During a panel discussion at the Cityscape Real Estate Summit representatives from Devmark, ThinkLab and eiight underscored the importance of UAE developers bridging the technology gap in the real estate industry
Devmark Group, the recently expanded UAE-based multi-disciplinary real estate organisation, has highlighted the importance of embracing new technology in the real estate industry as a critical element for survival in 2021.
During the panel discussion ‘Why developers need to adapt to technology to stay relevant in 2021’ Sean McCauley, CEO, Devmark Group, Richard Aybar, CEO of ThinkLab, and David Agha, Head of Technology for eiight, the integrated property software solution, outlined how technology is changing the real estate landscape and why it is imperative for developers to adapt now to survive in 2021.
“Developers can’t afford not to invest in technology. Previously it has been a tool to enable them to thrive, it is now a necessity to survive,” said McCauley.
“It is imperative for developers to engage digital transformation and utilise the myriad of tools available to engage with their potential clients. Early adopters have been quick to steal a march on those slow to adapt and have set an excellent platform to build on in 2021,” he added.
The role of technology in the real estate industry’s recovery in 2021, the importance of adopting new technology strategies, why the industry has been slow to adapt and the technology trends impacting the real estate industry, were also discussed.
Highlighting the positive impact technology is having on the real estate industry, Richard Aybar said: “Real estate companies that have incorporated virtual imagery, 360-degree virtual tours, virtual reality, and immersive projects apps, have reported overwhelming customer interest and success. These are just some of the tools forward-thinking developers are utilising to engage with investors, albeit in a non-conventional form.
“You’re selling a dream, you’re selling an off-plan property, as a result of COIVD all of a sudden you can’t have clients come to your sales centre making it incredibly difficult to engage and fall in love with a property. The technology has always been there; however, the pandemic has accelerated the need for change and for developers to use it more effectively.”
The panel attributed the sluggish adoption of technology to lack of drivers for change and the historical buoyancy of the UAE real estate market, which has previously witnessed massive demand for off-plan properties.
“This year has proven that technology needed to be adapted. There’s a range of technology available, but the key is how you integrate it into a central ecosystem system, and that’s where developers need to adapt to optimise the use of technology,” said Agha.
“The buyer has become acutely more advanced and wants instant gratification, so there’s a little bit of catch up for developers from that perspective,” he concluded.
As part of the Devmark Group’s participation at Cityscape, the company launched SalesLab, a new web-based interactive sales hub that allows real estate professionals to showcase their properties in a more immersive manner by using cutting edge prop-tech solutions such as virtual tours, 3D visualisations and live inventory to create an unparalleled and engaging customer experience.
“This new tool combines the very type of innovation the industry requires. It allows buyers to speak to developers at any time, from any place in the world by allowing them to view, select, book and ultimately purchase a new property,” said Aybar.