The future of home buying: Digital age reality

The future of home buying: Digital age reality

Home buying is set for a big makeover as realty firms and banks have come together to reimagine their businesses so as to provide an immersive and delightful experience to their customers.

When digital disruption is sweeping all industries, can real estate and banking be left behind?
Owning a home is a dream come true for many of us. But the process of buying one is often a nightmare for many. Despite home-search going digital, the post search process involving banking, loans, agreements, extensive paperwork, frequent on-site visits becomes a draining burden for buyers.

Since the realty and banking processes are independent of each other, the experience becomes painful for the home buyers.

New age, new need

The world we live in is increasingly turning digital and buying a home should be no different. As a large army of technophile millennials with increasing purchasing powers come into the workforce, home buying process needs to become more digital.

Millennials have a strong dependency on their mobile devices and also expect a quick response from the industry players. Influenced by social media, millennials are most likely to trust their friend’s opinions rather than depending on advertisements from realty developers. Homes are more of an investment property today and hold utmost significance amongst Gen Y.

The frenzied lifestyle of millennials adds to the pressure of investing in home and property, where to devote time simply for searching houses becomes cumbersome.

Exploring properties online gives a fair idea to buyers and helps them easily compare market prices whilst embracing technology. To avoid the burden of manually searching houses, paperwork, loan sanctioning process, etc. a uniform platform will help buyers have a peek into futuristic buying. Going digital will not only disrupt the idea of traditional home buying but it will enhance the consumers’ experience blending with their ever changing lifestyles.  
 
Reimagining home buying

With streamlined technology, gone will be the days where consumers will have to step out and get involved in the complex home buying system. Augmented reality is one such technology which will help the buyers experience lifelike interactive 3D models.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons, Near-field communication (NFC) and QR codes are the latest proximity technologies. Virtual on-site visits while sitting in your office will not just be conducive but has the potential to transform the future of home buying.

 Along with the property details, the solution depicts relevant loan information so that one can check the affordability, calculate loan tenure, EMIs and also be notified about special interest rates depending on the customer’s status. For the home buyer, this goes a long way to shortlist options and the first level of seamless informative experience.

Delighting with immersive experience

Mobile devices are essential to initiate the interactive consumer journey. In order to bring continuity to the buying process and build trust with the buyer, a virtual reality (VR) experience to visualise the property as a completed home makes more sense. What one buys is a vision of the completed home.

Seeing is believing and the VR depiction helps the buyer engage and interact with realty holograms using a wearable device and navigate through digital content of the property from the comfort of the bank.

Sitting in a remote bank branch anywhere in the world, with minimal guidance from a bank staff the buyer can relate to the new age experience of home buying. This futuristic model would be more engaging and influential, helping the buyer gain confidence in his investment and get a broader view of the processes involved.

The combination of proximity technologies, mobile with AR, virtual reality application running in cloud, built using in-memory technologies provide for powerful visualisation of the property in consideration along with related loan and banking information. The amalgamation of various elements of technology with integrated banking provides for the new age experience of home buying.

(The writer is Head of SAP Co-Innovation Labs, South Asia, ANZ and Middle East)

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