The impact of digital transactions on real estate

That fateful day when the Indian government banned 500-rupee and 1000-rupee notes, sounded a gong of change in the real estate industry. Demonetisation impacted new launches, secondary real estate markets, and consumer interest. However, after the initial slowdown, the industry rose to normalcy; but the announcement had deeper implications. As cashless economy became closer to a reality, how did the real estate business adapt? Are the changes positive or negative? Here are some things you should know about going the digital route in realty business.

  1. Reduced Property Prices:  Demonetisation put a brake on black money flooding in the real estate business. Unaccounted transactions were a prime reason for inflated property prices, and as they ground to a halt the prices automatically corrected. Easily traceable online transactions brought down demand from buyers just looking to invest their black money – leading to a price fall eventually. The overall amount the buyers had to shell out also reduced, as additional expenses such as fee for involving third parties(tellers, clerks, accountants and so on) were rendered unnecessary.
  1. Efficient Transactions: One of the key benefits of going digital is efficiency. Online money transfers and digital contract signing made it possible to conduct business anytime, and anywhere. Not to mention the safety it brought in by eliminating the need to transfer banknotes between parties. Add to this the convenience of avoiding long bank queues, managing the physical paperwork, and keeping track of transactions – and digital seems to be the only way to go.
  1. Increased Transparency: One key theme running in the real estate industry is transparency. Shrouded in mystery for the longest time, it’s only now that the workings of the industry are becoming common knowledge. Online transactions becoming the preferred route for new age consumers, the transparency in operations has gone a notch higher. It’s much easier to view transaction history and access records for review and audit – tampering with them is also not an easy thing to do digitally.
  • Better Business Opportunities: As the Internet becomes the primary playground of all transactions; it also opens up opportunities for networking online. Securing new business proposals online is easier for the realtors as well. They can provide all relevant documentation to the potential buyer and close deals much quicker. From online payment receipts, the digital audit trails, to other documents on compliance for industry laws and regulations everything is easily accessible as a proof to gather new businesses and hence, broaden business opportunities.

The digital era has surely been a rude shock to the industry mired in the old ways of doing business. However, industry players are recognising the potential of this change and adapting quickly. While the digital route promises several gain, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. Rising cyber crimes such as hacking, identity thefts etc. can seriously derail the trust that’s slowly building in the system. Both buyers and builders must be aware of the limitations of digital before they hop on to this bandwagon.

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