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Various innovative technologies have made inroads into the real estate sector in India, right from property search to construction and signing of contracts. Leveraging of these technologies, is likely to reshape the future of the real estate industry in 2019. For a buyer, the changes are welcoming but for property developers and consultants, these changes could prove disruptive and challenging. “The needs of millennial home owners, are likely to revolve around intelligent buildings with advanced technology. Thus, buildings with modern designs are likely to command a premium in the cost-conscious Indian property market. For developers, the early adoption and investment in technologies, will prove to be the best defence against disruptions,” states Surabhi Arora, senior associate director – research, Colliers International.
Technologies that facilitate property discovery, map-based location services, amenities-based searches, dynamic pricing models, marketing, online credit score and EMI services, online agreements, 360-degree videos, online token payment facilities for property bookings, etc., are some of the developments that are likely to have a profound impact on the real estate sector in 2019.
Technology and the impact of data on real estate transactions
According to Om Ahuja, chief operating officer – residential business, K Raheja Corp, the adoption of technology has increased the ﬂow of data in the market.
“The proliferation of listing websites and mobile apps, as well as online linkage to ﬁnancing sources and e-signed documents, have streamlined the process of buying, selling and marketing properties,” states Ahuja. Technology can also provide quicker methods for investment companies, to decide if a deal is worth pursuing. “For example, Automated Valuation Models (AVM) can enable users to rapidly create the revenue and expense information needed to examine a deal. Swift availability and analysis of information like popular areas, number of units sold and data on other upcoming projects, can help close deals faster.
“Many service providers like Zipserv and CRE Matrix, provide crucial data that reflects the recently transacted deals in an area. This can guide home buyers on the realistic market value of the property they intend to buy and help consumers and brokers to close transactions more proficiently,” adds Ahuja. Blockchain-enabled transactions and contracts, could be a game-changer in the upcoming years.
How technology helps real estate developers in construction
In India, the use of newer construction technology is still at a nascent stage but changes are underway. “Builders of high-rise residential and commercial structures have already embraced advanced technologies in various facets of the construction process – maintaining ambient temperature in different climates, ensuring the vertical alignment of towers through GPS positioning, etc.,” explains Naveen Mypala, executive director, Aliens Group, Hyderabad. Developers have also moved beyond mere photographic representations of their projects, to 3D virtual tours, to woo customers. “The development of virtual reality has enabled customers to get a real-time experience of living in their to-be constructed homes,” adds Ahuja.
House hunting through the digital medium
With the proliferation of the internet and the rise of property portals and websites of agents and builders, today’s digitally-savvy customers can short-list multiple properties in a short period of time, as per their requirements. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) also makes it mandatory for projects to be registered with the state’s regulatory authority and for information pertaining to the project to be uploaded on the authority’s website. Property buyers, hence, can cross-check and validate information from multiple sources online, before taking a call on site visits or final purchase. Festival-centric campaigns conducted online, by real estate players, also ensure visibility to unique projects across India. Such initiatives assist the customers to stay abreast with the latest developments.
Opulent interiors and diverse amenities no longer define a luxury project, as home seekers now look for ‘intelligent’ homes. Futuristic flats with home automation and IOT (internet of things) amenities, are high on customers’ priorities. Touch-enabled interfaces that control lighting, air-conditioning and ventilation, electronic appliances, biometric locks and security systems integrated with e-mail and mobile apps, are some features that have already become available in luxury projects. These features could well be on their way into the affordable housing segment, as well.
“The home automation market in India consists of four segments – security, lighting, A/V and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning). According to market research, the home automation sector is expected to exceed Rs 9,000 crores by 2018. Owing to the growing number of IT hubs and HNIs (high net-worth individuals), major cities like Hyderabad and Pune are emerging as the top markets for this segment,” adds Mypala.
With technology, every phase of the home buying process, from searching, evaluating and shortlisting properties, to site visits, financing and signing the agreements, is being made smoother, faster and more secure, with companies offering niche solutions, in a trend that is only set to further strengthen in the years to come.