Technology is continuously changing all facets of human life. The real estate industry too has not remained untouched. If one looks at the Indian Real Estate sector today, technology’s penetration is not that deep. In effect the use of technology in Indian Reality is just the tip of the iceberg.
We have already seen how lamentably Indian Reality fared during the global crisis (COVID-19). There has often been talk of adoption of technology, yet most of it has merely been lip service. If we sit down to analyze, we will realise that India’s real estate industry is at least five years behind the technology curve, if not more. It continues to be an industry that is managed by spreadsheets!
When a homebuyer goes online and sees a great number of options, he has to zero down his choices. This process can be overwhelming and frustrating. This is when the need for an app is necessitated, an app that could consider personnel preferences and present a couple of quality choices.
Internally, of course, the Algorithm in the app can base its decision on thousands of parameters, which can be potentially more helpful than merely a bit of human advice. Such a technology is not there yet.
The ground reality though is that it is only a matter of few years when we in India will be able to see the full-blown impact of things such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), Robotics, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality in the country’s Reality Sector. The rest of the world, especially the US and Europe, on the contrary can boast of plenty of examples wherein technology has been successfully adopted to enhance Reality’s core business.
The varying quality of AI-enabled tools will be the deciding factor between successful and not so successful Real Estate companies. However, the acid test will be when the revenues start to kick in for organizations because of the technology they adopted. Only then the fear of missing out and going out of business will force the mass adoption of technology in India’s Real Estate Sector.
Hasn’t that been the story so far in most of the sectors? Across entire Industry scenario, Indian entrepreneurs have always lagged in applying the latest technologies. As a result they have in all instances failed to create globally reputed brands.
Time is ripe for everyone involved in the decision-making, to invest in emerging technologies to help the Indian Reality Sector take on a world-class identity. Let’s dwell on some of the significant technologies and their potential role in bolstering Real Estate.
Construction activities can become most enhanced operating robotics. Physical robots can find their good use in construction.’ SAM’ -A semi-automated mason was launched not so long ago. It lays bricks and improves productivity five times.
Virtual Agents can perform repetitive, monotonous back-office work. Invoicing, payments, renewals are some of the activities, which take up a lot of manual labor. All these can quickly be taken care of by RPA (Robotic Process Automation). Data extraction can also be made simple adopting such technology in the area of Back Office Operations. That data could be beneficial in forging a strategy for long-term customer engagement programs.
AI and ML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)
Chatbots have decidedly been a boon so far! Chatbot is one innovation that is widely being used in Indian Reality. Chatbot is software that interacts with consumers on day-to-day queries and predictable questions. This not only saves time and effort; it is a very reliable form of data collection. The coolest feature of a Chatbot is its availability. It’s always there, which in business terms means your business is still there for the customer.
IBM has created one of the most innovative and revolutionary apps in the global reality sector, called Tririga. This application is most efficacious in office space management. The app aims to optimize the usage of office space. At the very least 30 to 40 % increase in efficiency can be brought about through this app observe the management of workspaces via various sources.
ML is a branch of computer science, which deals in helping algorithms to learn from data. When used correctly with ML applications, the vast amount of data can help make smart decisions. Many apps are coming in to predict property prices, which use loads of data and predictive analysis to assess its future value. One such app in the US market is HouseCanary. It uses data from the past 40 years and generates a forecast with a low rate of error. Some AI and ML applications are Predictive Maintenance, Analytics in building Automation Systems, Enhanced Data Management, IoT Analytics Platform, and Manual Property Appraisal to Automated Valuation.
VTS, the leading brand in Commercial Real Estate in the US, has brought out VTS Market, a truly groundbreaking app. It enables the landlords and their agency teams to market and lease their available spaces remotely for the first time.
VR and AR
VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) are the world’s two most popular immersive technologies. Typically used in the entertainment industry, their application, in Reality, is raising quite a few eyebrows and in the right way. There is a common saying in Real Estate Industry that you never say yes to a property unless you visit the site personally.
VR and AR professionals have done such an excellent job of recreating virtual environment properties with all their nuances and nitty-gritties. To understand the property’s style, space, and atmosphere without going there physically is revolutionary, only if the VR n AR simulated models of the buildings do justice to the property’s actual physicality.
Some of the apps and the technology available today have done an outstanding job of creating very close-to-life simulated 3d models of the buildings and their surroundings. Arki, Storyboard VR, and Pair 3D are top-notch apps that exhibit VR and AR prowess.
To find out what AR and VR can do, check out a simple award-winning app called Magicplan. The app’s beauty is that it is for every stakeholder—real estate agents, architects, interior designers, furniture retailers. The app makes and edits floor plans, does job estimates, among other things.
Guided visits and Interactive visits are the two most prominent features of AR n VR. Architectural Visualization is also one such technique wherein the magic of AR n VR is at its best. This technique comes in handy to showcase under-construction properties. This technique has become affordable due to VR. Another critical use of VR-AR apps is in Virtual property staging.
What Air BNB is doing in travel space is connecting landlords to prospective tenants. Someone in Commercial Real Estate can follow similar ideation. There are a lot of opportunities waiting to be lapped up.
Honestly, what has been covered is just the surface. It will not be an exaggeration to say that how a particular real estate company manages its technology budget will ultimately be the deciding factor of its performance in the years to come.
The disruption caused by technology in the Real Estate Sector in India hasn’t been much so far. Looking at the rate at which AI, ML, and robotics can generate changes worldwide, it can be estimated that the day is not far when we will see a wholly revamped Indian reality.
What is clear is the fact that technology is going to create exciting opportunities in Reality. For now though, there is a catch. The catch is, “Be wary of toy applications.” Toy applications are the ones that use AI just for the sake of it, without addressing any real-world business issue.
It is imperative that the Technology Heads leading their respective companies in Reality look beyond the tech companies’ marketing gimmicks trying to sell such apps.
The writing is on the wall for all of us to see. Invest in the right technologies, which are in sync with the vision of your organization. The key is to have technology that is customer-centric and customer-friendly. The future is digital, and it is knocking loud and clear. Let’s get cracking!