Traditional to Tech-Savvy: How Digitalization Redesigned the Real Estate Sector

By: Kamal Khetan, Chairman & Managing Director, Sunteck Realty Ltd

The digital revolution has transformed every industry by incorporating cutting-edge digital technology into their existing operations in an effort to foster creativity, boost productivity, and enhance services. The real estate industry has also been hit by the technology juggernaut propelling it forward in today’s economy.

A wide range of disrupting technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and drones, are now an everyday part of the real estate industry and all renowned developers have taken heed. Developers have also started using Proptech tools like CoGence, CoPro, Primavera, and Microsoft Projects, to further enhance proficiency in construction.

The recent technological shift has transformed the way the industry buys, sells, advertises, and manages properties. IT solutions such as automation and machine learning have reshaped new business ventures within the real estate sector.

AI in Real Estate

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the real estate industry in numerous ways, bringing efficiency, accuracy, and convenience to various sectors of the industry. 

According to a survey by KPMG India, 90 percent of real estate developers in India are using technology to improve their operations. With ConTech and PropTech interventions such as finance process automation; AI, IoT, and analytics integrated with Big Data are expected to impact businesses from the first day itself. 

The onset of VR and AR technologies has enabled immersive virtual property tours, allowing developers to connect with potential buyers remotely.  

As per Forbes, 95 percent of buyers globally now access online platforms to search for homes, and 51 percent buy homes found using online platforms. This has prompted developers to make use of AI to enhance property images and videos to make digital viewings more attractive and engaging.

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants also provide 24×7 customer support, answering inquiries and providing information about properties, free up manpower, and enable them to focus on more complex tasks.

Furthermore, AI is enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, and providing valuable insights in the real estate industry. As the technology continues to evolve, it is likely to play an even more significant role in reshaping the real estate landscape.

More smarter the greener the better

As developers now face the challenge of constructing greener structures they have turned towards modern technologies to decrease their carbon footprint. As per the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), the green building market in India is expected to reach $50 billion by 2025.

Smart building technologies involve the use of advanced sensors, automation systems, and connectivity to enhance the efficiency, safety, and functionality of commercial and residential buildings. These technologies aim to make buildings more responsive to occupant needs while reducing energy consumption and operational costs.

According to a market research report, the Smart Building Market Size was valued at $77.8 billion in 2022. It is now projected to grow from $93.1 billion in 2023 to $392.4 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 19.70 percent during this period. Furthermore, along with smarter building technology the demand for smarter homes in India is on the rise. In 2022, India had nearly 13 million smart homes. An additional 12.84 percent penetration of smart home solutions is expected by 2025.

The demand for green homes is particularly strong in major metropolitan areas such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. In these cities, there is a growing demand for high-quality, sustainable housing from both middle-class and affluent buyers.

What drives this market is the fact that buildings are the largest consumer of energy. They consume almost 40 percent share of global energy consumption. Therefore energy-efficient buildings have become a necessity to reduce greenhouse emissions. Thus, driving the Smart Building market.

As technology continues to advance, the capabilities and applications of smart building technology are expected to expand further, making it an integral part of the future of building management and construction.

Future of tech in real estate

The future of technology in real estate holds significant promise and is likely to continue transforming the industry in various ways. According to the IBEF, the real estate market by 2024 will grow to Rs. 65,000 crore ($9.30 billion) from Rs. 12,000 crore ($1.72 billion) in 2019 and technology is predicted to play an important role in this growth.

Organisations within the real estate industry must act now to adopt and adapt to disruptions to be future-ready. Reshaping businesses digitally and reforming operating and financial models is the need of the hour for unlocking value from real estate assets.

Looking ahead, environmentally conscious home buyers will drive demand for sustainable and eco-friendly properties. 

The Government of India has also launched numerous initiatives to promote green buildings, including the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) program, and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) India certification system. Thus, properties with green building certifications will increase prominence, boosting developers to incorporate sustainability to attract this market segment.

The future of technology in real estate is likely to be marked by greater automation, resulting in enhanced transparency, and a more personalised experience for all the industry stakeholders. Real estate developers and companies that embrace and adapt to these technological advances will be better positioned to succeed in this ever-evolving digital landscape.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)Augmented Reality (AR)Internet of Things (IoT)PropTechReal Estatevirtual reality (VR)
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