Real estate has to adopt digital fast: Realtors

Realtors present at a real estate webinar made it clear that going digital will be the way forward post COVID-19. The third edition of realty webseries organized by ICCPL and Realty & More was themed ‘The state of real estate post COVID 19. Speaking about advertisement spend on digital vs offline, Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Homz, said, “Most of the spend today for promotion is on digital media. Before Covid-19, it was around 70 per cent offline and 30 percent online but now things will reverse in future. During the lockdown 100 percent spend was on online but post Covid offline too has to be done especially for the young-at-heart population which is not tech savvy as compared to millennials. So a combination of both will happen.”

Sentiments for buying home has become stronger now and market will come back to previous normal soon. “How the activities take place in coming months will redefine and the path with which demand will come. Most of the developers have started new strategies of selling their homes through digital. All the developers are active on digital and during lockdown many people purchased also,” said Pravin Jain, President of NAREDCO, and CMD of Tulip Infratech Pvt Ltd.

Vikas Wadhawan, Group CFO, PropTiger. com, talking on trend in online visits said, “We will see massive adoption of technology as an outcome of COVID-19. In initial first two weeks there was decline in inquiries but then it all came back as we became more active on digital platforms. The customer is more inclined towards listening to developers and real estate representatives which was achieved through webinars also; a lot of webinars were organized where projects were explained and we saw a lot of expression of interest and online bookings. It is an interesting development and the digital adoption will increase here onwards.”

Agrees Prashant Thakur, director and head (Research), Anarock Property Consultants, said, “Even before COVID-19 around 80 per cent of homebuying journey used to start online but entire value chain was not digitalized. Now everyone has realized it is the new norm and all are adopting digital; having conversations through webinar etc. It is also a good differentiating factor for the buyer as small local player cannot adopt technology fast. So it is the first level of filter as technology brings in transparency.”

Buyers are now searching the property online and shortlisting the properties depending on their needs and budget before visiting the site. People are present on all digital platforms, for example Facebook has more than 240 million users in India who access it through phones. Digital market is a potent tool, especially during the current scenario.  This is the time when social media analytics tools should be utilized to understand consumers and create targeted campaigns. The stage is set for real estate players to take benefit from online marketing and the positive aspect of the same is that they can engage their consumers by realigning priorities from revenue-generation to creating value for consumers.

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