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COVID-19 impact: Digitisation key to quick turn-around of real estate sector

Digital platforms will form a strong foundation for realty businesses in the future and upcoming technologies will create a seamless buying experience for homebuyers.

The 2020 LinkedIn Top Startups list ranked companies on the basis of four metrics - employee growth; jobseeker interest; member engagement with the company and its employees.
The 2020 LinkedIn Top Startups list ranked companies on the basis of four metrics - employee growth; jobseeker interest; member engagement with the company and its employees.

The real estate sector has always been a challenging sector to operate in and these are unprecedented times given the pandemic. Developers have been quick to adopt and implement technology which has enabled them to get back into action. Policy makers have been supportive too.

Developers were quick to equip themselves with the changing environment of the sector and have geared up to better position themselves post the lockdown. Most companies have made sure that their customers continue to get the same quality of service as they did before the pandemic and have used technology effectively to adapt to the changing dynamics.

The Maharashtra Government’s recent announcement on the reduction of the stamp duty from 5 percent to 2 percent and later to 3 percent, will provide the much needed relief to the real estate sector’s current situation.

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Homebuyers and fence-sitters will be encouraged and incentivised to purchase homes even during the pandemic. The announcement has also come in time for the festive season and we anticipate some good traction in enquiries and sales.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Lalit Makhijani
Lalit Makhijani
Chief Marketing Officer|Godrej Properties Ltd

    Here’s a look at some of the strategies and things to keep in mind while entering the post lockdown era, also known as the ‘new normal’.

    Design Interventions and Configurations: Determination of the typology and size of the products offered to customers, is driven by a combination of factors like customer preferences, market dynamics, and historical performance. Developers create a product based on their understanding of these factors.

    While mid-segment typologies like 2 BHK are always in high demand, due to the emergence of the Work-from-Home culture due to the pandemic, there are chances that customers may prefer purchasing homes with an extra bedroom to accommodate their office space. This will ensure better privacy when working from home and help create more demand for typologies like 2.5 BHK and 3 BHK.

    Importance of Customer Feedback and Digitization: Consumer feedback throughout their home buying journey is at the heart of how developers create their business strategies and the products they bring to market. In terms of how developers engage with consumers, in line with current consumer preferences, the following few months are going to see massive adoption of technology as an outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Consumers are going to be more active on digital platforms, and developers will come up with new strategies to sell their homes online. The crisis has undoubtedly given the sector a significant push towards widespread technology integration and equipped them to face situations with ease.

    Digital platforms that are aiding the industry today will form a strong foundation for businesses tomorrow, and these new upcoming technologies will create a seamless buying experience for homebuyers.

    Technology Oriented Operations: Post the lockdown all processes are going to be digitised, and everything is going to be online. Developers can cultivate strong networks with customers and prospects, along with their industry peers through various social networking sites.

    Chatbots, which are the most common form of Conversational AI, will also help in engaging with prospective customers online. Even post the lockdown, a lot of people are going to be a bit cautious about visiting places.

    In such a case, developers will continue to make sure that they are in constant touch with their customers, channel partners and internal stakeholders by using tools such as Webex and MS Teams, to host CPs and customers, taking them through various product offering and make live bookings, without actually stepping out of the house.

    We believe that even once things get back to normal, we will still see homebuyers opting for digital walkthroughs and online modes of transactions. Not only developers, but surprisingly even homebuyers are also adapting themselves to this new mode of home buying.

    One can sit in the comfort of one’s home and connect with a company sales person and be at a higher level of decision making. That is something that will be a shift. There will be a lot of transactions that will happen online but it will not completely shift to that direction. However, it will cover an abundant ground and is a great addition to the way real estate is sold.

    There has been a considerable increase in inquiries over the past four months with most customers using digital mediums for house hunting and project shortlisting amid the lockdown.

    Even though the COVID-19 crisis did cause disruption, it has also given a positive boost to the digitization and has made developers redefine their strategies and parameters to ensure that they swiftly adapt to the changing times.
    First Published on Sep 24, 2020 03:29 pm
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