The Indian real estate is ready and ripe for change. What is delaying this imminent change is complacency that has gripped the sector. The use of technology has grown exponentially along with consumer acceptance.
With instant information access and consumers becoming more comfortable with the idea of selling their own homes, the real estate industry is pressed hard in keeping up with the changing tide. It is not too far in the future when we see the real estate sector witnessing the right innovation to come along and turn it on its head.
While the full impact of the digital revolution on the real estate industry is yet to be seen, there is a strong movement towards empowering the consumer.
With people being able to access the data that they need to make more informed decisions, it’s scaling back the need for the less informed middleman.
Smart real estate agents will embrace these technological advances and use them to survive while others will woefully lament that the old ways are better because that’s the way that things have always been done. Unfortunately though, as history has shown time and again, nostalgia is rarely a good business model — no matter what industry you are in.
According to various industry data, about 15-25 per cent of all real estate deals come from the online space. Brokers have played a crucial role in the evolution of the real estate market. Training would further strengthen their value and make them important in the decision-making cycle.
Instead of moving away from technology, realtors should in fact use it to their advantage by adopting tools such as customer relationship manager (CRM) systems in order to provide premium service to their customers. In the US, every realtor uses CRM, has a website, is active on Facebook and uses multiple listing service (MLS).
So what should the new-age brokers do differently? For one, they should prefer clean, cheque-only deals. For another, they should set up portals to make the property buyer’s search experience easier. The portals would list every property the company is selling, along with its specifications.
Real estate is information-based business and consequently, is deeply affected by information technology.
The accelerating rate of change can be seen when studying firms in the area as well as the consumers it serves. The information technology revolution that is inescapably penetrating all sides of industry is propelling real estate as well.
These developments challenge the real estate establishment and may force realty agents to look for ways to add value to the consumer. Information technology, in turn, may provide a means to make this possible. Would it be possible to develop information technology to serve as the one-stop shop and in a central role for all the real estate transactions? Will real-estate agents be able to seize the consumers first in the provision of a large number of central and related real estate services as a settlement services provider?
With all these unknowns and more changes looming, unquestionably real-estate agents and brokerage of the future must become responsive, flexible and information technology-savvy.
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