How technology drives sales in property sector

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The UAE is one of the leading economies of the Middle East, where today construction and real estate represent two important building blocks of the country's economy.

The realty sector is breaking down the entire business model from the back-office design to the omnichannel customer experience.

The property market is hot, but realty software market is hotter, agreed? So what contributes to this hotness? Impressive videos, sharp images, smooth and seamless data transmission, real-time buying and selling, inventory data and so on... the list is endless and simply amusing. Technologies get  obsolete by the second and software developers have this constant challenge to keep up with ever-demanding consumers, especially from the UAE who are extremely tech-savvy.

The realty sector is breaking down the entire business model from the back-office design to the omnichannel customer experience. Real estate professionals want new solutions for notary services, blockchain applications, workplace design, data strategy, performance tracking, automated valuation models risk management and the development of more effective and efficient real estate operation. The competitive world of real estate software is changing rapidly due to emerging companies offering new solutions based on such technologies as blockchain, artificial intelligence and virtual reality and augmented reality. The real estate software market has a big potential and is steadily growing from $8.975 billion in 2017 to $12.86 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 4.4 per cent. 

Take the case of -headquartered Sensus, which works with real estate professionals in the UAE to help them transform the way they do business by leveraging the latest technologies.

Konstantin Fedin, co-founder and general manager of Sensus, said: "We are witnessing how VR is reshaping the industry. Companies are adopting VR and AR in numerous applications, optimising processes and most importantly creating new business opportunities. When choosing the right solutions for their business, we recommend real estate companies to focus on their customer experience that if executed correctly will lead to the sale growth."

360-degree tours, VR for realty listing
Nowadays, any space, regardless of its type and size, can be transformed into a 360-degree tour where prospects and clients can move freely from one point to another, using only their computer or mobile device. In fact, all 360-degree tours can be viewed on a variety of devices, whether a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Companies can embed their tours on their websites, third-party listings and share them on any social media platform. What makes this service more appealing, is that once the 360-degree model is stitched, anyone can view it in virtual reality. That said, prospects can experience a realistic feeling of the properties they are interested in. Imagine how much time real estate brokers can save, and how much more productive they become, if for instance, they invite prospects to their offices and take them on a virtual journey. Instead of wasting numerous hours visiting wrong apartments, and struggling with parking, access and traffic, real estate agents are able to narrow down the options based on their clients' needs and use the latest technologies for minimising operations costs and offering unique user experience.

VR technologies for off-plan projects
The UAE is one of the leading economies of the Middle East, where today construction and real estate represent two important building blocks of the country's economy. The UAE, often considered to be a global reference due to its mega developments, record breaking projects and iconic structures. With tens of thousands of units delivered during the past years, and more to come, developers are facing tremendous competition and the adoption of VR could be the leverage that will make all the difference.

"Most developers or real estate firms do have one mockup for one of the typical units in a project. The role of a mockup is to give that real insight of how the unit will look like after it is completed. To increase their chances in converting sales, showcasing one out of several products, might limit the impact of the experience. Having all the relevant units and key areas will boost the chances of getting more business. For any developer, it is not only a game changer in terms of sales tools but improves substantially the overall customer experience," added Fedin.

Ravi Maini, business development manager at PropIT, said: "A lot of developers and real estate agents are starting to develop their own tech in-house - for example Emaar and Fam Properties - which is making the market tougher for regional software providers. At the same time global specialists in the real estate software space, are starting to enter the Middle East market. For example, Let's Builld, who is based in Denmark and are in the process of opening an office here. You've also got ERPs like Levtech and Focus Softnet who are increasing their focus on the real estate industry, and further developing their real estate solutions suite." 

Buying real estate software is the easiest part, but enterprises often face difficulties when a standardised software is implemented in a varied and complex real estate business process. Numerous real estate software modules often fail the real-world test because of implementation hurdles and slow adoption. Companies that are embarking on a technology-led transformation must follow some basic set of guidelines. This includes getting the leadership 100 per cent on board, effectively communicating to all stakeholders at all stages, formalising (and enforcing) rules and measuring the success of each technology implementation.

Vivek Agarwal, co-founder and CTO of Square Yards, said: "Despite being the world's largest and most valuable asset class, the real estate sector has been a late adopter of technology. New technologies in real estate faced many headwinds as incumbents were slow to embrace them. Introducing technological change or adopting a new software into an organisation presents a different set of challenges." 

Rakesh Mirchandani, director at KGR real estate, advises that a dedicated and all inclusive software can easily and efficiently manage properties and portfolios and at the same time, keep up with the new trends and changes. "A real estate software is a useful tool and a great way to manage lead generation or management, listings, appointments. notices, open houses etc. As technology develops, new features and more innovative ideas are added. Virtual staging, AI and chatbots are some of these. AI is changing how we do business and certainly will influence the real estate software market. There are companies that use AI to streamline processes for both tenants and landlords," he added. - [email protected]

 

author

Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Al Khaleej Today, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.

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