COVID-19 has adversely affected many industries but there were few who took the first impact of this global crisis. One of them was the Real Estate sector - the year 2020 was a defining year in the history of economic downturns, with construction operations suspended and migration of labour. With negligible home enquiries to constant breaks in constructions, the real estate sector was caught in a real surprise.
Many organizations/ developers hence adopted technology that accelerated during the pandemic. In the post-pandemic world, real estate is embracing technology and the future looks quite bright with the way big developers are creating innovative solutions.
Technologies today are quickly emerging followed by an easy mass adoption due to pandemic.
Some of the major tech trends that shaped 2021 for Real Estate sector are:
Introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI is quite literally disrupting many industries and real estate is no exception. Most realtors are now using data & smart algorithms to identify trends of the past and hence identification/selection of right properties for future. There are applications that can estimate the current market value of a property and predict their future prices. The use of cutting edge statistics and ML models are perfect for home valuations.
Rise of PropTech: The amalgamation of newest technology with one of the oldest industries i.e. Real Estate is now coined as PropTech. It includes all the transformational technologies that will change how businesses and customers communicate with other. The PropTech ecosystem includes tech enabled listings & marketplaces, brokers, rental management, liquidity, refinancing, home loans, valuation and much more.
Era of Cloud: Stakeholders may now access and evaluate data from anywhere in the world thanks to cloud-based applications. Three up-and-coming service models in PropTech are Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service.
Millennials are the largest buyers: According to FinanceOnline, millennials remain the largest buyers in 2021 in the real estate industry. Despite the worldwide Covid time and other restrictions, modern realities show that every year the population involved in purchasing real estate is growing. Therefore, customizing your offerings to suit their needs and requirements is essential.
Smart and flexible homes: Use of technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to many smart devices. With Alexa and Google Home becoming an integral part of urban living lifestyle, more and more advanced technologies will come up in the near future. The way we live & work is constantly evolving and thus architects/realtors will incorporate more & more smart home technology into designs.
Trends likely in 2022
Customer Experience vs Customer Service: Previously, the focus was on customer service, which is very reactive and focuses on a company's assistance to its customers when they ask for it. However, the focus has shifted to customer experience, which considers every single contact point in the consumer's overall interaction with the organisation, which now encompasses both online and offline interactions. Furthermore, Customer Experience Management (CEM) is closely related to CRM, with the goal of attracting and retaining consumers through a positive experience.
Revitalization of secondary markets: Urbanization and increased standards of living are now reaching secondary markets and beyond. Thus, it provides ample opportunities for developers to take them up, providing redevelopment support and new assets. Deeper market penetration for businesses.
Conversational AI: With the advent of many digital platforms, realty is now targeting better customer engagement through conversational AI. A better version of “Chatbots”, will ensure real time response, more efficient management, voice support etc. According to Deloitte, "these assistants would be built for purpose, have a rich set of capabilities, and be integrated into the end-to-end process landscape of the enterprise."
Big Data, Machine Learning (ML): Very similar to this year's trend, the use of Big Data and ML will continue to shape up the industry. According to research by Mckinsey, machine-learning models can predict changes in rent rate with 90 percent accuracy.
The Real Estate sector is being slowly redefined by technology propelled by the pandemic. Hence, it is certain that this industry is heading towards a revolution.
(Anilcy Verghese, AVP Sales & Marketing, Karle Infra Private Ltd., Bengaluru)