How COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your business and what would be the future
Author: Ketan Sabnis, CEO and Co-founder of Sell.Do
The Covid-19 outbreak has created
multiple challenges for India’s real estate sector and has left realtors
gasping for air. One of the most urgent concerns, however, has been that
realtors are stuck with ready-to-move properties. Because of restrictions on
physical movement, site visits have come to a screeching halt.
and brokers are stranded as well. Salespersons working for developers and
channel partners are stuck at home, driving employee productivity to a grinding
halt as well. All put together, the pandemic has affected the process of site
visits and bookings, in effect, creating an inventory pileup to the tune of
6.60 billion rupees across the country.
properties, the pinch is an even harder one as most tier I and tier II cities
are still under lockdown. Moreover, such a long freeze on construction has
migrants flocking back to their homes. For an industry that makes up 6 per cent
of the GDP, the impact of the pandemic for the real estate industry is a harsh
one to deal with.
industry will move towards recovery, albeit slowly. Multiple consumer sentiment
studies have shown that the demand for residential investments is still alive.
However, all stakeholders will have to move away from the idea of physical site
visits, in-person sales interactions and bookings.
real estate developers must ask themselves these questions:
age of social distancing? What can we do to replicate the entire customer
journey to keep our sales engines running like before?
online real estate selling comes into focus. Developers today need to rapidly
adopt real estate-focused technology into their sales engines to offset
challenges that our current context has presented us with.
real estate sales India’s real estate industry has habitually taken the offline
sales route where homebuyers make site visits and the process go on from there.
A site visit is the actual point of contact that homebuyers experience with the
property as well as with salespersons, channel partners and brokers. In the age
of social distancing, the idea is to replicate site visits with contactless
sales to offset the limitations of making site visits. And the only viable path
to contactless site visits and thereon is to transition to an online sales
from a ‘purely offline’ sales model to ‘online and contactless’ sales model:
walkthroughs, video calling and telephony, salespersons can conduct guided
tours of the site virtually while being able to answer all property-related
queries in real-time. Homebuyers can now satisfy the ‘look and feel’ needs and
salespersons can facilitate decision making better. This time though,
homebuyers can do so from the comfort of their homes.
highlight detailed price sheets including GST, stamp duty and registration
information to homebuyers. If they choose to, homebuyers can make payments
online through secure payment gateways and even apply for home loans via
integrated banking portals. To augment contactless sales, the platform can also
be primed with negotiation management features to further encourage buyer
decisions. Moreover, price sheets can be automated so that any change in price
and related commercials are revised automatically.
in any customer’s investment journey, marketing automation helps developers
engage with their target audiences via multiple digital channels like email,
WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google. Depending on where a customer is
on the sales cycle, the right communication can be shared automatically to
guide the end-users towards a decision.
from multiple sources and data types like lead, inventory and transaction,
automatically and supplies data analytics to the right stakeholders in
real-time. With critical sales and marketing insights at hand, all sales stakeholders
and marketing teams can identify customer expectations while decision-makers
can track and manage team/employee productivity. An online sales process
promotes accountability with full process transparency.
pandemic has highlighted the disparate environment that offline sales have
primed for us. When physical movement is hampered, collaboration, transparency
and accountability go out of the window.On the flip side, by incorporating
contactless sales and marketing technology into existing business processes,
the business side of things can be strengthened with anytime-anywhere
usability. This fosters a business environment primed to ‘connect, communicate
and collaborate’ all stakeholders via a unified platform.
end-to-end integration which ensures that all stakeholders work together and
not as disparate actors. With channel partner and broker integrations,
decision-makers can monitor performance metrics like sales and inventory on the
platform itself and in real-time. Such a platform offers the same contactless
sales technology, such as online walkthroughs, video calling and telephony, to
channel partners and brokers, thereby, enhancing assisted sales in the process
developed exclusively for real estate can help fill the void between home buyers
and sales teams. Incorporating online and contactless real estate sales into
existing sales engines can enhance customer engagement and business
collaboration. Moreover, an online sales engine establishes a secure business
foundation by ushering in enhanced agility into the equation. Simply put, the
future of real estate sales is digital.
alternatives to actual site visits, until the lockdown restrictions are in
place, an online and contactless sales model is the best path to success. We
cannot predict market behaviour post-lockdown or even if we may one day move
past COVID entirely. But we can tell you that realtors have to enhance current
sales and marketing processes with industry-focused technology to better adapt
to volatile marketing scenarios.
estate businesses. Views expressed in the article are of the author.)