SaaS – Using Technology to Boost Real Estate Sales

– Sunil Mishra, Chief Strategy Officer

Software as a service is now the key tool for developers to reduce unsold housing  inventory 


Sunil Mishra, Head – Strategy, ANAROCK Group & CEO – TRESPECT Property  Consultants 

With COVID-19, real estate developers in India are suddenly faced with the need to  rapidly adopt technology to get property sales going. ANAROCK research indicates  that while homebuyer enquiries have increased by more than 50% post the  nationwide lockdowns, a large part of these enquiries are generated online.

This is unlikely to change soon – though homebuyers are back on the market, social  distancing and overall safety concerns are still very much in place. A lot of the  property discovery journey has now gone online, and developers who do not use  technology to harness and convert online enquiries are at a disadvantage.

Fortunately, like many other functions these days, the technology and professional  support they need can be outsourced to specialists. Enter Software as a Service, or  SaaS.

SaaS and Real Estate 

Customer Relationship Management SaaS is the key for real estate companies who  want to leverage advanced software technology to drive their business. Previously,  Indian real estate developers seeking a tech advantage in their business had to rely  on mainstream software giants who don’t understand completely the specific  requirements of the Indian real estate business.

Today, they have the option of an integrated Customer Relationship Management  delivered through Software as a Service solution – or SaaS, as it is now commonly  referred to – created and managed by tech-driven real estate consultancies. In  contrast to multi-modal, multinational system management services which handle a  diverse number of business types, Indian real estate SaaS providers deliver  integrated software solutions – customized not only to Indian real estate environment  but also to individual players.

Though quite complicated at the coding and delivery end, a SaaS approach does  not involve any single software platform which has to be adapted to a certain  business type. Instead, it integrates several smaller software solutions into one  platform.

SaaS – Focused Results 

  • Vastly superior leads from both online and site visits, and automatically routes  them to the pertinent sales manager
  • Elimination of the superfluous call centre approach to servicing customers.  Instead, a SaaS system analyses the enquiry as well as the buyer profile and  automatically determines how and when the customer prefers to be  reached. At the appropriate time, the buyer is contacted by a fully empowered and trained sales representative who will carry out all levels of  interaction from enquiry to home purchase
  • Relevant and exhaustive information on the project or property in question is  instantly shared online on-demand. This results in zero-gap communication  which leads to faster deal closure
  • The senior sales people at the developer retain complete online oversight of  every event from enquiry to processing and can be instantly involved in a  discussion if required
  • Likewise, the developer has perpetual online access to channel partners  involved in the project, their performance and work in progress by each  operative
  • Time-consuming data entry is eliminated with the help of intuitive artificial  intelligence (AI) which automatically records all relevant data in the  appropriate systems. This information can be quickly retrieved at the click of a  mouse.
  • The system not only maintains a detailed track-record of ongoing marketing  activities along with expenses and results but also suggests more effective  marketing interventions based on location, majority buyer profiles and market  conditions

The SaaS model eliminates the need to spend large amounts of capital on  enterprise-level services. It combines the efficiency of advanced software  appropriate human involvement and provides a results-oriented approach to  achieving and monitoring specific business goals for the business.

How SaaS Helps Homebuyers 

Though highly technical at the DNA level, the purpose of software-based services is  to deliver a more streamlined, satisfying experience to end-users. At its core, SaaS is  a Customer Relationship Management software which makes all communication  relevant – customers get only the information which makes sense to them.  Superfluous information is eliminated. Further, the system pushes multiple alerts and  reminders to sales managers for meetings and site visits, who then connect with the  home-buyers on-time. every time, as per the stage of home-buying process.

Finally, the SaaS system also escalates discussions to senior sales managers if the ball  gets dropped by their teams. For customers, this ensures access to the senior  management if and when required.

Why Current Tech Solutions for Real Estate Fail 

For the Indian real estate industry, the time for a SaaS approach had come long  before the COVID-19 pandemic. While many real estate developers had adopted technology at some level, they were spending disproportionately on enterprise-level  software services.

To make things worse, these services are usually provided by sector-agnostic  software companies who apply a generic approach to all their clients within the  purview of annual contracts

Also, the ‘monolith’ level of technology solutions that most software giants offer lacks  scalability. Their inherent unwieldiness makes them unsuitable for adaptation to  different sizes of businesses. What a real estate developer will usually wind up with is  a massive software overkill requiring large in-house or off-site teams – usually of the  software provider himself – to manage them.

SaaS, on the other hand, takes the onus from developers and puts it on the  contracted tech firm. They get the flexibility and freedom to use high-end and  customizable bespoke technology at a fixed annual fee.

COVID-19 Kick-starts Indian Real Estate’s Tech Revolution 

For the Indian real estate industry, the time for adopting a SaaS approach to their  business is now at hand. The COVID-19 pandemic and its unique compulsions have  rendered the traditional marketing approach obsolete. What developers need now  is a dynamic technology-based approach geared to their businesses.

Indian real estate players are currently grappling with unprecedented unsold  inventory levels in a completely transformed marketplace. ANAROCK’s latest data  indicates that there are as many as 6.33 lakh unsold homes in various stages of  completion across the country’s major cities. Developers need to speed up sales  and need solutions that be deployed rapidly and cost-effectively.

In the current market conditions, Indian real estate players are not only stretched for  time and bandwidth – but they can also not afford massive capital outlays for  services whose results they cannot effectively monitor or confirm.

By adopting SaaS, real estate developers can immediately stop over-spending and  being diverted from their core area of business. They benefit from a technology  platform that efficiently boosts project sales and simultaneously monitors all sales  activity in real-time.

When SaaS is ‘done right’ in terms of scalability and adaptability, it becomes a major  enabler for developers regardless of their size and market bandwidth, and  irrespective of whether or not they possess the ability, knowledge or skill to develop  their own tech-driven sales tools