Indian real estate is experiencing a devastating impact due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. The construction process has been stopped abruptly. There is major disruption in the supply of raw material. Labors have returned to their hometowns. No major sales has happened since March which is now reflecting in the balance sheets. However, amidst all this chaos, there is still a hint of silver lining.
The real estate sector in India has gone through a massive transformation in the past two months. The changes that were expected to come after a couple of decades have happened overnight. A couple of digital technologies which were tinkering around in the real estate sector without much use, have suddenly come into the limelight.
Internet use of the real estate customers has been around for while now. Customers who were keen on buying an apartment used to go online to seek information and make a few initial queries. However, online closure of the deals is something which was not happening much in pre-COVID 19 times but now is seen happening at a faster pace during the lockdown.
Virtual Site Tour
Apart from seeking basic information about the location of a project, today, the prospective buyer of an apartment can go through a virtual tour and see every part of the residence like floor plan, structure of the accommodation, outside view, etc.
The concept of video walk-throughs for virtual tours has been happening overseas for some time but it is comparatively a new concept that has taken a giant leap in India during the lockdown period.
Be it for booking the home for purchase or choosing a place for rent, virtual tours are becoming more and more popular as well as effective. With lockdown getting eased in various phases and social distancing getting ingrained in people, more prospective home buyers will be propelled towards a more digitised world.
“To our surprise, many home-seekers were quickly onboarded in the process. We thought we would pilot it, but what we have today is over 200 successful cases of tenants finalising homes only via video walkthroughs and without an actual property visit. Come to think of it, it is not phones or books or vegetables that one is ordering or booking online. It is a home that people would stay in. It is a big decision,” CNBC quoted Amit Agarwal, Co-founder & CEO of NoBroker.com, a tech-based brokerage-free real estate platform, as saying.
According to the COO of Puravankara, 70 percent of its customers who booked in the month of April never visited the site.
Some of the developers are coming up with schemes wherein buyers are expected to make a token advance once the deal is finalised on the assurance of a full refund in case they are not satisfied after a physical visit.