Original article was published by Chaitali Chaudhuri on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
How Can The Real Estate Sector Recover From The Coronavirus Pandemic?
The real estate sector was already going through a period of hold back. The industry was pinning great hope in 2020. People were expecting a revival. Undeniably, the sector showed signs of incremental development in the first quarter. Accordingly, it seemed that the way up would keep up the drive. On the other hand, since a lockdown was imposed all over the country in March, the unfavourable crash was visible in the housing market as well. As business activities reduced speed across the country, the sector too continued to suffer.
Understanding the crisis, experts opine that the road to an upturn for India’s real estate sector must involve action from all stakeholders. This is because undeniably, the sector is a major contributor to India’s overall economic growth. The segment has been stumbling from a hold-up and liquidity dearth over the past few years. However, it has witnessed a transformative transformation in recent years. Accordingly, this laid the groundwork for an immense growth ahead. Nevertheless, the coronavirus outbreak brought a standstill to the momentum that was being built as a consequence of the policy restructuring.
As the sector progresses boldly, we need to closely look at some of the major elements. Accordingly, we need to sense, re-think, get along, agree to, and become accustomed to certain aspects, for fast revival. Let’s discuss a few essential aspects that will blow the development of the sector.
Ways the real estate sector can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Considering the interests of the workforce in mind
Employee interests should be the top priority for the real estate sector. When a business takes up again after the lockdown, developers must start their standard operating procedures. Subsequently, the professionals need to adopt new methods that boost effectiveness, while minimizing the possibility of contamination. Accordingly, they need to formulate a pandemic contingency plan, especially addressing a widespread crisis.
2. Keeping ahead of the digitization curve
In particular, the need for digital transformation can no longer be ignored. It is essential to make sure a total reshuffling of the sector is needed. Technology needs to be implemented effectively. It is the exact time when the preceding industry practices need to be reassessed and new systems should be introduced. For example, say artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, etc. This applies to all parts of the sector. Remote working will prove to be profitable for real estate developers. This would help them to avoid travel all day. Training, everyday operations, and development programmes would go on without hindrance.
3. Ensuring a personalised connection with the consumers
It is essential to maintain communication with customers for a strong sales pipeline. This is in particular true when in-person interactions and site visits are restricted. A strong IT and digital communication will give real estate players an additional benefit of allowing modified and clear-cut communication with prospective customers. A digital-first marketing strategy can help in a better responsive consumer experience.
4. More transformation from the government
The government of late declared some supportive measures for the real estate sector to meet the pandemic side-effect. The measures are undeniably helpful but they are not a long-term solution. To put in simple words, much more involvement is needed. Most importantly, preserving liquidity for operations and relaxing delivery timelines, will facilitate developers to concentrate on completion of projects without any additional saddle. The sector looks forward to Government policies addressing raw material price, input tax credits and drop in GST rates.
5. Implementing announced reforms without delay
The government has lately declared several reforms. However, it needs to address the apprehensions of the sector. Only, announcing them will not be sufficient. Most importantly, positive initiatives should be taken. To mention a few, loan moratorium, relief funds, and repo rate cuts.
To go forward, the real estate sector requires encouraging measures that will improve upon the policy reforms. At the front position of these processes, is the granting of infrastructure rank to the whole real estate sector. We have observed the blow of infrastructure status on affordable housing. Many reputed developers however, have successfully launched projects in this segment. The sector will also benefit immensely from a streamlined authorization process, with single-window clearance. This will permit project approvals to be processed more professionally, resulting in lower construction costs, thereby, reducing overall property costs. These measures will curb the reduced speed, generate demand and revive the market.
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