History teaches us that pandemics accelerate change. Haste is necessary because time determines whether more lives would be saved or would be at risk.
With the COVID-19 pandemic raging on, we have integrated health and safety precautions into how we live, understanding that these are our best defense in the absence of a cure. Some eight months since the virus first surfaced, so much has changed, not only in our individual habits but also in the way we do business and run our communities.
Helping us power through the adversities is digital technology–from contactless transactions and web-based meetings to the internet of things, 3D modelling and more. Not spared from the pandemic, the real estate industry now looks to property technology to improve amid the fast changing times. Proptech appreciates how information technology and new platforms can help real estate adjust to the new normal. Here are some advances currently reshaping the landscape.
This is an exciting front because some projections resemble science fiction. From the usual hard hat and safety jacket, the gear for onsite workers may now evolve to complement social distancing and other health protocols. While 3D printing has been used in design, some are already working with it to up-skill their workforce. Developers are also entertaining artificial intelligence, virtual reality and automation to keep manpower safe from exposure.
Hunkered down in their homes, the customer base can’t be expected to see billboard ads or showrooms. The points of contact have abruptly changed. Developments now focus on visibility in the virtual realm, where people are present. They more aggressively get on property listing platforms and intentionally beef up their presence on social media pages. Their own websites are more responsive these days for when people wander to them with their queries.
It isn’t safe yet to try and close a deal over coffee. Briefings, viewings and contract signings have migrated to the cloud or adapted to protocols. Many sellers now provide virtual tours with drones, 3D models and 360-degree tours to simulate a visit. In other countries, customers visit a property on their own, with a realtor guiding them over Facetime. Brokerage can go digital as well, with seller and buyer meeting on Zoom. Services are made available via websites; and contracts edited via e-mail and then sent over for signing via courier.
New normal home
However great the customer experience may be, the choice boils down to the product in most cases. On top of accessibility and comfort, the market is currently looking for abodes that allow them to live and work in one place; accomplish errands without stepping out of home; and move without touching too many surfaces. Some developers now consciously design properties to include home-based workspaces, while others make sure the addresses they offer are fitted with smart technologies. Of course, there are those that can offer all that, like Ortigas Land.
Packing an extensive knowledge and an appetite to blaze a trail, seasoned developer Ortigas Land offers the 56-story Empress and the 51-story Residences at The Galleon, located in Capitol Commons and Ortigas central business district, respectively. Both allow residents to entertain their passions and work through thoughtfully cut units. At Empress, the country’s first wellness lifestyle real estate, units range from 30 to 241 sqm. The ultra premium Residences at The Galleon, meanwhile, offers homes from 69 to 411 sqm. Both developments also boast of smart home technology. Through an app, owners can control and monitor smart plugs, smoke detectors, air conditioners, lights, as well as temperature and contact sensors from anywhere. Their homes are literally at their fingertips.
Before the pandemic, most looked for the criteria above for their convenience or hipness. It is clear now that these are not only easy or cool, but also more secure, timely and resilient.
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