The rising tide of digital transformation is leaving no sector unscathed. From mom-and-pop grocery stores to multi-billion dollar giants, the choice is clear – go digital or go home. The real estate sector is no different. While the industry was already inching towards digitalization, in areas like real estate digital marketing, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 helped kick it into a higher gear.
The PropTech, or property technology industry, has witnessed explosive growth since 2019, with revenues up by 61% on a year-over-year basis, and this is only from publicly traded companies. Beyond this, there has been a substantial surge in M&A deals, and VC funding in the sector, attracting $32 billion in investments during 2021 alone.
From agents to property developers, facilities managers, and even resident’s welfare associations, adopting disruptive proptech solutions is in full swing throughout the real estate value chain. Initially compelled to continue business in the face of stay-at-home orders, the technologies that came to the fore are now mainstays, with industry giants such as BeyondWalls PropTech ecosystem offering integrated solutions.
Digital transformation and proptech solutions are poised to unlock substantial value for consumers and other players. Based on existing trends, we are yet to see the true potential and range of possibilities that come with these innovations; we can only offer the following conjecture.
1. Communication Made Easy
The biggest benefits of Prop-tech solutions and digital transformation are often witnessed in internal communications. Like most other organizations, real estate developers are finally exploring solutions to ensure an orderly flow of information, with all relevant correspondence in one place.
This reduces instances of friction resulting from poor communication in the workplace and enhances project management systems, which are critical for real estate developers, who often operate on thin margins and tight deadlines. Solutions such as Google Meet, Outlook, and Microsoft Teams can be integrated seamlessly into project management and ERP tools, allowing for an orderly flow of communications.
2. Making The Most of Data In Real-Time
An essential by-product of digitalization endeavours is the treasure trove of data, which can be used to obtain highly beneficial insights. Everything can be predicted with data, whether it signifies the time of year when visitors reach their peak or particular days that witness the highest footfall in communal facilities.
Managers can not only plan for eventualities but can save substantially with prudent resource allocations using faultless data. With powerful APIs, data from multiple apps and tools can be aggregated to provide real-time data on a single dashboard, keeping managers, landlords, and tenants in the loop about all the happenings.
3. Increased Efficiency & Productivity
Legacy systems and processes still reigned supreme in the real estate development and brokerage sectors. Dominated by mom-and-pop shops, conducting business based on trust and reputation has long been the norm. However, today, business process management solutions are driving the much-needed disruption in this space.
In the process, developers and agents unlock substantial value with efficiency gains and increased productivity. Many developers now use building information modelling solutions with real-time data to keep track of their projects. At the same time, some agents had since piloted virtual reality for showing houses when physical visits were made difficult during the pandemic.
4. Accessing All-round Metrics
Integrated Proptech Ecosystem adds substantial value for property managers and other facilities management staff, with accurate tracking and reporting of incidents, staff attendance, patrolling logs, and more, allowing for quick decision-making.
Savvy users can use these metrics to ensure efficient property and service management for tenants and guests. A few key metrics in this space include
- Quality issues
- Customer satisfaction scores
- Rework costs
- Construction tech – forecasting sales & costs and more
On the project management front, these metrics can be traced along with cost per lead, conversion rates, and time to close for sales and marketing professionals.
5. Advanced Analytics
On the other end of the value chain, data goes a lot further in providing insights and unlocking value. With applications across prospecting, marketing, sales, and project management, advanced analytics solutions spearheaded by leading proptech solutions are increasingly becoming indispensable among property developers and real estate agents.
Advanced analytics coming under the purview of business intelligence (BI) also comes in handy with customer relationship management. With digital experiences pervading across all customer touchpoints, it represents a wealth of data when understanding and addressing customer issues and optimizing processes accordingly.
6. Making Informed Decisions
With the wealth of data resulting from digital transformation, managers can make informed decisions backed by critical metrics and actionable insights. Decisions can be audited against relevant information and data used to arrive at a particular course of action. This removes ambiguity in decision-making at organizations across sectors and sizes.
Data-driven decision-making has since become a field of study on its own. While it remains in nascent stages, it has helped create tremendous value for organizations that manage to implement it. In real estate, developers have adopted systematic decision-making, with data and insights acting as support systems.
Emerging from the pandemic, real estate businesses look unrecognizable, with digital transformation forces penetrating deep across the value chain. Given the substantial efficiency gains on the table, no player in the market can afford to ignore the growing trends among the ever-increasing list of proptech companies in India.
In an industry dominated by legacy firms, unorganized agents, and fly-by-night operators, unimposing upstarts will now shape the future. If anything, the last two years were a teaser, providing a subtle glimpse of the time to come. Prop-Tech remains at nascent stages, with most pioneers still growing and getting ready to dominate the future.