Real estate is one of the oldest industries in the world and has traditionally been very conservative. This has changed over time, however, as technology has become more accessible.
Today, people have begun to expect more out of their real estate experiences. For example, real estate companies that help customers with buying or selling a home must provide them with an online presence on websites like Zillow or Redfin so that they can find out what all properties are available for sale in their area at any given time.
While this technological advancement is very helpful for the buyers, it is not very advantageous for sellers as it is not possible for them to show off all of their best features when buyers are looking online instead of visiting in person.
What is Digital Transformation in Real Estate?
Digital transformation in Real Estate can be understood as the modification of business processes, products, and services, such that organizations advance towards technology and generate newer streams of revenue through the adoption of technology. This is done by providing greater value to customers using multiple channels. In the real estate sector, technology makes it possible for the companies to achieve faster growth by offering an enhanced customer experience.
It is very common to mix digital transformation in real estate with digitalization in real estate. But the two terms are not the same. Digitalization refers to the use of technology in an existing business process or product offering. For instance, when a company chooses to digitize their website by adding more content or improving user experience, it is a part of digitalization. But they are still operating under their traditional business model and not adopting a new model.
In order to make way for digital transformation in real estate, companies must first understand how customers interact with them today; then they can use these insights as a base while developing new strategies and products that will directly target those customers' needs and ultimately improve the overall productivity of their business process.
Software for Real Estate
Today, there have been a lot of technological advancements in the real estate sector that it is possible to radically redefine how to construct, interact with and use buildings. The greater connectivity and advanced developments in the hardware make it possible for every fragment of the real estate industry to evolve at a faster pace. There are many software available which cater to the needs of each segment of the industry. These include:
Feasibility Study for Property Developers
A feasibility study is a preliminary analysis of the cost and timeframe required to develop a property. It also helps determine whether you should move forward with the project or not.
The best way to do this is by hiring an analyst or firm that specializes in real estate development. They will take into consideration all the factors involved and evaluate their impact. These include:
- Property location
- Land size and terrain
- Construction costs, labor costs, and financing options available locally
Real Estate Management System (REMS)
Real estate management systems (REMS) act as a central hub for your entire real estate business. They allow you to streamline all of your processes. From managing listings and tenants to tracking bookings and payments, they take care of everything.
A REMS will allow you to:
- Work more efficiently by automating tasks like property maintenance and tenant communication
- Increase productivity, making more money with less effort
- Keep track of your finances so that you know exactly how much money is coming in and going out
Why Use a Property Development Feasibility Study Software?
A property development feasibility study software helps you make better investment decisions, identify potential risks and reduce costs. The software also helps you increase the overall efficiency and productivity of your team.
A property development feasibility study helps you decide if there is a viable market for the project you are thinking of undertaking. If a market exists and there is substantial demand, then it is likely that the project will be successful when completed; however, if there isn't enough demand then it may be difficult to sell or rent out the units. The software allows you to identify this early on in the process so that you can avoid wasting time and money on building something that no one wants!
The costs associated with developing a building vary widely depending on the location, size, type of property, etc. The costs of development typically range between $150 million and $200 million per acre (about $40 million per hectare). However, with latest technological advancement, you can calculate these figures faster than ever before. So why not leverage them?
Rising demand for better customer experiences drives innovation towards a digital transformation in real estate
The customer experience is a key driver for innovation in real estate. Customer expectations are increasing, and businesses that don't meet them risk losing their customers to competitors. With the rise of social media, consumers have more tools than ever before to voice their opinions about products and services they encounter. Therefore, it becomes crucial to provide your customers with an enhanced experience and keep them happy.
When it comes to customer experience, technology plays an important role. Here are a few things that technology does that elevates the customer experience:
- Customers are often unable to communicate with real estate professionals when they need help with property searches or other tasks because the agents aren't available at the time of day. Therefore, many of them opt to go and search online. This leads to customers losing interest in working with the agent or company altogether. A perfect solution to this might be the chatbots that provide 24/7 support via text message or online chatbot platforms like Facebook Messenger. However, make sure that you do your due diligence here: some bots are not very intelligent!
- In addition to improving communication between buyers and sellers through digital channels such as email/messaging apps or social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger (which has its own bot platform called M), these tools also allow agents who aren't physically located nearby their clients' homes to interact more with the clients. This reduces stress levels of both the parties involved if something goes wrong during the inspection period.
