Tech Takes Hold in Real Estate

Thu, 23 Sep, 2021

Technology has a way of disrupting our lives, for many good reasons and in all sorts of ways. The real estate sector is no exception.

Innovations and technology solutions have re-shaped the entire process from looking at listings to buying real estate and managing one’s entire property portfolio.

Proptech start-ups are among the trailblazers in this field, developing tech-empowered platforms and solutions that are transforming the real estate sector. And it looks like we haven’t seen the last of them as global investment has soared from $2.2 billion to $31.3 billion according to a Deloitte outlook report.

The widespread adoption of new technologies in the real estate sector can be attributed mainly to the convenience, transparency and security they afford. Thanks to online selling platforms, property purchases can be done with a simple click. It’s become a less stressful process for both buyers and sellers.

And whilst online listings seem like archaic technology now, it was probably the earliest example of how technology has re-shaped the real estate industry. Since then, many other technologies and applications have been developed to facilitate property transactions, from beginning to end.

Today, digital is the way forward for many property developers, as well as buyers and/or investors of real estate.

Enabling tech at DAMAC

Before platforms and apps became buzzwords in the industry, DAMAC, as early as 2019, introduced VR to train construction workers on safety procedures.

Now, 3D and virtual viewings are the norms, at least in more mature property markets. For instance, DAMAC offers virtual tours of its properties which have become a preferred method for many customers since the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic, as it affords prospective buyers the convenience and safety of not having to physically view the property.

The technology that makes virtual viewing possible has also advanced significantly, with extended reality (XR) and other advanced applications that make property viewing a fully immersive experience.

Widely considered as an innovator in the property sector, not just in the UAE but also internationally, DAMAC has fully leveraged these advances and innovations to offer prospective clients, for example, a realistic experience of the property they are considering for a full appreciation of its feel and value, before making a purchase decision.

A La Carte Villas

Utilising VR and AR technology, DAMAC had in early 2020 launched a unique concept called ‘A La Carte Villas’ at DAMAC Hills, which enables buyers to personalise multiple aspects of their homes, including villa type, layout, landscaping, interiors, and furnishings, among others using a cutting-edge configuration app.

Taking its bold adoption of technology one step further, DAMAC recently launched the DAMAC Living app which seeks to make a number of services and processes easier and more seamless for homeowners — from settling payments to uploading documents for property handover, making amenity bookings and getting special discounts on services, among others. The app has become a one-stop-shop and a single convenient platform for community-related services for residents and tenants.

As part of its commitment to innovation, DAMAC is now working towards a one mobile app solution for all touchpoints with the company, right from the point a customer shows interest in its properties, to when they are residing in any of the property developer’s communities.

Beyond the scope

Technology has garnered a significant hold in commercial spaces as well. The concept of remote working was thrust into the limelight all of a sudden due to the pandemic, though admittedly, there is still a great divide between those who are ‘for’ and ‘against.’

That said, many other factors have come to light that is redefining parameters for what tomorrow’s workplaces will look like. For instance, a recent JLL survey of 1,000 employees across the Asia Pacific shows that employees now consider work-life balance a priority ahead of salary.

This is important for developers as they, along with employers, now have to consider how the built environment will add value, not just for the employees, but also for their bottom lines.

Tech apps will also figure significantly into this equation, in terms of how office processes, even employee engagement methodologies can be done more efficiently and effectively.

In this area, DAMAC was also quick to leverage technology as it developed and launched an application called DAMAC Central, which centralises all communications, collaborations, decision making and self-services for all staff in the organisation.

Undoubtedly, all these developments have been embraced with open arms and have made people’s lives easier. Innovation in tech is moving very rapidly and, at DAMAC, we are fully on board for this exciting ride and journey