Will digital sales increase India’s Realty Sector’s Transparency Index?

India’s realty sector has been in the throes of a major transition of late. Hit hard by an out-of-the-blue pandemic that sowed panic in the minds of the real estate community, the property sector is weathering the storm slow and steady, albeit with a neo-digital ecosystem.

It can be said that this radical shift to ‘phygital’ to enable business continuity in the face of nationwide lockdown has played a stellar role in rehabilitating the otherwise sordid image of the realty sector, besides triggering a windfall in digital home sales.

A long struggle with identity

India’s realty sector had for long earned a bad name owing to its dubious business operations. Riddled with frequent contractual disputes, opaqueness, improper planning and monitoring, speculative investments, inordinate delays in project completion and rampant fraud and corruption, the property sector, though a major contributor to the nation’s GDP was a blot on the face of the economy.

The result was an irresponsive housing market that was blind to the long-standing Affordable Housing needs, piling up of unsold housing inventory, lack of confidence and transparency and a huge imbalance in demand and supply of housing projects.

Change of fate and beginning of something spectacular

With the introduction of the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) in 2016, insolvency & bankruptcy code and framework for Real Estate Investment Trusts, India’s real estate sector turned over a new leaf on May 1, 2017.

Breaking ground with an objective to ensure greater transparency, accountability, financial discipline in the Real Estate Sector and address grievances of homebuyers, RERA is slowly becoming a force to reckon with.

This renaissance brought transparency, respect and credibility to the property sector, increased investor interest and bagged the confidence of millions of homebuyers while at the same time improved the Global Real Estate Transparency Index rank of India. India now stands at 34 (compared to 39 six years ago) in the index, one short of breaking into the transparent bracket. The country also broke into the top 20 for Sustainability Transparency, something the real estate sector should be proud of.

Breaking free from traditional realty bastions

One can say without any hesitation that the recent metamorphosis of traditional real estate business to digital has furthered the scope of transparency in the real estate sector.

The new-gen wave of Proptech that brought Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Machine Learning (MI) and Deep Tech into a close-knit hi-tech, digital ecosystem, has diluted the physical real estate business and made home buying easy and convenient for homebuyers.

The digital homebuying procedure decentralized the process of buying a property and brought more power into the hands of homebuyers, with technology acting as a conduit to streamline the entire digital journey. This has brought unprecedented transparency and put homebuyers in the driver’s seat.

Homebuying never so delightful & reliable

Without moving a leg, homebuyers are enjoying virtual home tours and site visits. These virtual site visits have given home seekers utmost freedom to interact and visually map every inch of the property, the project accessibility, project amenities and even places of interest nearby. Project inquiries are smoothly handled via integrated video calls with real estate developers. At last, online inventory booking facilities and secured digital payment gateways with digital signatures have helped real estate developers earn the stamp of credibility from homebuyers.

What’s more, with every bit of project information online and direct screen-to-screen interaction with real estate developers without the involvement of multiple stakeholders, there is no option of hoodwinking from real estate developers.

Property dealers are shedding their shady tactics and have put their leg forward to help customers make well-informed and timely decisions on real estate investments. This is done by leveraging the power of AI, ML & data analytics where developers understand the preferences of customers by studying customer behaviour and offer customized deals that sync well with the tastes and pockets of consumers.

The phenomenal digital sales figures registered by real estate developers during the tenure of lockdown and the heartfelt response from homebuyers for this new-fangled Digital Real Estate ecosystem heralds a new dawn for the real estate sector where transparency and accountability are held throughout the homebuying process. Real estate developers will try to innovate this customer-centric platform so that they can interact and engage better with customers, bring greater transparency, and also receive insights to dole out customized real estate offerings.

Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards
Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards