COVID-19: Five things real estate developers should practice, for a secure future

[] We examine some of the operational and structural modifications that developers will need to adopt, to accommodate the futuristic needs of home buyers in a post-Coronavirus world

The Indian economy is slowly trying to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For real estate, the global pandemic has disrupted the expected growth of the sector, leaving the developer fraternity with a new set of challenges. To withstand these trying times, the sector has to be agile, adaptive and resilient, in preparing itself for the future. In the coming time, one can expect to see some operational and structural modifications, to accommodate the (futuristic) needs of home buyers.

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Safety and hygiene at the construction stage

Developers need to ensure that social distancing is strictly practiced at the construction sites, to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus. Taking regular temperature checks and sterilising the construction sites, will become the new normal, to ensure the wellbeing of the labourers. We will also witness the rise of pre-cast construction and usage of modular technology, as it enables faster completion of projects and the work is done in a controlled environment, with precision.

Going virtual, through the extended use of technology

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For years, real estate has been a traditional space that has believed in the conventional approach. From selling properties, to showcasing the intrinsic elements of construction and design, the concept of ‘virtual’ has just started gaining significance. The current circumstances call for an extended reliance on technology. With restricted mobility, home buyers do not have access to visit the property. Therefore, it becomes the developers’ prerogative, to take the property to them. This can only be possible through end-to-end online platforms that can help home buyers to get a closer look at the homes they want to buy, without having to visit the property. Virtual tours have the potential to change the way real estate functions – by modernising the approach, developers can successfully target the young demography.

The shift to online booking platforms

Continuing the sequence of virtual tours, developers need to create personalised online platforms, to showcase their properties. The portal should aid home buyers to buy properties with extreme ease and transparency. From the price of the property to its specifications, the home buyers should be able to access all the necessary information through these platforms, before making a purchase. This will help in promoting a seamless buying experience for the end-user and reduce the effort of having to physically visit the project site multiple times.

Demand for filtration devices in gated communities

Most home buyers today opt for gated communities that offer world-class amenities within the project. Such projects offer the home buyers the luxury of time and comfort. They are designed to cater to every need, in a way that the home buyers need not step outside for anything. The added responsibility for developers today, is to ensure that their projects give importance to the safety of their buyers, starting from the air that they breathe. The demand for air filtration devices will see a significant increase, as it provides an assurance to the residents that the air is filtered and safe.

Innovations in designs and structures for a safer future

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The question every developer is faced with today is, “How to make projects safer for the future?” The answer lies in the design element of the projects. This aspect will play an important role in the home buyers’ decision-making process. New projects will have to incorporate more recreational areas and increase the number of amenities, to ensure social distancing. As people are getting accustomed to the concept of ‘work from home’, people would like to invest in an extra room, to make a home-office or for additional storage. Several such design interventions are needed today and research and development will be instrumental, in reaching an optimal solution in wake of the current scenario. Along with home automation, developers can also explore innovative technologies that could replace routine chores, to optimise living conditions. These tech-driven properties will be self-sufficient (to a great extent) and be of great use, in a time of restricted mobility.

New habits and behaviours will be adopted gradually across the globe and we should all be prepared to lay down the old methods and replace them with sustainable ones. The foundation on which a developer decides to stand on today, will determine the transformation of tomorrow.

(The writer is MD, Puravankara Limited)

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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