Digital real estate sales will usher a turnaround for the real estate sector

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Usage of technology amidst coronavirus induced lockdown has anchored the real estate sector away from a standstill and keep the industry alive. Lockdown has brought disruption in the industry of the same or greater magnitude such as demonetization, RERA and GST disrupted a few years back. The year 2020 will be marked in the history of the real estate industry as “year of disruption and turnaround”.

Before coronavirus struck the Indian market, many realty experts are of the view that the real estate sector was revived from its bottom. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic put a brake on its revival trajectory even before it heads northward. A real question posed before all developers and brokers amidst lockdown, how to survive and mitigate the risk of business losses? During lockdown, several realty players turned to digital and online platforms in 2020 to garner demand and online showcasing of their residential properties.

The real estate developers and brokerage houses sought the help of technology, they have prepared digital walk-through videos of projects to reach out to prospective home buyers and developed a booking engine platform for property transactions.

Many real estate developers and online sellers made the digital transaction more customer-friendly by offering great discounts and offers to lure prospective home buyers and realty investors. Developers came up with various offers such as “no EMI until possession”, “pay 10% now and 90% at possession”, “get assured rentals for 2-3 years”, “up to 95% financing available” and many others. With these offers from developers and the booking of a residential property with the lowest amount of INR 25,000 as token advance money, gained the attention of the several home buyer and investor during lockdown.

A new trend among old patrons of real estate has been witnessed during lockdown, a higher budget allocation has been put in for their digital marketing campaign. Marketing advertisements are aggressively pushed through social media channels, online property classifieds, and posted on their own website. These are signs of change from the old style of doing business to new age technology era, where technology is the focal point.

The unexpected global coronavirus pandemic resulted in lockdown which has brought property site visits to almost standstill. The developers to continue their business to become agile and swiftly move to digital platforms. The brokerage firms are using video calls to connect with prospective home buyers and investors to close the property deals.

During lockdown in the month of April 2020, several real estate developers and broker firms announced their performances. Square Yards was an outlier among all realty players and the company able to make 2,000 plus property transactions in the month of April. This was a breakthrough moment for Square Yards company, and it has been the best monthly performance since its inception. Amidst lockdown, Square Yards garner the attention of home buyers and realty investors due its strong technology platforms.

Similarly, other players of the sector have fared well during the lockdown, but they were below its pre-COVID sales target. The technology has proved as a bridge between buyers and sellers during lockdown. However, the digital sale of real estate properties has gained acceptance amidst lockdown and it will usher turnaround for the real estate sector further.