Leveraging Digital Technology During The Pandemic

For the past year and a half, many sectors and businesses had dealt with complex situations due to the pandemic. But at the same time, many viewed this as an opportunity to innovate and improvise their business operations, mainly through digitalisation

Challenges often pave way for new solutions. For the past year and a half, many sectors and businesses have dealt with various complex situations owing to the pandemic. Sectors like real estate took a bitter hit last year due to halted construction, mass movement of migrant labourers, falling enquiries, curbs in site visits, and much more. Amidst these challenges, many viewed this as an opportunity to innovate and improvise their business operations. Digitalization has been at the forefront of these innovations and newer concepts of consumer engagement.

Access to technology has bought a shift in consumer needs and demands. To gain their trust and keep businesses going, marketers charted out ‘New Normal’ ways to engage with the consumers and make their buying / owning experience better. This included the integration of new techs like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual and Artificial Reality to enhance customer experience. Brands have started implementing various marketing ways to model their business in an innovative and technological aspect. Even the real estate players were compelled to employ digital business strategies which helped them to bounce back.

Consumers are looking at more humane experiences even in the digital world. The rise of ‘PropTech’ is one such example that has transformed the traditional business to technological driven. Digital technology is rapidly emerging and shaping the frontier and promoting real estate with new dynamics of digital transformation and marketing techniques. For some, the situations may be daunting, but with the help of various digital tools, AI-driven technologies, virtual tours, real estate is here to stay with solving end-to-end solutions.

It has now become all about generating new value, maintaining an existing one, and preventing value degradation. With increased efficiency in marketing, due diligence, various technology tools, and sales processes, home buying, and selling have undergone a revolutionary change.

Virtual Tours or Virtual Sales Offices – Bridging the gap

Virtual Sales offices or Virtual tour is one of the latest interactive features designed with cutting-edge technology; the Virtual Sales Office comes with a superior interface that ensures a convenient customer experience for homebuyers. It offers a smooth experience to the visitors with everything being visually represented, right from entering the sales office, communicating with sales personnel, and taking a tour of

the sample property. They can visit each room, zeroing on details like light fixtures and dimensions, etc from wherever they are and on any device. Many brands are also showcasing projects to customers by opting for diverse prop technologies that facilitate virtual site tours along with 360-degree images, other digital and innovation tools.

Digital and Social-Media Presence

Engaging with a customized content strategy appeals to the customers more than any other tool. Real estate companies have been leveraging different social media platforms since pre-covid times to generate leads and attract audiences in organic and inorganic practices.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) play a great role in directing traffic to a real estate brand’s website. In terms of SEM efforts, we are trying innovations like interactive video forms for lead generation.

Online/digital events have gained huge traction in the past few months. Establishing consumer connect through innovative, engaging and relatable content has been a key strategy adopted by brands to gain unique identity on the new media platforms. This includes creating viral content through innovative challenges or promoting topical days and events. Dedicated digital campaigns are being rolled out on festive days such as Diwali and Holi and important occasions such as Independence Day, Republic Day or special celebratory months such as the brand's milestone moment, anniversary etc. with multiple schemes and offers.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Through AI and machine learning companies are targeting the audiences and responding to their queries in real-time by using the chat-box feature. Though the implementation of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is in-process technology, it will help brands to collect the data more efficiently and target the audiences by recommending properties according to their budget, area preferred, and even personality traits, etc.

With the disruption of technology in every industry and field of human endeavour, the expression "we no longer go online, we now live online" will stay true. In the future we will be seeing more and more digital transformation in our daily life – from the way an individual will live their life to changing business models, processes, work-culture, buying behaviour, and so on. It is of utmost importance for us to ride on the transformation wave and stay relevant in the new digital age.

The Author is Prashin Jhobalia, VP Marketing Strategy, House of Hiranandani

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.