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How the Pandemic Has Given Rise To a More Digitally Equipped Real Estate Industry The real estate market will adjust according to the positive impacts of digitisation

By Hakim Lakdawala

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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It is clear by now that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered our ways of living and working. Right from offices, homes to outdoor spaces, every place has been impacted by the virus outbreak. Every sector of the economy, including the previously healthy realty sector, has been hit by the pandemic. As new trends emerge, the realty market is all set to change in a post-COVID world. The demand and supply dynamics will evolve and transform.

The real estate industry, like all others, has also been quick to adopt digital solutions. The crisis has unwittingly shown us that there are numerous cost-effective ways to conduct human activity. The world has now stepped into a zone of digital-irreversibility. The real estate market will adjust according to the positive impacts of digitisation. Processes such as transactions, capital deployment, property management, virtual tours and consumption patterns will be dominated by digitisation.

A large number of millennials are realizing the value of owning a home. A consistent income and a good chunk of cash for a substantial down payment are all it takes for today's youth to book their dream home. The volatile market forces are not deterring homebuyers. Tech-savvy home seekers are not shying away from looking at properties online, comparing rates at various sites and finally making an informed decision. Housing is a basic need for millions of people in India. Apart from fulfilling life's everyday pleasures, the dream of owning a security home has led customers to take action towards the same. Young professionals prefer ready to move-in or near completion homes that are located in prime areas as well as provide them with all amenities, safety and security.

Smart homes

Realtors have started to design IoT enabled homes, which will minimize human contact. Work from home is the new normal for many, and homeowners will be on the lookout for a property that effortlessly accommodates business needs. Developers will also be focusing on security services and smart solutions for their buyers. Voice-controlled electronics such as televisions, lights, thermostats, speakers and more, decrease the amount of high-touch surfaces in households. Sensor-based taps and flushes will be of use to further avoid surface touch.

Virtual home tours

The technology going beyond 2D photographs, video conferencing platforms, and interactive 3D models pose to be a tool that makes property showing processes an unprecedented success. Virtual home tours curb the scenario where a lot of people cannot physically visit the sites. It has also proved beneficial for NRIs planning to buy homes in India. It offers prospects greater flexibility in the apartment hunting process. With conveniences ranging from easing schedules, visiting houses in far-away areas virtually among others, virtual property tours is a trend that is here to stay.

Cloud-based solutions

The COVID-19 outbreak has encouraged employees to work from home, simultaneously limiting contact. This new trend has spur companies to be more willing to accelerate the adoption of flexible working policies in the future. While this may result in companies requiring less office space per employee in the long run, there will be an increasing demand for top-quality spaces capable of encouraging collaboration, innovation, and employee well-being. Cloud technology has played a key role in supporting remote working by connecting users with their enterprise databases and other online resources. Large corporations typically use virtual private network (VPN) and multi-factor authentication technology to ensure access to data and systems restricted to authorised employees.

Property transactions go online

Over the past decade, navigating the realm of real estate has become easier and accessible due to the growing number of property business websites. These platforms are on a mission to make the entire process easier for all parties involved. Be it those on the lookout for suitable properties or those looking to sell; the entire process has become hassle-free, by going online. In terms of safety, such companies offer robust quality and background checks so people can make informed decisions based on facts and data rather than simply relying on word-of-mouth assurance. In the residential sector, ready-to-move-in homes are gaining popularity during the pandemic as people prefer to live in secure, fully furnished homes. Finding such options online from the comfort of their homes is a driving factor.

As individuals set in the new normal, Indian real estate firms have started incorporating chatbots into their websites. These digital marvels allow businesses to save on customer service expenses and also facilitate the optimization of time intervals spent on answering questions by allowing a computer-generated assistant to respond to common customer-to-customer questions that do not change.

In India's infrastructure and real estate markets, a multitude of technical developments and innovations have made inroads that are expected to reshape the industry's future. It will be fascinating to look at what the current and the future have in store for India's infrastructure business.

Hakim Lakdawala

Group Promoter, Goodwill Developers


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