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The emerging era of Prop-tech: Trends that will define the future of real estate in India

In today’s ever-evolving high-tech world, new technologies are transforming the way industries function across sectors. The impact of new technologies such as AI, AR, Big Data and Analytics has not only streamlined industries but also enabled a more satisfying customer experience.

Like any other industry, the Indian real estate sector is harnessing the potential of new technologies for better customer experience and more convenient services. There is no denying the fact that the prop-tech space in India has evolved drastically in the aftermath of the pandemic.

From digital transactions to virtual home tours to online catalogues, the technology has proven to be a game changer for the real estate industry. According to research, in 2019-20 alone around 50 per cent of the inventory in the housing segment was sold online.

This data showcases a huge move for the real estate segment from offline to online and a behavioral change in customers’ overall experience.  As the segment ushers in a new era of new technologies, here are some of the trends that will define its growth in the coming future:

  • Era of Virtual/ 3D Tours: Ever since COVID 19, a radical shift in consumer behavior has forced several big real estate developers to strengthen their digital capabilities. Today, the demand for digital transactions and virtual home tours is at an all-time high. To offer the best virtual experience to their customers most real estate developers are offering 3D renders and virtual walk-throughs along with easy payment solutions. According to experts, this trend is expected to gain more traction in the coming years, where the rental space and home sale market too will adopt these technologies. Several companies are already using software tools like Matterport to provide 3D walkthroughs of their homes.
  • Metaverse set to become the next big thing: While metaverse is relatively a new trend and several sectors are still experimenting with this technology, for real estate it can prove to be the next big thing. Experts believe that metaverse will unlock several exciting opportunities for the sector. Globally there has been a sudden spike in the real estate metaverse segment where customers and developers are showing a lot of interest. Several platforms are providing opportunities to buy properties through the metaverse and easy digital wallet payments. For real estate metaverse has enabled an opportunity for the customers to buy property as non-fungible tokens using cryptocurrencies. Interested buyers simply need to choose the property and purchase it by linking their wallets to the platform.
  • Rise of Big Data and Analytics: With the internet penetrating every nook and corner of India, companies have access to unprecedented amounts of data. The real estate sector in particular complies large amounts of data ranging from property transactions to necessary legal documents and geo-spatial data. Big Data and Analytics are enabling a more streamlined way of compiling data for real estate developers that helps them analyze customer behavior and get a clear growth picture of their quarterly data on construction status and collection of projects. Big Data is expected to witness new innovations in the near future that will ensure more value to the existing and new players in the real-estate ecosystem.
  • Era of Instant Buying: iBuying or instant buying is a new emerging trend in the real-estate segment that is enabled by the power of Big Data and Analytics. Today, companies use algorithms to analyze the cost of homes and directly buy it from the owners. Artificial Intelligence is being widely adopted to determine the prices of homes available in the market. The iBuying transactional model has several benefits including the availability of instant liquidity to the home sellers where houses can be sold within weeks rather than months.
  • Power of Blockchain: The incorporation of blockchain in the real estate sector can streamline large piles of paperwork to a digital ledger for all property transactions including title transfers, necessary approvals from various government bodies and tax payments. While the blockchain trend is still in the nascent stages of adoption in the real estate segment, its popularity is undeniable. For blockchain to be a part of the larger real estate ecosystem will require initiatives from the government and if implemented it will eliminate title frauds, hassles of document storage and enable full transparency in the segment.

(The author is Mr. Amar Sarin, managing director & CEO of TARC and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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