Almost anything we do today has a touch of technology to it. The real estate sector is no exception. A look by Ruth Dsouza

Innovation is the key to progress and the powers that be in the real estate industry have now begun to leverage technology to help people find the right homes. The search may be for a home to rent or one to purchase – the process is now becoming simpler and increasingly technology-driven.

Visiting a site virtually

“The real estate market is scattered,” says Antony Davis, Founder, VHTnow, Media production house based in the city. “Consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to find a home for themselves in an efficient manner. The challenge for most people looking for home work is that they work through the week and have to deal with heavy traffic before they actually visit a property. We felt this was a requirement that needed to be addressed.”

Antony offers a few technology driven products - a 360 degree panorama view of a home. Through an online link, you are taken into a home and a room. You may use navigational keys provided to gain a 360 degree view of the space. Another offering is the video home tour that takes you through a property in depth – interiors as well as exteriors giving you a complete understanding of what is in store.

The benefit of such a product is that a consumer is able to get 90 per cent of the information that he needs to make a decision, feels Antony. Even if it does not influence a decision, it certainly helps him narrow down significantly on the few properties that he needs to visit before making a choice.

The consumer is at the property without actually being there. This is the closest experience one may get in terms of a site visit. A consumer can avoid going through a broker and shelling out a commission and visiting numerous properties, only to be disappointed. The buyer and seller both benefit from a convenient means of property viewing and promotion.

Message your way to that perfect home

Almost everybody has a smartphone today and access to the Internet while on the move is passé. Whatsapp, a much used application, has WhatsApp home search enabled by that allows users to search for properties using this popular personal messaging tool. All you have to do is send in your home search queries on this app to a registered mobile number. Experts send property details as per your request.

In terms of benefits, you need not log on to a website or a call customer service repeatedly. You are connected to a property search manager through the app and he/ she doesn’t have to rely on any other medium to get necessary inputs. It makes property search as simple as sending a text message.

The most important benefit of this service is that it is free and has a wider reach compared to any other mobile messaging application, says Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO, “The consumer can look for properties on the go and he/ she needn’t dedicate extra hours to do so. Property search can be a tedious task and assistance from an expert with the convenience of connecting over personal messaging makes it very simple.”

The service is also particularly beneficial to NRIs as they operate on different time-zones. For them to engage in a property search in India with the time difference can be a hassle. Not to mention the high charges involved in making international calls.

Experience your home

The Brigade Group created the Experience Centre at the World Trade Center to allow customers to virtually experience their potential home. This state-of-the-art technological facility gives buyers a comprehensive view of each of the properties under the Brigade umbrella.

A large interactive touchscreen is where it all begins. The Home Page on the screen offers you various tabs denoting each of the projects on offer from Brigade Group. You may choose to explore each one of these.

A single touch will open out options such as a Walkthrough, Elevation plans, Location, Masterplan, Floor Plan, Project Brochure and more. Each walkthrough is around 2-3 minutes long and gives you a clear perspective on the entire project of your choice. The e-brochures can also be immediately e-mailed to your email id, right from the interactive touchscreen.

What makes the entire experience so pleasing to the senses is that from the main console, you may direct the entire operation to a much larger custom-made screen giving you almost a life-like, real time experience of the projects.

Viswa Prathap Desu Vice President-Sales & Marketing, Brigade Group, says, “The Experience Centre is designed to provide a first-hand experience of our offerings to the customer across domains. This provides an ideal space for interaction in a classy ambience with a choice of options to meet the requirement of a home or office in key cities of South India.”

 In today’s age, where most of us are embracing technology like never before, use of technology only helps in making the customer engagement smoother and better. It also ensures that information can be provided to the seeker in multiple forms and in a user-friendly manner.