How to Move Towards a Smooth Digital Transformation in Real estate?
By now it is clear that there are numerous benefits of adopting the on-going technological advancements in the real estate sector. It not only helps in an increased customer engagement but also enhances the overall efficiency of business processes. Furthermore, it helps to discover new streams of income. It also enables companies to track and fulfill their Environmental, social, and corporate governance commitments. But it is not a cakewalk.
Today, most startups offer niche-based or products and services limited to very-specific categories. Therefore, it is challenging to precisely calculate their ROIs and find the right roadmap for their development. That is not all. Shifting business processes over the digital sphere is an extremely time-consuming process. It is also difficult to scale it all over a business. Therefore, you need a well-thought framework before you start integrating new technologies into your business, so as to gain maximum benefits out of the digitalization. Here, we have listed the important steps in the journey of technological adoption:
- Developing a Technology Strategy
It is very important to understanding that where in your business operations would technology add the most value. You can find these areas by reviewing your processes and identifying the areas where technology can address the most challenges to enhance efficiency and achieve your overall business goals.
Your technological strategy should be such that it focuses on technical capacity-building in alignment with the overall direction of the company. This includes:
- Analyzing the existing technological landscape to find popular contemporary solutions and service providers and identify how these can fit into the company’s strategy for different business goals
- Mapping out priorities to bring clarity in the process and to make sure that potential solutions are adopted in such a manner that they meet critical business objectives while also fitting in the wider organizational strategy
- There must be a set framework which works towards tracking solutions presented by emerging technologies which are proven to enhance efficiency and are scalable
- Companies must first get an understanding the various options available and evaluate how they will impact their partnerships, processes and subscriptions. They must also look at how these models fit into the long-term vision and goals of the company.
- Finding the Right Solution
After you are done analyzing and evaluating various options available and how they will impact your business, the next step is to identify the right product and service provider that suits your business. This step is imperative to ensure the successful technological integration of your business. Therefore, you must take into consideration both- the needs of your business as well as the capabilities of your business provider. The things that you must base your decision on include:
- A thorough assessment of strategic alignment, case studies and the impact on business or processes as well as the flexibility that it offers and the potential scalability
- Evaluate how the new technical capacities fit in with the existing technology of the enterprise, how it functions with the data sources and how it engages relevant teams to address data and security issues
Next comes the most crucial step- Integration. The process of integration is vital as it ensures the wide adoption of the identified solution across the business such that it helps in generating a significant ROI and scale for new technologies. Thus, it requires an all-encompassing strategy for adoption and future governance of the digital transformation. This includes:
- Generating a business-wide adoption strategy that suits the needs of all the major key stakeholders
- Ensuring that the new technology fits in with the existing technology to take care of ownership and governance responsibilities, and improve communication between teams
- Enabling new solutions to match existing processes and specify the areas that the transformation will impact.
- Ensuring that the processes go well with the strategic aims of the business
- Identifying Key Performance Indicators to measure the overall performance at each stage of development
- Developing pilot or proof-of-concept trials to accelerate integration and identify any underlying bottlenecks
- Having an appropriate scaling process which ensures that feedback from pilots is incorporated, the suggested solutions are implemented in an efficient manner across the business
- Smooth onboarding of all the relevant stakeholders by providing necessary training and communicating all the recent developments
- Cross-functional approach and skills:
The adoption of new technologies into real estate business demands a wide skillset. Right from procurement to operations, maintenance and security, as well as a dovetailing with business culture and processes, you need to take into consideration everything. This means that your company will need an integrated plan for driving skills and technology to the business. Therefore, you must hire a well-versed workforce or offer upskilling programs to all the key workers across the technology strategy. You must train your workforce on how to use the newly introduced solutions across the organization to support buy-in and use. Partnering with established experts in real estate technology that have the ability to provide long-term support and scale solutions across the business can significantly accelerate progress and capacity development.
For real estate owners and developers, there is no better time for digital transformation in real estate. With the right tools, you can enhance your ability to grow your business and increase profits by giving your customers a better experience with your products or services.
Mohd Noumaan Khan
About the Author
- Software Engineer | Digital Advisor with over 8 years of experience.
- International Experience in UAE and Oman across various digital product development, web application development and digital marketing/ advertising
- Digital transformation consultant and has helped 50+ clients, 75+ project completed successfully.
Talks about #proptech, #digitalTransformation, #software, #web, #digitalMarketing, #digitalAnalytics.
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