Impact of technology on Indian residential

While the COVID-19 led countrywide lockdown dampened home buying sentiments in India, proptech has played a pivotal role in boosting buyers’ confidence.

September 28, 2020

The boom of technology has revolutionized many industries and everyday life more comfortable and convenient. When the pandemic led to a countrywide lockdown, proptech proved to be a game-changer for realty developers. Given the physical nature of home buying in India, the lack of site visits and face-to-face interaction with developers dampened buyer sentiment. However, the quick adaptation of technology by real estate developers have opened up new possibilities and brought back homebuyers’ confidence.

Developers are using sophisticated proptech tools like virtual reality, 3D walkthroughs, drones and artificial intelligence to help potential homebuyers virtually tour their desired property and be aware of its neighbourhood while sitting in the comfort and safety of their homes. The virtual chat medium and social media platforms have created a transparent environment where homebuyers can find ample information about the property of their choice. Launch of property apps provided homebuyers with trends, forecast of the property value and other insights while cloud computing and statistical analysis helped them in decision-making. 

These easy-to-use apps are also helping many non-resident Indians (NRIs) shortlist and book properties online, based on their preferred location, price and amenities without any physical visit. These apps provide up-to-date information and laws regarding properties, which serve as efficient tools for investors and end-users to make informed decisions. These experiences have created comfort among homebuyers, as well as helping digital real estate platforms to mature and expand.

Understanding the importance of proptech in these unprecedented times, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, along with the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), has recently launched an e-commerce portal, where the country’s residential developers will offer 270,000 ‘ready-to-move’ homes for digital sales. The portal has been created with a vision to increase the digital footprint of real estate and to instil confidence and transparency among home seekers.

The use of proptech for construction is still at a nascent stage in India. Although technologies, such as building information modelling (BIM), are already being used, innovative technologies like 3D printing, building automation systems, virtual and augmented reality are yet to gain popularity. These tools are expected to play a major role in building smarter homes in a cost-effective, safe and faster manner in India.

Way forward

In the post-COVID-19 world, even though proptech is not expected to completely replace human interaction in the residential sector, the synergy between technology and physical interaction will continue. However, technology is likely to push forward physical interactions, including site visits, which used to happen in the initial phase of home purchase, to the final phase of the process. Technology-led innovations are expected to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the residential sector in India.