The Next Big Thing on Tech Agenda: Prop-Tech exploring newer avenues in real estate
Prop-Tech, the youngest vertical of the technology sector is exploring newer avenues in one of the oldest business sector, the real estate. The real estate industry is vast and tech companies have only just begun to scratch the surface when it comes to opportunity for technology-enabled innovation.
Text : Sreyasi Maity
While, an increasing number of real estate companies are realising the potential of technology in their business, the tech companies too are now eagerly expanding their products serve the realty industry. Prop-Tech offerings vary as widely as the property industry itself disrupting areas like, construction, brokerage, renting, property management, automation to name a few.
Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director (India), Zone Startups, Partner, Palava Accelerator by Lodha Group comparing the new wave of technology to Fin-tech some years back added, “Fin-tech wave hit the realty sector in a big way by allowing transparency and security in financial transactions. Likewise, Prop-Tech too is turning out to be a major disruptive force in the industry and is expected to be three times of Fin-tech. in 2011, the total deal size was about 186 million in Prop-tech segment which has grown to over 20 billion in 10 years.”
Experts believe that earlier, data and information were used to provide insight, now the sector is using it to derive foresight.
Elaborating on the relevance of predictive analytics for real estate Prasanjeet Dutta Baruah, Vertical Business Head – Tech-Telco, Auto & New Business, Facebook India stated, “Any business wants to have an insight about their customers and their behaviour. But the key to growth is to provide customers with relevant offerings. This is becoming easier since consumers are increasingly showing their intent online, enabling marketeers and business owners to use the signals to drive business.” Also read http://realtyplusmag.com/in-pursuit-of-excellence-surendra-hiranandani-contends-real-estate-business-today-has-become-capital-intensive-and-even-more-challenging/
The domain of real estate marketing is abuzz with tech and social media integration but the question is just how far the technology-driven marketing for real estate reached today?
Vikram Kotnis, Founder & Managing Director, Sell.Do likens real estate to dream-selling.” Home buying is probably the biggest purchase in a person’s life which makes the marketeers messaging highly important. Technology helps companies to predict when to stop using the same messaging, when to call the client, engage the client and even the right kind of messaging.”
Is Real-estate Tech Ready
With rising compliances, transparency and accountability in real estate, the various stakeholders cannot afford to be complacent about their business models and need to get ahead of the curve. However, the sector hasn’t actually been swift-footed in adopting technology.
Echoing similar sentiments, Sameer Nayar, Founder &CEO, BuildSupply citing a Mackenzie report according to which real estate is just above agriculture in technology adoption. “In a post-GST and RERA world, there is no choice but to have good data on projects, internal processes and external market influences. If you’re not collecting data, it could put you at a disadvantage in the next 3 to 5 years.”
The all-important question remains – how aware and accepting the realty industry is of technology and the areas where the tech disruption is most evident.
According to Bharat B. Dhuppar, Group Chief Executive Officer, Raiaskaran technology today was mostly being used in sales. “We must adopt Proptech in all stages of realty business from land buying & site survey to construction & material handling. Efficiency depends on the entire production cycle and for that technology providers need to understand developers’ pain areas.”
Agreeing that the majority of developers were only focused on cash flows, Ashish Shah, Chief Operating Officer, Radius Developers believed that the talent pool has not yet ‘flipped the switch’ “Adoption of technology across enterprise resource planning, project management and customer service are essential for the survival and growth of any large-scale real estate business. Any change takes time but in the next three years we will see more real estate developers scaling their technology platforms.” Indeed, real estate offers a sunrise sector for technology companies to invest, however they must first understand the processes involved and then develop the customized technology to engage the sector appropriately.
Ramakrishnan P., Chief Operations Officer, Lodha Group rightly mentions, “Developers need to start demanding more from technology companies, while the realty eco-system is still not very geared towards adopting technology, the mindset change has already begun.”