Things like smartphones and the internet have made the world smaller and brought it into the palm of our hands
The boon of technology is undeniable and uncountable. Our life and our civilizations have progressed on the back of technological innovations that enabled humankind to move from the shadow of caves as shelter to the comfort of high-rise apartments. This, and all other advancements, has been products of peoples’ need and desire to overcome challenges — traits that still propel us forward today, and traits that are proving necessary as we face another crisis on a global and personal scale in the form the coronavirus pandemic.
The crisis has impacted all facets of life and the economy with some devastating effects which may leave a lasting impact on our lifestyle as well as the economy. The world was forced to remain in a sort of “stasis” for months as people were — and, to some extent, continue to be — advised to stay indoors and limit outside movement. Every major industry is affected due to safety and lockdown measures as the world went into a recession that had been referred to as a “once in a generation” economic crisis.
However, just like every other obstacle and challenge throughout human history, people began to lean on technology as a way to find solutions to some of the pressing issues and to find ways to continue forward with day to day necessary activities such as the acquisition of food or working from home. Fortunately, the current generation, which can be dubbed as the “smart generation” is more equipped to handle technology and technological devices.
This generation of people has been growing up with technological innovations that were not present earlier in our timeline. Things like smartphones and the internet have made the world smaller and brought it into the palm of our hands. With just a press of a button or two, almost anything from almost any part of the world, can now be acquired thanks to the marriage of technology and the immense backing of globalization.
This leap forward opened doors for many industries and businesses, with the entire concept of “e-commerce” using this as the foundation. Technology is ushering in a new wave of revolution in terms of consumers’ accessibility to things. The banking sector, for example, has moved toward a digitized platform in the last few years, even in Bangladesh. Online banking has become the norm today where clients of that institution can avail many of a bank’s services directly via their phone or online without having to be physically present at one of their branches.
This sort of accessibility is a gift of technology that almost every branch of the economy utilizes to bring consumers and producers or service providers one step closer. Thanks to such access, people can enjoy and fulfill their needs without having to travel or be present physically —which is perfect for tackling the current crisis. And it is something that the real estate sector needs to rely on more as the state of real estate industries — one of the hardest hit sectors — across the world still remains in flux.
For the better part of the 2010s, the real estate landscape everywhere had been trying to recover from the 2008 global recession.For the most parts, recovery was successful as property markets around the world were experiencing a sort of “boom” when the Covid-19 hit, which was a crippling shot. Exports and imports of raw material came to a screeching halt with shipping lines being docked all over the world. Construction of all sorts of structures was also stopped, particularly in Bangladesh, since the onset of the pandemic.
Even now, as nations are on the road to recovery, with the threat of the coronavirus still lurking from the shadows, the real estate sector is still far from being fully recovered. The ever-present health and safety concerns avert people from acting on their real estate needs. As a result, realtors are still struggling with regaining people back to the market since real estate is still a pretty “touch and feel” concept where physical viewing as well as inspection play core roles in decision making. That is why the real estate sector and all those involved need to fully embrace the concept of “Proptech.”
The integration of technology into the real estate sector — dubbed as Proptech — has been poised to become a core component for the future of the industry for a few years now. Searching for and finding properties online, viewing properties using VR technology or using AR for construction — all these are parts of Proptech and they are moving the industry forward at a rapid speed and some of it have already become a part of many property markets. That is why, in light of the current scenario, it is time to embrace another facet of Proptech —virtual or online fairs.
The importance of property fairs for the growth of any real estate sector is unquestionable. Events such as the REHAB fair produce the most amount of real estate transactions in a calendar year, and even smaller events generate significant transactions for property developers and sellers. The current void of such events is drying the real estate sector of property transactions — resulting in a teetering state at the edge of collapse for many property developers.
A viable solution and alternative to physical property fares is moving them to a virtual landscape that can be accessible to everyone without hazarding the safety or health of any person. Through such online fairs — coupled with other Proptech aspects such as VR and video tours — consumers can properly view properties and fulfill their real estate needs by making a transaction if the right property is found. The usage of virtual space is perfect for today’s smart generation as people now desire easier access to need fulfillment and these online property fairs are exactly what they require.
Similarly, the use of technology can, and is, elevating many of the pressing and long-standing problems people face. The gifts of technology have been a blessing for the people, and maybe it is time to embrace it even further to overcome all the new challenges we are now facing.
This article is being published under special arrangement as part of a partnership with Bproperty