In recent years, India's real estate sector has seen significant advancement in technologies that can improve planning and governance, efficiency in development, operations and overall customer experience.
Technology has been disrupting the real estate space globally. In recent years, India's real estate sector has seen significant advancement in technologies that can improve planning and governance, efficiency in development, operations and overall customer experience.
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From growing population and urbanisation, to increased regulatory and compliance measures, and more recently the spread of COVID-19, now reverse migration, have all impacted real estate investment, development and operations. At the same time, such macroeconomic developments, coupled with advancements in technologies, are providing a vibrant platform for innovative tech-oriented products and services in the real estate sector.
Earlier this year, India's largest real estate services firm, JLL, launched a whitepaper titled 'Technology Led Innovations: Impact on Urban Development and Real Estate' at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Urban Technovation Summit, 2020. The whitepaper elaborates on the impact of technology led innovations on the real estate sector, and the factors that will help create an ecosystem of growth and investment.
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The cities of tomorrow will be built on technology; the usage of data on a digital ecosystem is going to change cities and position them better in this competitive world. Technology and innovation during implementation of urban scale projects will drive investments and we at JLL are working towards establishing this to major cities and development projects we deal with.
Technology led innovation or technovation in the realty sector can be structured under four pillars - Ecosystem Led Technovation, Services Led Technovation, Space Led Technovation and Product Led Technovation.
At the macro level, Ecosystem Led Technovation will enable technology to build smarter cities that can help improve efficiency, sustainability and liveability, while also creating a transparent and competitive business environment. Technology solutions can help improve the ‘smart quotient’ of the city by involving stakeholders like the government, investors the citizens, and leave a lasting positive impact on the environment.
Technology plays a key role in the planned as well as future projects of the envisaged smart cities. Cities such as Bhubaneswar, Indore and Pune have focused on smart projects such as the Command Control Centre (CCC). Pune has allocated Rs 154 crore for Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) which oversees 200 Wi-Fi hotspots and over 80 environmental and flood sensors along with public address system and traffic surveillance system. These innovative uses of technology help make these cities smarter and safer. With adoption of tech tools for administrative processes, city congestion will reduce, make cities safer for all stakeholders and enhance quality of life, all of which will drive investments and increase resources for governments that can be utilised on other initiatives.
Several cities in India have adopted projects of high impact such as Citizen Response Management Systems (CRMS), smart and integrated public transportation systems, city-wide surveillance systems, smart homes, digitisation of municipal operations, etc., JLL was involved in Smart City Proposals (SCP) for 8 of these cities, which include Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Puducherry, Tiruchirappalli, Aligarh, Moradabad, Amritsar and Vadodara. JLL is also presently working as Project Management Consultants for Trivandrum, Kanpur, Dehradun and Moradabad Smart Cities in successfully implementing the identified projects.
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Services Led Technovation elaborates on the impact of proptech across the real estate lifecycle in a more efficient and effective way. Digital brokerages have already become a starting point for property searches. More recently, developers are increasingly adopting new and advanced construction technology and methods to save time and improve employee safety, using AI and VR to create avenues for more accurate forecasting, and incorporating various technological tools in retail malls and commercial sector for better user experience.
While the housing sector has been relatively slower in adopting technology, COVID-19 has seen rapid investment in technology and automation by leading real estate developers. Moving forward, newer prop-tech services spanning data management, real estate investments, and building operations are finding increased adoption with organised industry players.
Space Led Innovations, on the other hand is about developing and operating smart buildings primarily through IoT. Wearable technologies help prevent potential issues during project construction and operations. 3D printing can help up-skill the workforce in the construction industry, whilst reducing construction costs. Finally, increasing focus on sustainability, well-being, has provided various sensors-based technologies that help building managers and occupiers strive for predictive maintenance.
The office sector continues to be a pioneer in incorporating technology for a more efficient and sustainable workplace. For instance, as employees start to return to the office, workplace apps will continue to evolve to encompass new features focusing on emerging trends on health and safety.
Product Led Technovation like drones will continue to see exponential growth, especially as a tool for data capturing, processing, monitoring and delivering better experience. From real estate agents using drones for site walkthroughs, to planners using the product for surveys and site managers using it to improve employee safety, Drones have found utilisation across the real estate lifecycle.
Urban planning and real estate sector will observe the expansion of various disruptive technologies in India, including 3D printing, blockchain and drones, with a possibility to scale to smaller cities. Backed by new normal, post-COVID scenarios, emergence of the middle class and millennials, improved consumers’ technology sophistication, global black swan events, as well as government support, real estate technologies in India are poised to thrive.
The writer is the Chief Operating Officer, Strategic Consulting (Indi, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh) at JLL
First Published: IST