By Sanjeev Arora
Detailed yearly plans of making everything digital in the multiple sectors has been in pipeline, since the Government envisioned creating a Digital India. Nobody could have ever imagined that a pandemic like COVID would accelerate this process up to its optimum and make digital presence a matter of sustenance for all the businesses around. The similar sort of developments happened for the realty sector as well. With homebuyers stuck in their homes for an extended period of almost 50+ days, the developers and realty portals reformed and modified their online presence to reach out to their customer base and gain maximum traction.
This digital upgradation will be paving the path for becoming new normal, as post COVID scenario will also be witnessing a great chunk of sales being driven through online mediums. This will be due to the apprehension amongst people towards personal meetings.
Elaborating on the lockdown period proving to be an opportunistic scenario for realty, these lockdown days have opened new channels of connecting directly to the interested homebuyers and generating new leads as well. One of the most popular mediums has been the webinars. The buyers are interested in listening to the experts’ point of view and raising several questions, this trend reflects their genuine interest in considering realty as an avenue for investment. In the recent times, a regular income earning individual is closely studying the market trends, and looking for alternatives to maximize their savings, with market being so topsy-turvy, the real estate has evolved to be a promising avenue.
The lockdown period has also made the developers realize how advanced technology like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are needed to satiate the expectations of the homebuyers sitting at their homes wanting to see the exact replica of their future homes. Their keenness to introduce them in their business is also linked to the fact that they want to step ahead of their competition by providing a unique engagement experience to their prospective customers.
The current time is a treasure in itself, with undivided attention and more time in the hands of the prospective buyers, developers have got ample time to analyze the effectiveness of different mediums. This can go on from social media engagement activities, to polls, debates, newsletters and threads. Data-driven insights are another value addition to the real estate digital business model. Home-buying has never been a prompt decision in our culture, it is a well-thought out process. People are increasingly driven by resourceful content backed up with statistical data and engaging graphics, it is likely to cultivate and hold their interest around the happenings of realty market. Upon increased user participation received, the portals will be developed in a way to hold the users’ interest for a longer time.
The post COVID times will demand realty sector to be dynamic, players missing on the dynamism of integrating traditional and advanced practices will be at a loss. They will have to alter their revenue generation model as per the changing standards of homebuyers. User-generated content during this time might be very helpful in providing them solutions to make the digital interfaces simpler and more user-friendly.
(The author is the Director, 360 Realtors)