Big Ideas That Will Shape PropTech In 2021
THE OPPORTUNITY TO MODERNIZE REAL ESTATE IS IMMENSE AND THE INCREASINGLY INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES ARE SHAKING UP AND REVOLUTIONIZING THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR. THE EXPERTS OF THE INDUSTRY DELIBERATE ON WHAT’S MORE IN THE STORE.
The real estate industry has already begun reaping the rewards that property technologies can provide. Covid-19 has accelerated the demand for tech driven processes and transactions in the sector. Sandeep Sethi, Managing Director, Corporate Solutions, West Asia, JLL India is of the view that proptech is now catching everyone’s attention as the recent world events have changed the perspectives of even most traditional of realty firms. “We are seeing new opportunities for prop-tech companies from addressing conventional issue to many new emerging challenges, such as sustainability has become an important topic for occupiers and organisations.”
According to Amitabh Satyam, Chairman, Smart Transformation the general technology trends have remained the same but the way the technology is now being applied is getting innovative. “By using technology during the construction phase, we can save 50% labour expense and good amount of time. Artificial intelligence. IoT and Machine Learning are the way forward.”
Srinivas Khandavilli, Director, SMART Building Solution Architecture – Microsoft added, “Year 2020 has already showed us the changes, technologies can bring to the built spaces. Along with workspace management in the hybrid model of working health of the building for users wellness can also be monitored through tech applications as they can connect the varied data sets.”
Nirupa Shankar, Director, Brigade REAP elaborating on her accelerator program for tech start-ups said, “Real estate challenges apart from the big problems also constitute small issues like leakage, civil repairs etc. The prop-tech companies that we have incubated through our program have mostly been providing solutions for simplest of problems a building can face through the use of technology. The technology that can provide solutions are the ones that the sector is interested to invest in.”
Rohit Gera, Managing Director, Gera Development Pvt Ltd agreed, “If you will look at relationship between the consumer and property there is a lot that can be done. We can automate information delivery for transparency, relationship and confidence building among all the stakeholders of the project. Developers can start getting into solution oriented algorithms and guidance oriented systems. For instance our app for one of our projects has helped faster information delivery to our customers and resolution of problems, thereby creating a better living experience. However, customer is willing to pay for consumer technology rather than construction technology, as the former is tangible and can be seen while the latter is not.”
Govind Rai, Co-Founder, Insomniacs believes that while, Covid has pushed everyone to adopt technology the prop-tech’s growth will increasingly depend on its ability to deliver financial returns to the business owners. “How does Prop-tech increase revenue, reduce operational costs, increase operational efficiency are the kind of questions, tech companies will have to be ready to answer.”
Key driver of transparency in the real estate is the volume of data which is now available due to the growing adoption of Prop-tech platforms.
CHANGE IS NECESSARY
For real estate that has not needed to change in a long time, adopting new ways of working will not be easy and then there is also the question of attracting the right digital talent. As per Rohit Gera, for a developer, the primary focus is quality execution of project and sale of units, where technology can be a big enabler. “For better revenue generation and customer experience the property developers need to use technology effectively.”
Nirupa Shankar mentioned that 25% of start-ups are working towards providing sustainability through the use of automation while others are focusing on new 3D printing and robotics tech areas.
Amitabh Satyam added that while AI technology presents the future, it is not for now when the end to end connections are missing in the construction process. “To use AI and robotics or machine learning in construction industry, it will take another 5 to 10 years when they will come in existence as a package.”
“Start-up India” initiative of the Government towards building a strong ecosystem for the growth of start-ups augurs well for the prop-tech companies and will lead to sustainable growth and opportunities in the times to come.
Govind Rai feels that the real estate bodies should collaborate with the prop tech companies to find the right solutions and the solution providers specific to the real estate sector.
Srinivas Khandavilli explaining the reluctance of developers to invest in tech said, “As an owner operator, I understand that if you can’t see tech benefits, you won’t invest in it. But, the developers should adopt technology for the reason of better quality product and customer satisfaction, than for any other reason.”
Sandeep Sethi concluded the conversation by referring to the zest among realty firms in adopting tech solutions in the face of covid.” The opportunities have arisen from this crisis and the growth of prop-tech is imminent in coming times.”