Technology helps find homes during COVID

Even in many Level 2 cities, homeowners have begun listing their properties online

After two waves of the challenging Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian real estate sector is slowly recovering in 2021. While the construction and real estate industries have declined by 8.6 and 1.5 per cent, respectively, between April 2020 and March 2021, the fourth quarter saw year-on-year growth of 14.5 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, according to the OSN (National Bureau of Statistics). The economy is steadily moving towards normalcy with rising vaccination rates and the real estate industry is being calibrated accordingly. The residential sector was very successful during the first months of the pandemic. But in October there was an increase in demand as rental and loan interest rates fell, along with the holiday season. This led to customers purchasing new homes. The fall in stamp duty in Maharashtra also played an important role in this increase in demand. In addition, during the second half of 2020, employees began working from home, which meant an increase in demand for larger, more spacious homes. On the brighter side, real estate companies adopted digital methodologies to conduct their business. In many Level 2 cities, we even observed homeowners listing their properties online for the first time. From a practical perspective, digitization made sense as physical visits to the site declined and mentioned reasons for social distancing. In addition, today, housing demand is based primarily on millennials. They are technology experts and expect 24×7 availability and connectivity everywhere. Both to ensure the safety of agents and customers and to cater to new buyers of millennial homes, companies have begun to invest in new-age technology to navigate the new post-Covid world.

A significant development is the use of virtual reality (VR) that offers homeowners a digital tour of their potential homes. Developers use various features such as downloadable floor plans, 360-degree drone views, dollhouse views and more to create the most complete virtual experience possible. Real estate brokerage is expected to dominate in the near future. New real estate solutions not only offer a complete virtual home search experience, but also better support for real estate agents. Virtual reality has the potential to create cloud-based virtual office configurations and this can reduce the need for physical offices, saving significant costs to the company. At the same time, the sense of community and coexistence is not lost and interdepartmental communication is facilitated regardless of the cities in which the team members are located. Field activities are also getting better through virtual solutions. Over the past year, agents have been forced to go out regularly to show homes to customers, as many homeowners are still hesitant to look for homes online. Virtual office solutions allow these agents to access data, CRM, and other resources while they are mobile and also provide them with the necessary inputs whenever they are needed without leaving. In addition, these solutions allow real estate agents to develop the skills, knowledge, and professional knowledge needed to drive. The goal here is to help agents with better retention and a quick understanding of the facts with the training imparted in a gamified model. While the most notable is the approach of New Age companies to the compensation model, agents are motivated to get options to raise capital and a nice brokerage commission on every sale they make. The real estate industry is no exception to the changing world work model. Virtual solutions have replaced the traditional sense of sight and touch, but the core remains the same: skilled real estate agents now help with technology that can enable them to do virtual business and gain success and respect from their clients and colleagues. .

(The writer is CEO of eXp Realty. The views expressed are personal.)

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