• Thursday, May 13, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:48 pm

In the absence of connectivity

  • Published at 10:18 pm June 15th, 2020
In the absence of connectivity

The five-day event hosted in December of last year bagged around Tk456 crore from sales of plots, flats and commercial spaces

It now often feels as if the Covid-19 situation has overshadowed all of life’s other aspects and events. Nothing elsewhere takes precedence or comes close to it. There are not too many celebrations either. The reason we feel such a way is because that is how it is and, at least to some extent, that is how it should be. Tackling the pandemic should, ideally, be the focal point at this moment.

But as a result, the current world remains almost at a standstill, foregoing the events that usually move life and economy forward. The real estate sector is one such facet that is experiencing a severe lack of outdoor activities and events — which is often associated with being a major stimulating factor for the sector.

Property fairs such as those hosted by Bproperty at their marketplaces had been a great attractor of consumers. Many people, many potential buyers but also just visitors, attend such events in the hope of finding discounts on ready and under-construction apartments or land projects, cashback opportunities and offers of reduced booking money.

These sorts of events directly connect people who are actively engaged in the market as well as those who are otherwise confused about future investments with sellers and developers, so that potential buyers can either dip their feet in the world of real estate more easily or, if they prefer, jump in with both feet.These events are great opportunities for consumers to educate themselves about real estate, if not anything else, and for sellers and developers, it is a great opportunity to solidify property transactions.

But there has not been any real estate event since the pandemic began to spread in Bangladesh. Everyone is trying to avoid gatherings for the safety of all and, even if some individuals are disregarding the safety measures themselves, real estate entities are following measures strictly to keep everyone safe and are refraining from hosting events that require physical attendance.

These sorts of events are usually hosted year-round and even multiple times a month by governing bodies, intermediaries and developers themselves. However, not a single property fair or event has been held in Bangladesh for months now— cutting off a significant portion of real estate sales.

This has resulted in a reduction of transactions as real estate is still a “touch and feel” sector where physical visitation and inspection is perceived as necessary before making any commitment.However, the demand for property has not evaporated due to the current crisis. In fact, demand has held steady throughout all of this as housing is, after all, a basic need.

Unfortunately,real estate entities that rely solely on offline activities are seeing a drastic decrease in incoming leads. Such organizations are now on the verge of facing stagnation. But on the other hand, real estate developers and entities that have adapted to the ongoing digital transformation, such as proptech leader Bproperty, are faring better than most. They are using digital and social media platforms to promote their properties to prospective buyers and ensuring a steady stream of leads that can be followed up and transacted once the buyers are ready.The adaptation of technology to the advantage of real estate is helping the sector move forward, even if it is on a limited scale now.

Will this be enough for the real estate sector to sustain long enough until the pandemic subsides?A single property-related event could usually generate a few hundred leads for the organizers and even a thousand if it is on a large enough scale, not to mention all the transactions they help produce.

The REHAB Fair, which is usually held at the end of every year is not very far either. It is the very epitome of what a real estate event is capable of. The five-day event hosted in December of last year bagged around Tk456 crore from sales of plots, flats and commercial spaces. Thousands of visitors attended the event every day.Could this year’s REHAB Fair be in danger of cancellation, especially since mass gatherings continue to remain restricted? Or will the situation reduce enough to host such an event on its regular scale?

Half of the year is already gone and there is still no sign of the Covid-19 pandemic slowing down. If this continues, the real estate world, as well as consumers, would have to adapt to the “new normal” and move forward with the help of technology. Luckily, the concept of finding properties online and virtual/video tours is enabling buyers and sellers to connect, view and buy/sell properties.Still, a solution is necessary for the real estate sector to return to the glory it had been experiencing before the crisis reached our shores. And it remains on bodies such as Bproperty to lead the way, showing others how to properly implement an online experience that converts to transactions.

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