The outbreak of novel Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, has not only impacted human lives but global economies as well. It has compelled various industry verticals, including real estate, to come up with innovative ideas involving technology to market their products or services. 99acres.com provides insight on how real estate agents, brokers or realtors can utilise the latest technologies to sustain in these times of crisis.

The Indian real estate sector has witnessed a sudden dip in the number of property enquiries across cities owing to the 21-day lockdown imposed by the Government following the outburst of COVID-19. While lack of sales primarily hit developers, they have also left real estate brokers without business. The ongoing festive season, which was expected to witness a spell of revival in sales and launches, has instead seen the worst lull in the sector in ages. During such times, technology is the only rescue and the means to interact with potential homebuyers, who may transact as soon as the market returns to normalcy. To cater to such audience, developers, real estate brokers and promoters are heavily relying on technology and digital platforms to coordinate with potential buyers and sellers.

Here are some technologies real estate agent or broker can use to survive in the realty domain:

E-brochures: E-Brochure or ebook is the most cost-effective and interactive technology used to promote any housing project. It is a digital version of a brochure wherein all the property-related details, such as layouts, pricing and configurations can be displayed. E-brochures are trending these days as it saves paper and cost. It is an interactive 3D format that contains page-turning forms of catalogues, manuals, brochures and photo albums. According to Paras Satija, Proprietor, PlanWell Realty, “Although the lockdown has impacted the real estate business at large; the e-brochures can be utilised to showcase the enlisted properties. It also helps in building the trust between the potential buyer and the brand, if the information is appropriately presented. As citizens are maintaining social distance and refraining from visiting construction sites, several real estate brokers, agents and realtors are sharing e-brochures with their clients to provide detailed information about the projects.”   

Ankush Kaul, President, Ambience Group weighs in on how developers will increasingly rely on pioneering technologies in real estate for the revival and future functioning of the industry:

 

Virtual tours: Yet another technology that has transformed the entire outlook of the real estate sector is the virtual tours. It is a model of the location, which contains a series of videos or still images along with other multimedia features such as sound effects, music, narration, and text. Owing to the growing number of coronavirus cases in India, real estate agents are using these videos extensively. Along with a 360o view of the realty projects, brokers or realtors are providing real-time experience to the viewers, wherein buyers can virtually visit the property.

Videos or walkthroughs: Usually, a buyer begins the property search by surfing the net to gain understanding about a particular property. Real estate video tours are more helpful for buyers searching a property in another State or country. Sellers can also use these real estate video tours optimally to get more views on the advertisements. Therefore, it provides an opportunity for all the real estate players to make property listings more appealing to catch the attention of potential buyers. Video tours are similar to YouTube videos; wherein property can be presented in a motion format. Now that the Coronavirus outbreak has intensified worldwide, realtors are increasingly depending on these video tours to reach out to the buyers. Deepak Shaw, a Kolkata-based real estate agent, Melamine Properties, avers, "There is a sharp decline of 70-80 percent in property buying or selling queries in Kolkata. In fact, rental queries have also decreased. Several brokers or realtors are sending video tours through WhatsApp or E-mail to give the clients a glimpse of the property.”

Video conferencing: Some agents or brokers are using video conferencing software to coordinate with buyers, sellers and tenants these days. "Considering the current scenario, these applications help agents to stay in touch with potential buyers, which can eventually be useful for surviving in the real estate business,” adds, Satija.

Online property portals: In this situation, brokers are also relying on online property portals. They are urging their clients to go through the photos and videos available on these websites to get an overview of the property and the locality.

To conclude, cold-calling, E-mailing, and texting are also being used widely to address sales queries. The realtors are trying all the cutting-edge technologies to sustain in the realty business amid the outbreak of coronavirus. Experts are hoping that post April 15, when the lockdown period ends in India, everything will bounce back, and things would be in place.