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How Digital Revolution Is Accelerating a Shift in Consumer Behavior during Property Search In addition to searching or buying, instances of availing various loans through digital and mobile platforms are fast increasing

By Baishali Mukherjee

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Indian home buyers are fast embracing the digital way of life. They now can gain access to all kinds of information with just the touch of their fingertips. More and more property searches are now happening on smartphones than desktops. Mobile devices are being extensively used to search for listings, locate a house, seek more information, call or e-mail agents directly, or watch videos during the search for homes.

A recent study by India Property suggests the following trends-

  • With the convenience of user-friendly apps and responsive website designs; property search through mobile has grown three times faster than desktop.
  • Property search via mobile in tier-II cities has grown 1.3 times compared to national average.
  • 60 per cent of the property searches on the desktop is done during office hours (9 am to 5 pm) while property searches on mobile devices are consistent throughout the day, even after office hours contributing significantly.
  • Easy of accessibility of internet on mobile devices has led to mobile gaining more traffic on the weekend than desktops.
  • More women are searching for property on mobile and spending longer time on their phone in the process.

Growing Mobile Data Usage Propelling Acceleration of Mobile Apps

Strategic Importance of IT for healthier business outcome in the sector is increasingly being recognised by real estate players. It's vital that almost every facet of an organization's operations continue with zero interruption otherwise, it could lead to grave business and financial accountabilities. Businesses are sensing the call for accelerating the hosting capabilities and IT resources in order to stay competent. Though there has been a revival in investments by real estate developers, a hefty part of it is being spent on technology implementation.

Magicbricks, India's leading property site, with a monthly traffic exceeding 12 million visits and over 14 lakh property listings, has been the leader in this respect. They have initiated pioneering and industry-first customer-friendly features since the beginning of their journey. With four million downloads till date, 4.4 rating on Google Play store and a maximum number of reviews by the users, Magicbricks stands out as the highest rated and also the fastest growing app in this segment. Personalised services including Propworth, Real-Time chat, EMI Calculator have made the app distinctive have ensured easier property related decisions.

According to Sudhir Pai, CEO, Magicbricks, growing mobile data usage and increase in espousal of smart-phones have propelled further escalation of mobile apps.

"The segment has seen extraordinary growth. Magicbricks has observed a unique 40 per cent augment in app downloads in the last year driving us to advance our products and features. We are relentlessly working towards attending to the constantly changing customer needs by building an immersive online experience for home buyers," he shared.

Property Search with Mobile Phones Experienced Major Boost

Today mobile solutions are taking a leapfrog approach to help consumers find their dream homes. Property search through mobile phones has seen a major boost in the past six quarters in terms of traffic and leads. In the beginning of 2014, search for homes via mobile devices comprised only 10 per cent of property seekers, which is more than 40 per cent today.

Apps are now also playing a decisive role in lead generation. "Almost 40% of the visits to the property sites are made by consumers through apps. This creates a lead generation of near-about 30 per cent for the real estate companies. In the present realty market, apps are fast becoming indispensable in home buying decisions, says Nilesh Biswas, Founder - Calcutta Skyline, a 15-year-old company for property consultancy.

AI Improving Precision thus Enhancing Customer Experience

In addition to searching or buying, instances of availing various loans through digital and mobile platforms are fast increasing. Interestingly LoanAdda, A Fintech startup which helps SMEs in their working capital requirements has disbursed the first ever online Rent Securitization Loan of INR 100 crore from Bajaj Finance Ltd to Okaya Energy Ltd.

LoanSwift, the app uses machine learning tools across the consumer's life cycle, from acquirement to client engagement to credit underwriting and risk modelling. Once a purchaser application is received, the system pulls varied data from several sources like cash flows, credit scores, tax payments, ratings, margins, other financial data etc. This takes a couple of minutes and a decision is reached almost at the same time making it an entirely automated, digital experience for the buyer.

"We used AI and deep learning to map a vector of factors to the related factors to improve precision or prospect of an event, thus enhancing customer experience and decreasing costs where technology gains prominence on streamlining customer experience," shared Anshuman Mishra, founder and CEO, LoanAdda.

Machine learning helps ascertain the difference between a creditworthy and a high-risk borrower by studying a wider set of data. The app examines and surveys a host of traditional and non-traditional variables to correctly evaluate borrowers, including those with less or no data.

"It can interpret and evaluate huge in-house facts and figures, including client interaction information, payments profile, and purchase dealings. LoanSwift can even adjoin traditional credit data and non-traditional credit variables, for instance, the pattern in which customers fill up a form, amount of time spent on a site and such other components," notified Mishra.

Baishali Mukherjee

Former Freelancer

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