Buy from behind the screen

Buy from behind the screen

In the last few years, technology has creeped into almost every industry and real estate has not been left far behind. Priyanka Mantri discusses the effects of digitisation of this sector

The Indian real estate sector is witnessing a considerable change in consumer behaviour. In recent times, there has been a paradigm shift from focus on investment to focus on information.

The quintessence of real estate is physical interactions and tangibility. But today, this sector is embracing digital trends at a rapid pace. Digitisation is quite contrary to the fundamentals of real estate. Yet the digital platforms have had a profound impact on the way customers connect with developers and vice-versa.

The virtual world has to a large extent simplified the process of investment. Digital technologies are essential to optimise the full potential of real estate services and this is possible when the key role of information is truly recognised. Information needs to be dealt with precision and delivered with the utmost efficiency.

These vitals available on online forums formulate and influence customer perceptions. A few years down the line, the brick and mortar business will harp on digital technology to leverage value proposition of its financial transactions.

Welcome trend

At the moment, real estate is a highly unorganised sector and there is a dearth of transparent administrative processes. Since the investment procedures in property are quite complex, there are sometimes loopholes in management of records from multiple sources.

Digitisation has brought more transparency to the business processes. It builds a certain trust in the way customers communicate with the developers, thus increasing the chances of sealing a deal. Transparency instills in customers a greater sense of reliability and safety in making decisions.

Digitisation has a deep impact on the decisive process with websites giving buyers comprehensive information on site plans, proposed look, amenities, exact location, development around the area and much more.

Brokers have been considered the most bankable advisors for property investment plans for a really long time. But with the introduction of property reviews and investment information available on online platforms, this perception has changed.

Buyers today are greatly dependent on the Internet to make informed buying decisions. They are better informed and have a clear idea of the exact brand and model they want to invest in.

The other element that has been significantly influenced by digitisation is site visits. The convenience of virtual tours, high-definition pictures and video documentation has drastically cut down the need to physically visit a site location. These technologies have created a highly-evolved customer base, with the advantage of selecting preferred properties with just the click of a button.

Smartphones and tablets are the top preferences to undertake online research of property options. As a result, more and more house buyers are relying on smartphones to keep up with the changing market trends.

The surge in smart homes is a clear indication of the rising prevalence of smart technology and the growing network of the Internet of Things. A wide variety of smart home amenities are available in the market today. These technologies give consumers a more personal control over their homes through mobile apps.

IT is becoming a strong driving force influencing the way real estate companies market to their clients. The role of IT has evolved from being an innovation to being a necessity in the modern times.

The initiation of IT is forging a well-knit network of diverse parts of industry that in the past lacked proper connectivity. Technology enabled management of services that will help in centralisation of information. This will create a shared database that can be used by all departments. Digitisation will eliminate the issue of duplication of information and help obtain operational efficiency. This is essential particularly in terms of expanding corporate associations and in achieving long-term goals.

Corporate executives are gauging the impact IT will have on the operations of real estate organisations. The key concerns will be the influence these technologies will have on organisations becoming more effective, improving services and assessing performance while giving further impetus to the business. The new technologies will create more efficient work processes integrating operational and reference information, thus realising full potential and increasing the profit margins.

The implementation of new techno-logy into the operational structure of the organisation will create business process mapping or analysis. This process of mapping or analysis will be useful in determining how information is used throughout the company. It will allow to make edits in the way business processes information. These IT solutions will bring a renewed spirit and support to the growth of new business strategies.

Age of millennials

The technological transformations have come to the forefront with the entry of millennials into to the workforce of real estate industry. They have introduced the need to implement tech-savvy approaches that appeal to the new-age customer base. It is easier to reach out to the potential customer base via online advertisements.

It costs only a fraction of the advertorial costs in traditional print media and is more effective as it reaches out to a diverse range of audience. Through online platforms developers, brokers and sellers have the convenience of a better positioning. They can offer more detailed information and include multiple images offering better reference to customers.

Digitisation brings a means of better analysis of customer interface. The added advantage of using the Internet is that it facilitates the evaluation of the reach of the information. There is the handiness of reviewing how many people have visited the site or clicked on the link, the percentage of email and telephone leads received, and the proportion of call-back requests.

This real-time feedback is beneficial to sellers, developers and brokers to evaluate their performance in comparison with their peers and enables them to get a better idea of return on investment. The digitisation process has led to information explosion in the property industry. People have better and easier access to relevant information today. It has also facilitated the involvement of more specialised professionals in the real estate space.

Online platforms enable customers to develop a better understanding and processing of information. In the times to come, the need to embrace digital marketing for real estate will be even greater. The digital enterprise will help to have an advantage over competition while offering better opportunities to connect with potential buyers.

(The author is director, marketing, Mantri Developers)

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