PropTech- A consumer-driven disruption
PropTech is dedicated to being a business interface between the customers and developers at the liaison stage
You will read many reports that state that real estate in India has always been a slow adapter of technology. This is not an incorrect statement but what makes it true are the factors like its sheer size, variables, intermediaries, data, lack of data and the fact that a big portion of it still remains unorganized. Hence, properties and technology have played a game of hide and seek until very recently when the consumer-oriented approach has brought in a tectonic shift in the current paradigm.
What is PropTech?
PropTech is a set of technologies, that is helping bridge the gaps like challenges caused by distance, shortage of sufficient information, lack of research etc. by the use of relevant technologies in the sector. It is basically changing the way a customer today, researches, buys or rents properties. Here are how various technologies help both the investors and developers at various stages of the investment process-
Do not mistake PropTech as a new buzzword in the Indian real estate industry; in fact, the total investments flowing into the PropTech firms in the period of 2016-18, have been approximately $ 242 million. However, what has changed are the services offered by the Indian PropTech firms. Globally, PropTech and ConTech are different terms which basically implies that ConTech is the use of relevant technologies in the process of construction, PropTech is more dedicated to being a business interface between the customers and developers at the liaison stage.
Having said that, in India, firms are focussing on providing a full-stack solution to the customers as well as the developers in order to be an end-to-end service provider. For example, a PropTech firm helping you select a developer and its project purely by the use of research, presenting data to you, checking the premises in real-time and working around the intermediaries; may help you in securing a loan for the property as well. Moreover, the same firm may be offering new-age construction techniques like 3D visualization, IoT, Business Information Modelling (BIM), AI solutions etc. to the developers involved. For example, Emaar Properties has partnered with Xiaomi to launch a smart-home product powered by Artificial Intelligence. These will be the next-generation, digitally-enabled residential developments.
Benefits of PropTech
Enhanced consumer convenience- Housing search has been one of the foremost advantages of PropTech and continues to be. Imagine being able to find the best-match for your budget and requirements and zero-in on a deal, even though sitting remotely? Some PropTechs take care of the involved paperwork too, which may prove to be a hassle at times for the customers.
Faster transaction times- By eliminating the middlemen, a lot of transaction time is saved for the investors. The deals are much smoother, cheaper (possibly) and the property liquidation is much quicker.
Data availability- PropTech businesses are also centralized data aggregators that help you find the ideal house for you using their cloud-connected analytical platforms. They can even create customized searches and tie-up with digital platforms to arrange for services like a virtual tour.
Greater access to market- Gone are the days when you’d have to be in a city to figure out the options you have for investment; with PropTech the choices are at your fingertips and in as much detail as you might need them. You have wider access to a range of projects, the techniques used, the sizes, amenities and all other related information.
The much-awaited technology disruption in the Indian real estate sector is now gaining full momentum. We see it as a win-win situation for all parties involved and especially for the investors since it offers improved decision making and an abundance of information which otherwise may not have been available. An interesting adaptation displayed by Emaar was the use of VR in the experience zone of Emaar Digi homes, in order to provide them with a real/hands-on experience of the property and it was much applauded!