June 9, 2020: Indian realty has undergone multiple transitions in the past 5 years, but none of those had been as disruptive as the current COVID-19 crisis. The ensuing lockdown has resulted in a significant slowdown in sales of new units while the paused construction work has further delayed the completion of new projects. Although the buyers’ sentiment looks tepid right now, let’s remember that this is a turbulence and not a catastrophe.
As we pause to speculate on recovery measures and take stock of the situation, we are already in the process of entering into a more futuristic era with newer possibilities like never before. Let’s be realistic and understand that the industry is too gigantic to bow down to a time-bound commotion. This is not to trivialise the current situation but let us not credit it with potential greater than it is capable of.
Rental Recovery is just around the corner
As the lockdown gradually lifts, green shoots have already started emerging in the rental market. The rental market is not going to be scarred for long. The market currently has latent demand and it has already started reviving as the lockdown is getting over.
Recovery of Sale Post Lockdown
A temporary dip in buyer demand is expected in the post-lockdown era as people will first focus on more important things like having a secured job and effectively running their household chores. However, once they get acclimatized to the new world order, customers are likely to start getting attracted to buy units with lower interest rates and additional lucrative deals from builders. The government has also charted a slew of measures to help the sector.
As the crisis fades away, consumers will regain faith in real estate as an asset class. Amongst Indians, there is a perception about physical assets to offer the highest sense of security especially in a crisis like this; when one can’t depend on stock markets and other financial instruments due to their unstable nature.
Technology for Speedy Recovery
Most real estate players have already started investing in virtual tours to help consumers shortlist properties from the comfort of their homes. Consumers too are in favour of the process and thus smoothly transiting to it. It’s quite easy to view property details online and videos give a clearer picture of the property and help customers in making better renting/buying decisions. They are more realistic and engaging than images – thus making the overall process of shortlisting properties easier and efficient than ever before.
As customers get used to these technological changes, it would make many tedious processes simpler, faster, and more economical. The crisis has mandated people to do things differently and switch to tech-enabled services, which have certainly proved more effective than any other method. The potential of tech in real estate is huge and we would see more tech enabled solutions coming in the future.
Online rent payments to help liquidity crunch
As social distancing and contactless services become mainstream, more and more people are switching to online rent payment methods – be it through credit cards or UPI – as they offer convenience, safety, and liquidity. Both these methods make rent payments easy as well as beneficial for the customer as they get the opportunity to earn reward points along with extra liquidity of up to 45 days (in case of credit cards).
New on Block for Housing societies
Given the current scenario, housing societies will onboard visitor and society management technologies to ensure compliance with social distancing and efficient use of resources. Many societies have realised the importance of these apps as they make communication within the community smooth and seamless. From handling the entry of visitors to the entire society management process, these apps add the much-needed ease that urban lifestyle demands. Going forward, a large number of societies will be adopting this practice over manual methods like bookkeeping. They save a lot of time and energy. The times have shown that these apps are capable of a lot more than just managing visitors.
The transformative shift
The sector is taking every possible step to respond to the current crisis, mainly by using technology. It certainly needs to invest more in technologies such as virtual tours, instant online bookings, and online rent payments, to make the visiting, buying and renting process seamless and convenient.
The crisis has certainly catapulted us all to a new normal. Revival methods are already in place. And we believe that this adversity will surprise us by throwing many positives for the real estate sector.