Information Technology enabling growth for Luxury Real Estate – Mr. Satish Pendse is the President for Highbar Technologies (An HCC Group Company) which is in the business of improving efficiencies for infrastructure industry. Highbar Technologies has been instrumental in providing IT solutions for leading infrastructure, real estate, engineering & construction companies across India.
In India the luxury real estate has gone much beyond the luxury of having personal swimming pool at residences. The established & upcoming real estate players are now offering the designer/ signature homes/ villas as luxury residences. The higher disposable income from the evolved middle class has increased the demand for the luxury home segment. The market for luxury real estate is at nascent stage contributing conservative estimate of around 5% of the total real estate market. But it is growing with a considerable rate as compared to the rest of the real estate market. In India the real estate properties costing 3Cr to 85 Cr and above are considered to be luxury properties.
Many businessmen & professionals with higher income profiles have the desire for living in a lifestyle premises. Even during recession, due to the uncertainty in the market this evolved income class prefers to put their investments into luxury real estate market. Although real estate continues to be preferred investment vehicle due to higher returns, these investors prefer to play safe by investing with very reputed & established real estate developers.
Key Challenges in luxury real estate industry:
- Identification of the right client: When most of the real estate players are offering luxury products, it is difficult for the higher income group clients to select the most suitable. It’s equally difficult for the luxury real estate players to reach these clients and offer property desired by them.
- Offering differentiation: The luxury real estate players want to get competitive advantage by offering differentiated service to their clients. As these clients expect differentiated offerings, premium service, exclusivity, timely updates, hassle free processes, on time delivery, etc. This is a major challenge for luxury real estate players.
Role of IT as a value creator for luxury real estate players:
These real estate players are trying to influence the investors with the help of methodologies like designer signature homes, branded amenities on offer, celebrity staying in neighborhood, use of automation, etc. Information Technology is playing an important role in luxury real estate business while tackling above mentioned challenges & get competitive advantage in market.
Use of simulated environment to offer customer delight: Some luxury real estate players are using the simulated environment using IT infrastructure. Imagine an aspiring customer visiting luxury real estate sales office. To experience the luxurious offerings, his family is taken through a simulated environment which virtually demonstrates his desired terrace flat at 25th floor showcasing grand living room with modern amenities, the serene lake view from his master-bedroom, personal swimming pool, the climate during rainy season, the waterfalls seen in backside hill area, sunset as seen from his terrace, etc all through an digitally simulated experience center and this can be experienced much before the residence on offer is ready. IT has made this possible.
- Use of artificial intelligence as service to enhance customer delight: Certain players are focusing on the artificial intelligence in luxury living by offering services like
- Digital security through electronic/ biometric locks
- Personalized automated temperature control
- Wi-Fi network
- Personalized ATMs inside luxury residences
- Electronic surveillance system in residence & kids playground area
- System alerting gas leakage in home
- Night-vision CCTV security system, etc.
With the help of IT it’s not difficult to imagine a luxurious villa situated in remotest area of suburb with all modern amenities, wireless network with customized & event specific personalized setting of lights, curtains, temperature & entertainment system through touch screen panels. Imagine the owner of the house enters the premises using his unique eye retina as key ensuring highest level of security, as he enters the living room the entertainment system recognizes his presence & plays his favorite music list, the AC recognizes his presence and change the temperature to the desired one. The television obeys his voice/ gesture commands & plays the favorite sports channel immediately. The owner has already controlled the bathing water temperature from his office, so that as he reaches home he will get warm water for bath. The system alerts the owner through SMS if someone unauthorized tried to break open the door or locker in his bedroom irrespective of being at home or outside. Awesome! Isn’t it? These services are giving the ‘wow factor’ to the customer ensuring safety, security & peace of mind.
IT as a value creator for luxury real estate players to grow business:
IT has helped the luxury real estate companies to grow their business & offerings. As the luxury real estate market is niche, the lead-to-customer conversion ratio is very low. It is important to keep healthy pipeline of leads in the sales funnel through effective campaign management.
With multiple projects on offer, the real estate players face following major challenges:
- Effective management of multiple campaigns
- Scientific analysis of the generated leads
- Customer acquisition
- Project Monitoring & providing regular updates to customers
- On time Payment collection
With the help of IT tools like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for real estate it is easy to tackle this. Imagine your client searching for luxury property & visited your website & not submitted any information on your website. With such a small action, the software identifies the visitor with his profile details- like location, landline no, official email address, etc This helps your customer relationship team to send personalized mail with property details, tells your sales team to make a personal call to engage the customer further & nurture the captured leads scientifically. Some of the selling tactics like signature homes to the privileged ones with ‘by invitation only’ tag gives feel of exclusivity. You can even delight your customers by sending birthday, anniversary wishes, etc.
Apart from this the timely completion of the real estate project is very important as it helps to get the payments from the client. The timely achievement of the construction milestones ensures on-time cash inflow. To enable this some established players have started providing photographs & live streaming of the construction site videos to build customer confidence & get predefined part payment released. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, management dashboard analytics solutions has made monitoring of project profitability, ROI (Return on Investment) analysis, inventory tracking & control easy & available on click of mouse. This helps business decision makers to manage projects effectively and improve operational efficiencies.
IT has enabled many industries to improve operational efficiencies. Luxury real estate is also amongst them to witness the growth with the help of competitive IT tools providing enhanced operational efficiencies and at the same time offering delightful consumer experiences. Only sky is the limit to leverage the potential of IT to make the luxury real estate business more imaginative and competitive. By the time you finish reading this article, IT will come up with something new & innovative. It’s up to the luxury real estate players to make use of IT in enhancing operational efficiencies. In true sense IT facilitates you to experience the luxury out of luxury real estate.