Technology is playing a significant role in attracting millennials to buy homes in the post-COVID era.
The demographic of homebuyers in India has changed drastically over the past few years. Millennials aged between 30 and 40 years are increasingly investing in property, thereby redefining India’s housing segment. It seems the pandemic has made everyone aware of the necessity of owning a home owing to social distancing norms and work-from-home models prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consequently, Indian millennials are now seeking homeownership in suburban settings that are more affordable and spacious. Furthermore, easy home financing options and increasing disposable income have led to a shift in the mindset among millennials and a desire to invest in real estate.
PropTech– a game-changer for the real estate segment
Technology is playing a significant role in attracting millennials to buy homes in the post-COVID era. During the pandemic-induced lockdown, many real estate companies in India turned to virtual mediums owing to social distancing norms imposed by the government. In the wake of the pandemic, PropTech has been a lifesaver for the real estate industry, which helped it stay afloat amid the global health crisis. Property technology or PropTech involves the use of information technology to facilitate the research, purchase, sale, and management of real estate transactions.
Attracting Millennial Homebuyers with PropTech
Millennials are a tech-savvy group that needs instant gratification in everything they do, whether it is shopping online or purchasing a home. The advancement of technology has allowed millennials to enjoy instant gratification. A huge opportunity exists in real estate for the next generation of buyers, the millennials, who want everything smart – from their phones to their apartments. Therefore, to remain relevant and ahead of the curve, real estate firms are embracing cutting-edge smart technology to cater to millennials’ demands. Real estate agents across India are replacing conventional methods with digitized ones to accumulate results-driven data about their clients in real-time, which in turn helps enhance customer experience besides fortifying client relationships.
Real estate technology, powered by Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Robotic Process Automation, has been revolutionizing the industry in multiple ways. Real estate virtual tours and online transactions are some of the technological innovations in the real estate industry that is redefining the industry. Furthermore, online contracts between builders and buyers are becoming more prevalent, thus simplifying the process of real estate transactions. Additionally, the use of property search platforms has already gained popularity among millennials, making it easy for them to find their dream home using their smartphones. Due to the availability of all property-related information online, real estate companies leveraging PropTech are gaining a lot of attention from prospective homebuyers.
Connecting Buyers and Homes through Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
The use of VR / AR technology in real estate has enabled agents to boost revenues, gain more clients, and provide outstanding customer service. A majority of millennial homebuyers prefer to buy their homes online via mobile applications; therefore, integrating Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) into one’s website / app can be a valuable addition. For instance, an AR-enabled app sends notifications to clients when they are near a potential property that matches their search criteria. Moreover, a VR / AR solution offers a customized 3D walkthrough for potential buyers so that they can view a property online. Using VR / AR technology, images and videos of a property are combined to create a virtual space that closely resembles the real space.
Virtual reality solutions also save the time of prospective homebuyers by reducing the amount of time they spend viewing properties they are not interested in. Finally, virtual reality can facilitate seamless online interaction by allowing customers to share their feedback or query about the property they are considering, which leads to improved client engagement.
Metaverse Making Inroads into the Real Estate Sector
Several real estate companies are currently investing in the metaverse. Metaverses are 3D virtual worlds designed to serve as new-age platforms for social interaction. A metaverse incorporates social networking, virtual reality, and augmented reality to enhance user experience, thus making homebuying more appealing to Millennial home buyers. Despite being a new concept, it has the potential to offer limitless possibilities in the real estate market.
The Future of Real Estate lies in AR and VR
VR and AR have not only revived the country’s real estate industry during the COVID-19 pandemic but have also added value to the industry by grabbing the attention of millennial homebuyers and helping realtors keep up with the times. Technological advances in real estate have disrupted the industry, making it more user-friendly, convenient, and reliable. As millennials increasingly turn to AR / VR to search for properties, these technologies are proving beneficial for the real estate industry. In a technologically-advanced society, such innovations and developments will make the Indian real estate market more competitive over the coming years.
(By Shashank Vashishtha, Executive Director, eXp India)