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How Real Estate Companies are Evolving with Modern Consumers? The primary sales channel used by developers to reach potential buyers was through local real estate agents followed by local marketing

By Chetan Bafna

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As an industry evolves through time, its consumers evolve too. The traditional real estate industry believed in creating product with limited consumer-relevant attributes and with no importance on aspects such as customer choice, customer satisfaction or customer loyalty. The emphasis on marketing efforts was low with no horizon of creating value to the consumer.

But the times have changed rapidly to create a new real estate industry what it is today. The active forays into realty by large Indian Corporate Houses and the attraction of private equity investment into real estate projects have begun to organize the industry through time into a professionally driven and managed sector with an attempt towards customer service and customer satisfaction.

Yet it is still an evolving industry with ready, matured and experienced consumers, who are hunting for value in the real estate they want to buy or invest in. What they are seeking is value for not only money, but also for the time and lifestyle that they would commit into their real estate. This is dramatically setting a whole new level of customer expectations with limited or almost no strategic solution with the real estate companies to elevate their capability in servicing these expectations. It's a wide gap, unrecognized and unfulfilled.

The Evolving Real Estate Consumer

In a parallel study, If we look at the real estate market from 2000 - 2005, the then active developer and its sales team based its strengths to sell the product by showcasing amenities, price and location. The primary sales channel used by developers to reach potential buyers was through local real estate agents followed by local marketing. Thereafter in the period 2005 - 2010 emerged the phase where buyers grew in attraction towards the developer brand name for credibility & trust reasons followed by the rest. Fast forward to 2017 where the same buyers have become tech savvy in their day-to-day lives.

Almost everything is being driven through SMART technology from communicating to transportation to buying to banking, even grocery online. All the basic needs are now available at a touch of fingertips. Could this mean then that why not the homes be enabled with technology, which will benefit them in terms of security, making day-to-day tasks easy as people are always on the go? Here comes the plight of the modern real estate developer to provide consumers with high-tech modes of technology for their homes that makes the customers' life simpler, their communication with the developer easier and raises their satisfaction towards the developer.

Bridging the Gap Now

This is where the gap needs to be filled in by technology start-ups to provide strengths to bridge and boost evolution of the real estate companies in presenting their revamped offering to the modern customer. The new developer can have a new line of engagement with the customer to create immediate and long-term value through technology to capture and track service requests, resolutions, communication and more. The modern developer and its modern customers need not exchange communication through decentralized functions or departments but through a single interface, a single solution.

With the modern-day technology for homes and buildings, a campus can now become equipped with features such as Mobile Video Door Phone, Digitized Mobile Security, Paperless Management Systems, Project and Home Automation. The whole purpose is to create a Smart Real Estate Company for the Smart Customer to be in line with the technology revolution happening around us everywhere. And this technology-enabled project would empower the Real Estate Company in turn to access, analyse and act on the consumer behaviour, expectations and trends to improvise its product and services as a whole.

The story of this new era in solution-enabled real estate is just the beginning. There is immense potential waiting to be realized for the evolving Real Estate Company in enhancing its customer relationships and transforming them into loyalty.

Chetan Bafna

Founder & CEO, Lockated

Chetan Bafna is the founder and CEO of Lockated, a real estate company. 
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