3 Key Real Estate Interactions That Will Not Go Back to Normal

If you are a Real Estate developer, broker, or construction professional, you are probably anxiously waiting to see if Wave 2 will hit your sales potential this summer/fall and more importantly how big this hit will be? Wave 1 saw, according to the US NAR: “home sales pledges in the United States fell 20.8% in March, a direct result of the containment measures.”

While in Switzerland key brokerage firms like Barnes indicate that the market resisted quite well the pandemic despite Raiffeisen’s bank indicating a drop of nearly 50% of listings brought to Real Estate portals between January and April 2020. No matter the tendency the question still remains: Will there ever be a “back to normal”? 

To make it easier for you: no, there won’t be a back to normal. There will be a change.

Real estate is an industry that traditionally relied primarily on the offline world. Pandemic forced its hand and changed that forever. It’s a great time to look closely at the proptech industry. 68% of the real estate industry respondents in a Credit Suisse PropTech Research expect massive or very big changes in their products or business processes due to digitization within the next 5 years, so it is safe to say that it will be an interesting time to be a part of real estate.

Three things to master to win in the new normal

So to help those that still wonder how to position themselves, here are 3 things Real estate actors have been keen to master to win in the new normal:

  1. Property visits approach: Consumers are inclined to prioritize online means to visit properties and people. As a proxy, the NAR back to normal barometer states that 35% of people would avoid in-person property visits and appointments.
  2. Real estate shows and open doors: Events and gatherings to talk about the property are now forced to include technology to accommodate remote attendance.
  3. Digitize offline purchase decisions: As a result of the above and to ensure less loss on realizing opportunities, the go 2 market for properties need to find ways to enable key decisions like buying property or selecting material to move to safer online means.

We are still far from complete digitization, and in a way, it’s a good thing because, after all, we are humans and not robots. Real estate is about human interactions so there is no need to look for ways to completely eliminate social interactions. However, we aim to give you pointers at what can be done to help you in re-thinking the situation we’re in and make our real estate development businesses stronger for the future?

Rethinking the Real Estate Situation

Here are a few ideas on how to utilize the available resources for your business:

  1. Webinars and virtual visits: Webinar and Virtual Visits are the new formats. It’s a way to safely gather and present ideas and products online. However few realize the power of these tools to integrate powerful content that could sway your audience better than if done offline (3D visits, personalized content, drone overviews ) For example, use this opportunity to communicate with your clients via personalized webinars. (Our next article will concentrate on how to run a webinar for your potential customers and integrate these educational webinars into your communication strategy on the company level. Keep an eye out for updates.)
  2. Reinventing real estate around e-commerce-like decision processes: Another opportunity where digital tools can be handy is how real estate websites integrate online decision making. It can be done via Zoom using a virtual visit (come to the location by yourself to minimize the social interactions and show the apartment or house during a video call to your customers who are in the safety of their home) or create a virtual tour with the help of online home configurators that holds the possibility to transform your website into an online decision tool.

What is currently happening in the real estate industry is not that different from what happened to brick and mortar retail 10 years ago. Therefore it is critical to anticipate and integrate now the right path towards integrating innovation.

New digitized normal

There are different opinions among Real Estate experts. Some say the pandemic will just be a temporary thing that disrupted the usual processes but which will soon go back. Some experts, however, say that the world’s business will be divided into pre-COVID and post-COVID phases and there will be a “new digitized normal” that we’ll have to get used to.

Our opinion is that it will be the middle ground between those two extremes. We won’t move to a completely computerized future in a few months, but it’s definitely a period when you can learn about the tools that can be integrated into your real estate business process and help you serve your clients even better.

Whatever happens, the digital genie is out of the bottle and it will only continue to grow more powerful. Embrace the new context and equip yourself with the available tools. And if you ever feel lost in the mix, we are here to help you walk you through this.