99acres that helped the buyer access a vast number of property listings and shortlist them based on their specific criterion. Over the years these portals have evolved to help buyers in the entire purchase journey – from making a decision, to financing it, to clearing the paper work. Today forums such as commonfloor are also helping buyers talk about specific projects and share their experiences with the builders to help others make decision.
The always on generation wants 24×7 connectivity – with people warming up to the idea of remote access and AI based personal assistants such as Alexa, Smart Homes are becoming a coveted commodity. Realtors are leveraging connected devices and smartphones to deliver intelligent homes that can change lighting, open doors, control temperature, and enable surveillance on the click of a button. Steadily on an uptick Indian Smart Home market is expected to hit 7.2% by 2022.
Sparked by demonetisation, digital payments are becoming a norm in the real estate industry – a trend consistent with other measures boosting system transparency. Digital payments make it easy and convenient for buyers to transfer money anytime, anywhere and maintain all records online for easy access.
Still a budding concept; Crowdfunding could be used by realtors to fund projects and get customer buy in from the beginning. While it is gaining popularity Globally, India still needs a moderating/ regulatory body to ensure that funds collected through crowdsourcing are not misused by any party.
Blockchain based smart contracts
Anyone would agree that paperwork is the worst bit of any real estate transaction. Blockchain based smart contracts bring in transparency, efficiency, and accuracy in transactions involving multiple parties. They also eliminate the need for middlemen bringing costs down. An example of blockchain use in real estate is the city of Amaravati that used this technology and automated the entire process – from allocating plots, registration, to data storage.
Drones are adding an experience factor to buyers journey. Builders like Brigade and Radius Developers are deploying drones to take ariel shots of ongoing construction and updating customers on the project status. This has the triple benefit of saving customers’ time, keeping them informed, and establishing trust in the builder.
Today, most of the home buyers understand the power of collective bargaining. As a community, they are collaborating on common platforms to have stronger say , whether it is in buying properties or talking to the developers as a group. Basis the success of group-buying websites such as Groupon.com, a few websites like GrOffr.com and SnapGhar.com are already offering a forum for buyers to get together, negotiate for better deals through collective bargaining.
Usually, through online sources buyers can look at the property deals easily and they can also register their interest in the deal. The properties will be offered at discounted rates by the developer, if the deal attracts minimum number of buyers.
For the Indian real estate industry, this is the just the beginning – much more innovative tech applications are on the horizon.