Real estate moves with times in tech-led efforts

July 30, 2021 | 11:40
The real estate market in 2021 has seen a downturn in revenues, sales decreasing, and vacant spaces on the rise. With that, developers are attempting to persuade more buyers to accept new tech-based methods of product introduction.
Many domestic real estate companies are actively promoting the use of proptech, Photo Le Toan
Many domestic real estate companies are actively promoting the use of proptech. Photo: Le Toan

At the end of June, Thang Loi Group held a livestream event to introduce The Sol City’s progress to customers. The livestream attracted more than 2,000 investors and brought in nearly VND90 billion ($3.9 million) in revenues after only one hour online.

“COVID-19 has opened up competition in establishing new ways of trading in the market,” said Tran The Anh, sales director of Thang Loi Group. “The application of technology is an opportunity for Thang Loi Group to approach end-users, increase competitiveness, and reaffirm our capacity. Transactions in online platforms will help the project be more transparent, too. Customers can have the latest information on legalities, progress, and design of the projects.”

According to David Jackson, CEO of Colliers International, selling real estate online is an inevitable trend because it can take advantage of many outstanding technology advantages.

“Under normal conditions, this method helps customers who are far away from real estate or are too busy to still attend seminars and product launches held online with detailed information. Under current conditions, of course, this method means people do not need to attend mass gatherings, limiting the possibility of COVID-19 infection,” Jackson told VIR.

Selling real estate is a process of building trust, and as people become more knowledgeable about the related technology and use many online transaction channels themselves, they also gradually begin to believe in this sales method in the real estate field.

“Developers are continuing to build very convenient sales applications or websites to digitalise their operation. This helps customers find information faster, more comprehensively, and more accurately,” Jackson added.

However, this method also reveals disadvantages. Because real estate has great value, it is necessary to consider additional factors such as traffic connections and surrounding utilities. At the end of the day, buyers still want to see the project in the flesh.

Dinh The Quynh, deputy general director of Hai Phat Land, said that real estate is a significant investment and the process is not likely to be replicated by online selling, therefore real estate transactions still require a lot of direct contact such as visiting the sales gallery and attending launch events.

“We faced many challenges at first when we started this method to insists buyers go with us. However, they are becoming more familiar and are adapting to these new methods,” Quynh said.

Jackson also confirmed that online product introductions are becoming a more helpful channel to build trust in customers gradually. “This is an important link in the process of receiving information, helping buyers gradually grasp and be convinced about the product. Even so, the association with the brokers is still inseparable and real-life interaction will still play a decisive role,” he added.

The big trend in the combination of real estate and technology falls under the umbrella of proptech. Real estate businesses should quickly grasp this trend and apply it synchronously to the areas of communication, marketing, transaction, and management, Jackson added. Online methods also allow selling 24 hours a day rather than just at an hour event or through sales agents.

In Vietnam, several businesses are actively promoting the application of proptech. For example, Vinhomes’ online real estate trading platform was launched in March with an online-to-offline model that can help improve the secondary market and help customers access more promotions.

To apply proptech most effectively in the current period, developers need to know how to take advantage of the power of AI and big data, explained Jackson of Colliers.

“Although there are many advantages, businesses also need to pay attention to some problems that may occur when applying proptech, such as leaking customers’ personal information. In addition, the proptech application also requires a systematic approach, investing a lot of money, time, and human resources,” he added.

According to Nguyen Hung Thuan, a property salesman in Ho Chi Minh City, livestreaming platforms for companies and individuals on social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Tik-Tok, and Twitter, and other application tools with livestream functions are being used. Many investors are also using video editing tool View 360 for projects for illustrating mock-up houses.

“It is challenging for buyers to have a deal done based entirely on information on an online platform. Buyers still have the habit of coming to the site, even many times, to observe and have a real feeling about the product. However, the success rate of online sales still exists and is increasing over time,” Thuan told VIR.

By Bich Ngoc

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional