For years, the ‘search, buy and sell’ process in the real estate sector has depended on conventional dealers and brokers, who charge a commission for each successful transaction and thrive on a physical network of brokers. As the pandemic necessitated digitization in each industry, and concepts like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) penetrate every industry, data and automation have become buzzwords in the real estate sector as well.
As per a Deloitte report, In the years ahead, digital innovation will significantly alter not just real estate but also the business models of real estate service providers. These changes may shift responsibility, expertise, and risk in the industry, thereby shifting profit margins as well.
Digital advancements in the Industry 4.0 space are changing the real estate marketplace. For instance, robotics is finding applications in processes like cleaning, painting, and security; augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) can help in architectural design and visualizing the inner wirings and plumbing of a structure; and the Internet of Things can transform the living experience of the final inhabitant. In addition to these prospective applications of digital innovation in what’s called PropTech (property tech), these modern methods can be used in transitioning real estate broker system into a more connected and efficient one.
Digitizing the daily operations of real estate builders and brokers is an essential part of virtually streamlining the larger industry. A large number of brokers are still operating offline, and there is a lot of potential in connecting them via an easy interface app. With the advancement in AI technology, it is easier to identify and match properties with their buyers/sellers — resulting in efficiency in listing and finding properties, closing deals quicker and boosting revenue.
Not only will it help the PropTech sector keep up with the latest technological trend, but make it simpler for commercial and residential real easte brokers to be visible to a larger network of professionals in the same field and expand their horizons. It will result in the consolidification and organization of an industry which remains undocumented and fragmented for the most part. Moreover, it is time that a networking app for brokers allows opportunities to research about newer territories and greener pastures, especially for those in Tier 3 cities and below.
Instead of online property giants eating the smaller fishes in the intermediary sector, there are now avenues in the market like BroBazaar, that onboard brokers in a few clicks and offer unprecedented broker-to-broker connectivity, easy inventory management and sharing, ease of researching deals, a huge broker directory, personalized property recommendations and easy-to-use technology.
Moreover, it will decentralize the broker market and create a level playing field for all. Ask any new broker trying to enter into the market, and they will tell you how challenging it is to make inroads into a close-knit group of local brokers with decades of experience. Brokers often have to spend months, if not years, closely following the market and analyzing leads before they know any ‘hot-selling’ properties or learn what works for the particular locality they are operating in. It will help young real estate talent be visible and do business from Day 1. Additionally, because estimated prices on property listings are visible to all on an app, it will balance out the prevailing market price and solve the issue of overpriced and underpriced properties. One may not that first-time property owners may not have the correct estimate of their property, and an app makes it easier for their broker to show them real-time comparative prices on the app.
Digitizing property leads also solves another issue that stems from the previous one. In an offline setup, many properties may never be fully known about in the market database, before they sold or rented out. Even if they do, it can be days before it is public knowledge that a deal is already sealed. A tech platform made for real estate brokers brings transparency and greater clarity to the market, while retaining the healthy competitiveness and cooperative camaraderie prevalent in the broker market.
(The author is Ms. Neha, Founder, BroBazaar – India’s first tech-enabled digital marketplace for real estate brokers and builders and the views expressed in this article are her own)