For long, the real estate sector had been resisting any major change, until technology forced things into a flux. Today, though property-related decisions are taken on the basis of conventional factors like location, building quality, cost, and amenities, the quest for knowing ‘something more’ gets more serious with every passing moment. The reason, of course, is the generational change in the customers where millennials have become the major stakeholders; and the industrial revolution, which has entered its fourth phase (4.0).
These tech-pros (millennials) get influenced by everything that offers any technological innovation, and real estate is no exception. Secondly, with AI-controlled industrialisation, the real estate sector could no longer remain unaffected.
In this article, we will discuss how technology gave birth to Real Estate 4.0, and how it revolutionised the entire real estate landscape.
Real Estate 4.0
Real Estate 4.0 refers to a digital transformation where every sub-sector and activity of the real estate market is controlled through artificial intelligence, digitisation and automation. Its major features include big data analytics, artificial and virtual reality, blockchain technology, internet of things, robotics, and 3D visualisation, to name a few.
Blockchain is a series of incontrovertible records of data that is viewed by everyone, owned by no one, and managed by a cluster of computers. The series or blocks of data are attached to each other through cryptographic principles (chains).
In a real estate market that is managed by blockchain technology, the data always remains decentralised, transparent and non-tampered.
Big Data Analytics
Large volumes of data about people and their behaviours, markets, and institutions are analysed systematically to generate trends about the present, past, and future of the property market, the neighbourhood trends, estimation of mortgage payment plan, cost of property ownership, footfall of shoppers, and much more.
Virtual reality is a computer technique that places you inside an experience that is not real. In real estate, stakeholders use virtual reality to create 3D-visualisation of their projects, which is a visible stimulation of the building that you can see and experience.
Internet of Things
When you have internet on your device, the entire world gets squeezed into your screen. Having gathered enough information online, you’re in a better position to make better decisions. This means that today, due to online property portals like Graana.com, all the real estate related information you need is right at your fingertips.
Benefits of Real Estate 4.0
Visibility of real estate investment opportunities
Imagine you’ve been looking for a 5-marla plot to purchase somewhere in Islamabad. While browsing Facebook one day, you get a 5-marla investment option in a properly organised housing society pop up on the screen. The next moment your email inbox beeps, and you receive a well-crafted investment opportunity that exactly suits what you’ve been questing for.
Now generally, it’s worth giving a thought how real estate companies, project developers and real estate agents get hold of your contact number and send you what you actually needed.
Real Estate 4.0 answers all such questions!
Since you’re available online and showing interest in one thing or the other, artificial intelligence, with the help of the internet of things, collects your data and adds it to large data storage warehouses. The storage houses are scrutinised systematically to generate trends about people’s behaviours, their social and economic stature and orientation, and their future plans. Such trends are consequently used for pitching them relevant investment opportunities.
In a pursuit of reaching as much audience as possible, real estate marketers and brokers throw various marketing campaigns onto social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and online advertising channels like Google AdSense. Interestingly, these marketers and brokers even purchase your data that may include your contact number, relationships, demands and habits.
Google reports that the online property search has increased by 40-45% compared to the last quarter. It implies that PropTech (Property Technology) – guided by internet – is the future of real estate.
Transformation of the housing market
Digital marketers, who deal in the property market, are convinced that PropTech has transformed the housing market from three dimensions: i) establishing data basses of property information; ii) automating property transactions; and iii) securing and digitising property management. In this regard, the project developers now feel convenient to brand their project online, pull relevant potential customers, and close deals effectively.
With millennials as the target audience, the task gets relatively easy, as they are mostly connected with internet, tend to form social communities, and spread and share information. In Pakistan, around 45-50% of the online traffic to property websites and social platforms comes from an age group of 25-35 years.
Similarly, decision making for a customer becomes easy as they can verify the given information by just logging in to various digital accounts and get the required info verified. PropTech, therefore, brings transparency, verification and user convenience to the real estate market.
Blockchain and big data analytics bring increased transparency to the real estate sector. For example, with every transaction that is visible, accessible and incontrovertible for all, we can assess the value of a property and predict its future with optimum accuracy. Furthermore, with international monitoring bodies like Global Real Estate Transparency Index, a formal and robust mechanism has come into play that provides the local real estate markets with a high-standard performance benchmark.
Secondly, progressive real estate developers and marketers too have played an instrumental role in increasing transparency. These entrepreneurs, mostly digital experts, provide real estate development and transaction services through value chain formula. To put it simply, they offer end-to-end service and remain engaged with their customers throughout the process till the required demand of the client is fulfilled.
With cutting-edge technology, traditional marketing practices in the real estate sector have considerably reduced. As discussed, project developers and realtors use artificial and virtual reality techniques to provide 3-dimensional visualisation/experience of the projects. Likewise, with technology like Position Intelligence Engine (PIE), the real estate managers measure the buildings’ footfall and share it tactically to inspire potential investors and shoppers. Similarly, a real estate agent can install a Beacon Technology in a house that is available for rent. The technology consistently radiates a signal/message (e.g. the house is available for rent) in a limited area, which is received by mobile phones roaming nearby.
Upward trend in real estate investment
With more and more visibility and transparency of the projects, the trend for real estate investment has increased over the last two decades. Likewise, with various mobile applications that promote rental properties (both homes and hotels), the occupancy rate has drastically improved across the world. For example, with AirBnb and booking.com, you can find a place to live or retire in any part of the world without being worried about the process or the place.
Going further, every real estate developer becomes visible on social media and search engines even before the launch of his project. Such platforms establish his personal, and the brand and project’s identity that is subsequently used to attract potential clients.
Smart buildings have higher value
A building with smart technological features and efficient connectivity offers five major benefits that traditional real estate development cannot.
- energy efficiency
- sustainable building
- predictive maintenance
- improved productivity
- efficient use of resources
- optimised management
Real Estate 4.0 introduces automation to real estate development and transactions. In addition to increased efficiency and speedy project completion, it ensures reduced costs, relatively less human intervention and substantial user convenience. With AI-based property portals like Graana.com, finding and viewing a property and closing a deal has become automated that save time, improves communication and delivers value.
Will Real Estate 4.0 replace human involvement?
Not anywhere soon. Although, real estate 4.0 revolutionises the real estate sector by inducting as much technology as possible, there is also a downside to it. Trust is the linchpin of the entire activity between a seller and a buyer, and any technological failure can damage it very easily, as we often see happening with e-commerce giants. The use of technology is only efficient if it is brought to work under human supervision and intervention and a manually controlled environment at least in the first phase of the real estate 4.0. At Graana.com, technology and human expertise are synthesized quite optimally to ensure both increased user convenience and a gradual digital transformation of the real estate sector.