APN News

  • Tuesday, September, 2020| Today's Market | Current Time: 02:34:38
  • By Mr. Amit B Wadhwani- MD, SECCPL

    COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down is certainly an understatement. Not only has it brought economies to a complete standstill, but has also disrupted routine lives. Amidst nationwide lockdown, and social distancing being practiced, industries are seeking help from technology to tide the uncertainties and soften the blow that it will have on their future. By adopting highly fluid and dynamic technologies, businesses are doing everything in their means to scale operations, and are also becoming increasingly quick to evolve from their traditional methods of operation.

    The real estate sector, despite being one of the fastest growing industries across the world, has been largely reliant on conventional work methods due to its nature of business. A typical real estate transaction involves multiple site visits, meetings between the two parties, explanations, discussions, and negotiations. However with the lockdown underway, developers have turned to alternate options to keep operations running as smoothly as possible.

    Immersive technologies such as Augmented and Virtual Reality, which were once more popularly associated with entertainment and video games, have now found their way across industries. A late entrant to the list of industries that have jumped on the technology bandwagon, we have gotten here, and are already seeing how this can change the way we work forever. Through the use of specialised technologies, it has revolutionised the way stakeholders interact and engage with each other. In fact, it has also made it easier for homebuyers to view properties without having to step out of their homes, a significant step in promoting sales during this time.

    While property listing sites have been in existence for a while now, their use has been limited. These portals merely allowed homebuyers to search, and shortlist properties that interested them, and schedule a visit. In fact, a survey by the National Association of Realtors done in 2018 found that 44% of homebuyers search for property on the internet, numbers which are definitely on the rise as time progresses.

    With immersive technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality coming into the fore, users can enjoy 360-degree tours of several properties, including the surrounding areas. Augmented Reality also gives customers the option to visualise how the finished project will look like, and go on a virtual walkthrough of key areas of the property. By exploring rooms, staircases, lobbies, gardens, and recreational areas, homebuyers can make informed decisions from the comfort of their homes. In fact using virtual reality for staging when showing potential buyers the property can be looked at as a cost effective method, as it requires minimal investments.

    Even among internal stakeholders, architects and developers are using it to recreate projects through 3D modelling. Through Building Information Modelling (BIM), the technology is being employed to use a single shared 3D model of the project among all stakeholders, for more efficient and cost-effective operations. What it also does is facilitates test runs of complex construction processes, and optimises operations, so that they are in better position to guide operators and workers, as well as modify the design till the desired result is achieved.

    While such technologies are being actively incorporated in our day to day functioning, we still have a long way to go before these technologies are well received across the sector. Post lockdown too, immersive technologies are a natural progression for the industry. As a marketing tool, the possibilities are endless. Notwithstanding construction delays owing to the pandemic, promoting and selling a project which is not yet complete has always been a challenge. Buyers prefer to see a finished picture and get a sense of what their home will look like. With AR and VR coming into the picture, these can be used to show off 3D models of a new property, as well as the surrounding neighbourhood. Similarly, it can also be used as a cost-effective method of displaying mock apartments.There will be a huge organic transformation in the way the real estate sector functions as an outcome of the pandemic. Right from learning to operate and succeed to sail through the difficult times with innovation. This will undoubtedly have a huge impact on how existing resources are utilised. While this is definitely a challenging time to work in, we have to embrace technological solutions in every area of operations.  This is the best approach to prepare for the new way of life in the coming future which will be highly dominated by technology.