Covid-19 lockdown has accelerated adoption of digital tools in real estate:Experts

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about many changes in the way we conduct our day-to-day lives. It has also made an impact on the economy globally and it will be quite some time before it recovers.

The economic fallout of coronavirus breakout has forced not just individuals but also industries including the real estate sector to adapt and adopt new ways of doing business. An increased use of technology is one such change.

According to experts, Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital tools in Indian real estate, and the process of search as well as shortlisting of properties will largely shift to online platforms. Companies are using these tools to turn their businesses around.

Participants in a recent webinar, organised by BW Businessworld and WHub, discussed how technology is being used to make the sector more efficient, according to report by news agency PTI.

Arvind Subramanian, MD and CEO-designate of Mahindra Lifespaces, said that technology would play an important role in the real estate sector, not only in sales and marketing but in construction and design as well.

According to Dhruv Agarwala, the CEO of Housing Proptiger and Makaan.com, there has been tremendous acceleration in digital adoption since the lockdown, which was imposed across the country on March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease Covid-19.

He said that the traffic on the company’s various platforms, which fell 40% during the first week of lockdown, has now bounced back and is 20% more than pre-Covid-19 level.

Even though factors like salary cut, lay-offs and economic downturn has made homebuyers tread cautiously, but attractive prices and payment plans being offered by developers have made people willing to invest in real estate, Agarwala said , according to the PTI report.

Keeping in mind measures to deal with Covid-19 such as social distancing, online platforms like the Square Yards are offering clients options like virtual walk through.

Tanuj Shori, CEO of Square Yards, said his company has been able to sell 3,000 properties during lockdown period, thanks to fast adoption of digital tools like virtual walk through and payment gateways by developers as well as customers, according to the PTI report.

Similarly, around 2,000 properties have been transacted on NoBroker, a search portal that connects property owners and buyers directly.

The PTI report quoted NoBroker co-founder Amit Agarwal as saying that the process of search, shortlisting and walk-through of properties has shifted online and around 2,000 properties have been transacted on its websites during the lockdown period.

Agarwal said that even the rental deals are taking place virtually without physical visits.

Construction activities came to a halt following the imposition of nationwide lockdown on March 25 to stop the spread of coronavirus disease, Covid-19. The restrictions have been lifted since then and the Centre and state governments have announced measures to revive the real estate sectors.

(With inputs from PTI)

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