How Digitalisation Is Transforming Home Buying

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How Digitalisation Is Transforming Home Buying

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Mr. Ravi Menon, Chairman, Sobha

The process of purchasing a property – be it commercial or residential – has undergone a major shift in the past decade. The real estate sector has leap-frogged in numerous ways, transitioning from tedious, time consuming, exhaustively lengthy to more streamlined, easy-to-follow home buying processes. Gone are the days when the fate of an average honest home buyer lay at the mercy of traditional patwaris, brokers and a chain of middle-men, who were the sole custodians of transactional details when it came to buying a property. The entire process was time consuming and cumbersome.

Due to the digitalisation of banking and finance, the real estate sector has done away with many such intermediaries. Today, for a first-time home buyer, it is entirely possible to start the journey of buying their dream home from anywhere in the world. Online searches have eased the entire process of buying an expensive product such as a home. It facilitates the prospective customer in a manner which was unthinkable few years ago. With detailed maps of the location, apartment size and shape in isometric diagrams, view from the top, drone shots, 3D panoramic views, existing social infrastructure in the vicinity and the use of Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR), home buying is now a joyful experience. Developers are coming up with interesting ways to reduce commute time and costs for their customers and making the relevant information available at the click of a mouse.

Moreover, online research allows home buyers to come armed with information during the physical visit of a project, enabling them to corroborate information. This has prompted developers to become transparent with their information sharing process throughout the journey of a customer’s purchase. Further, it has reduced a customer’s reliance on middlemen, who come at an extra cost. Therefore, their role in home buying is becoming obsolete gradually, especially in the major cities.

Procedures relating to legal and financial aspects are also becoming increasingly digital. For those who cannot afford the legal fee of a full-time lawyer for due diligence, the web makes up for a perfect sounding board. Every detail, query and problem with solution on first-time home buying can be raised and addressed digitally.

More importantly, digitalisation allows prospective buyers to access relevant information on the reputation, financial stability, number of projects, delivery track record, prices and business practices of a developer. This, coupled with the customer testimonials, helps new buyers to take faster decisions. And all this is available a click away digitally.

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