Growing Influence of PropTech
PropTech players have created a paradigm shift from ownership of real estate to shared economy.
Text: Nadine D’souza
The arrival of technology has forced companies to be much more transparent than they used to be. End customers and ancillary players are able to take better decisions based on the data available today. This also means that the real estate industry needs to move out of the comfort of the traditional way of doing business and be adaptive to the changing customer needs with technology enabling customers to take more qualified decisions on choosing a property.
Sameer Nayar Founder & CEO, BuildSupply, says, ‘With our product Cost Manager, multiple teams from different geographies can simultaneously work on a single project which increased collaboration. This minimizes the risks associated with information gaps. Our offerings have also automated the whole workflow of the real estate development process. These automated workflows bring in more speed and efficiency to the real estate sector, ultimately resulting in timely completion and cost savings.’
It’s common for urban migrants in Indian cities to encounter biases and barriers while searching for a rented home of their choice. JitendraJagadev, Co-founder and COO, Nestaway Technologies had this to say, ‘One of the key areas that Nestaway has used PropTechis to disintermediate home searching. You can log on to our website, or the app and with a couple of search filters in place, you get an almost exhaustive list of houses available in the area you are looking in. While this is not new technology in the truest sense of the word, its application is new to the home rental market.’
Shailesh Goswami, CEO & Founder, Foyr, says, ‘We want to usher in a phase in the real estate sector where any property (new building, apartment, leasing floor plate etc.) can be visualized and transacted online from any device and from anywhere. To make this happen we work with a varied stack of technologies ranging from advanced compression tools and photorealistic graphics to AR and VR and now AI.’
Digital marketing is trending
Most of the construction related procurement in India is mostly done with offline channels and there are significant leakages in the system. Additionally, development has been an opaque process with the customer having very little information on the quality and progress for the projects. ‘We are currently helping real estate developers by further planning to develop an advanced procurement tool for construction materials directly from our system, which they are already using as their project management ERP,’ says Nayar.
Jagadev expresses, ‘With developers, we’re looking at partnerships and collaborations that will get their property listed on our platform. We do not work with brokers and choose instead to rely on our own network of affiliate partners who help us to meet homeowner’s offline.’
Foyr is making use of AI in sales with the help of Chatbots, thereby providing 24×7 sales. They also help developers in adoptingtech, such as putting Foyr’s visualization solutions onto developers’ existing websites in a seamless manner, introducing sales training modules, equipping their sales force to use technologyto their side.
Solving real life problems through technology
Using virtual reality, immersive 3D experiences, chat bots, digital marketing, sales training& integration with existing systems and websites servicesto customers, the new crop of Proptech startups understand the value of consumer engagement. With teams ready to provide on-site training, users are handheld along the learning curve of adopting and using new technology.
PropTech companies are disrupting the traditional experience of property buying and renting through hassle-free methods, offering rentals that start from as low as Rs. 5000 a month, without any brokerage or brokers. They also offer homeowners end-to-end rental agreements, tenant verification and property management.
Creating a connect with developers
Builders are looking for companies which can solve some of their problems such as stagnating sales, reduce leakage and seepage in apartments, reduce cost of construction, theft of materials etc. Startups should focus on solving the real problems that the developers face.
With real time updates and faster decision making, Proptech has helped real estate developers be more collaborative with their customers. Project estimation, timelines and budgets have become accurate and increased predictability. This has also brought about an increase in accountability from the real estate developer.
Consumers no longer want to deal with reams of paperwork when dealing in property transactions. With digitization of land records and property transactions, blockchain is increasingly being utilized for any real estate transaction, property loans, rentals, leases etc. With banks and financial institutions, government, brokerages, developers and customers coming under one platform, blockchain will help in drastically reducing time to lease/ buy and also reduce fraud and abuse.
Correctly gauging consumer sentiment is the new wave of ‘smart’ contracts. Offering dedicated modules that allow developers to create procurement packages select their sourcing strategy and float the tenders in an online environment.
In the rental segment, tenants have the option to pay rents online on a monthly basis. Tenant service requests are fully automated, allowing tenants and homeowners to raise their concerns via tickets on the website or the app which are then solved and updated accordingly.
How technology can address RERA
Right policies making the difference
Recent policy regulations have largely been appreciated by the real estate sector. PropTech companies too echo the sentiment. Governmentregulations like RERA and GST have significantly enhanced the need for process oriented software and has helped adoption of technology. In Maharashtra, government regulations have allowed for digitized leave and license agreements to be incorporated into operations.
One of the areas that would ease operations for PropTech companies is the introduction of fully automated UPI. One-click payments would make it infinitely easier for PropTechcompanies to reduce their payment turnover time.’
With research inputs from JLL &Brigade REAP