Real estate is a big economic activity in India. In fact, real estate activity is a good measure of economic growth of any geography and therefore India being an economic growth engine, has a fast growing Real Estate sector. There have been a few years when Real Estate contributed to as high as 14-15% of India’s GDP. Though in last few years the industry has faced clear head-winds and is currently contributing only about 6-7% of GDP. Even at this level it is big and has an important place in life of many a people.
The Real Estate Industry has evolved in India over a period of a few years and with regulations like RERA in place, there is a method to how this business can be done. The sales efforts have been more transparent in recent years, which has made the selling more customer friendly. Also, entry of a few corporate and stock exchange listed players in the field has meant that a system driven approach to sales and marketing is being given preference to highly arbitrary practices earlier. Also, the slowdown over last few years meant that there were fewer new launches and developers started selling products which were constructed and therefore customer could check these before buying. Also, the advent of newer technologies have meant that even when the customer is away from the construction site, he could understand how it would look like.
These changes had been coming at a slow pace, especially in smaller towns. However, with Covid-19, one could expect this to change very rapidly. On one hand, there will be concerns about repeated visits by a prospective customer to a construction site and hence, customer would like to short-list properties sitting at home. This would force companies to switch to latest available technologies of visualization. While earlier having a few videos of sample flat were considered to be par for course, it will change to developers developing interactive 3D models for buildings and units within this. The scale models, which were a very effective sales tool earlier, may lose the significance as customer is expected to visit a sales office only in the final stage. Also, the ability of a developer to be able to make a customer feel committed to buying, will depend less on sales talk and more on ability to convince him with specific details. This will happen because a customer surfing the internet about various projects will do a more thorough research as he will have the ability to keep flipping till he shortlists certain properties.
In summary, therefore, it is only fair to expect higher level of transparency in the sales calls and property related literature. The company website will be a very important tool to get customers connect and this will hopefully propel marketing teams to spend good time to inspect every single detail that is being put on website. The times of web-calls and effective objection handling on telesales are here as the time for site visits may be limited.