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Augmented, virtual reality will emerge as new normal in real estate industry: Anshuman Magazine

In the present times, building resiliency through technology is a core focus for the real estate industry, and the significance of ‘PropTech’ is realised more than ever before. In an interview with Express Computer, Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & CEO - India, South East Asia, Middle East & Africa, CBRE, shares how CBRE is leveraging emerging technologies and what will be the key technologies for the real estate space in a post-Covid world

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What are the key domains wherein CBRE is adopting IT and digital solutions?
CBRE has been adopting IT in most of its initiatives and services to increase efficiency and promote decision making. Data-driven property management, predictive algorithms for property sales, real-time occupancy and utilisation, predictive maintenance, labour and location analytics, site selection and yield optimisation are a few areas where CBRE has showcased its expertise by developing solutions for the industry. We also recently launched cbre.co.in/properties – a commercial listings platform to digitalise the entire client experience in India, giving them one-stop solution to access commercial spaces including office, flexible workspace, retail and industrial, and logistics to all stakeholders in India.

At CBRE, technology is not just a disruptor, but a facilitator which encourages innovative solutions in the realty space. We have been developing technologies keeping in mind the overall business requirements of the real estate industry and lifecycle of various things we do.

What have been the business benefits from these initiatives?
CBRE has been working with several IT companies in the country and while we incorporate their requirements, we also often offer them the solutions we have developed. It is the part of our endeavour to constantly experiment with technological advancements to bring about an evolution in the realty space. Our homes and offices, today, are not only expected to be tech-equipped, but are also expected to be constructed in ways that imbibe technology to balance cost and time.

CBRE has heavily invested in technology for continuous and unrestricted service to its stakeholders. ‘Plans’ technology is one such tool that assists developers and investors to opt for virtual 3D space tours of potential spaces. It facilitates 3D-immersive experience of the property by offering a panoramic view and assists decision making even from a remote location. Other technologies like Spacer – space recommendation tool and Pulse – analytical tool lets the professionals and clients use digital solutions to analyse, function, administer data, analytics and space digitally.

How are you leveraging the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, analytics, etc?
Augmented and Virtual Reality have already emerged as a big enabler in the real estate business. CBRE is also transforming its business processes by amalgamating these along with interactive 3D imaging, sensors, virtual tours, etc to improve training mechanisms, and further enhance efficiency and productivity. AI-powered data analytics and business intelligence have enabled CBRE and its stakeholders to understand detailed customer needs and preferences, price forecasts, market cycle risks among others. For example, with the help of Pulse – a solution customised by us – we enable our clients to access Custom Analytic Reporting Tools where they can monitor the building operations digitally.

How can digital catalyse customer experience, and what are CBRE’s steps in this direction?
Real estate industry is built on relationships and providing a great customer experience is imperative to strengthening customer satisfaction. Digitalisation helps the industry in improving and amplifying customer experience and also enrich our service delivery. To enhance customer experience, CBRE has designed a digital platform – TransAct – for accurate, real time and error-free transactions. Through this centralised web-based dashboard, the client user or transactional manager can manage, track, report and measure the transactions effectively.

What is your focus on sustainable IT practices?
The convergence of sustainability and technology in real estate has been an emerging trend. Digital technology has helped real estate players make more environmentally conscious investments and decisions. Digital representation and analysis of projects results in less wastage at the site and helps in inventory control as well. CBRE has been developing solutions to facilitate this and we strongly believe that we have to empower our clients by providing them the best sustainable solutions.

What’s the next game-changer technology in real estate industry according to you?
Touchless technology is going to become the new normal in the wake of Covid-19. This is where Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) that seemed like a far-fetched dream for realtors will come in place. The real estate industry will also emerge stronger with the right uses of technology and new tools will be developed to facilitate decision making at all the levels.

Please share the IT roadmap envisioned for the future, and the IT best practices in a post-Covid world?
Due to the current Covid-19 outbreak, a major evolution will soon be witnessed in the property space, improving the efficiency of existing processes through PropTech. While organisations and people are adapting to the work from home culture, the requirement for data cloud and data centres will increase.


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