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Amit Agarwal

Co-Founder & CEO, NoBroker

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Remote Control For Property: The New Breakthrough In Real Estate

New-age service providers are empowering property owners to take care of their properties remotely by bringing the entire range of operations related to managing the rental business onto a single tech-enabled platform.

L.P Hartley’s celebrated novel The Go-Between begins with this immortal line, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” Nothing could be truer than this declaration from the vantage point of the post-pandemic world. Such is the effect that the viral outbreak and the subsequent digital-led transformations have had – and continue to have – upon the global business ecosystem, and the real estate sector in India is no exception.

Look at the property management landscape, for instance. Long-distance property management has always been a tedious task. Traditionally, it involves a lot of to and fro in the way one manages their property, especially considering that fact that they cannot be physically present on-site. For someone with properties in another city, state, or country than where they are currently working or living, remotely managing their rental business, and communicating with tenants in an efficient and professional manner is bound to be a herculean task. 

For one, they would need to appoint a local agent to manage the property on the owner’s behalf. Further, the owner would need to be in touch with a trustworthy maintenance service provider who can be available as and when needed. Then they will also need to set up a rent collect system over the digital medium to ensure that the rent is paid in full and in time every month. To achieve this, they would also need to set up a system that can send out automated rent reminders to tenants, manage maintenance requests, and ensure consistency in occupancy. Living in another city or country meant prioritizing finding trustworthy tenants, invariably through friends, colleagues, or family references rather than subletting to strangers over the online space. 

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has only magnified these hurdles. Traveling to inspect one’s property was made much harder amidst the Covid-induced restrictions, coupled with the difficulties of remotely ensuring timely maintenance and cleanliness of properties amidst the viral outbreak. The exodus of tenants leaving and heading back to their hometowns, failures to make rental payments within time, and a precarious global economy further exacerbated the challenges faced by property owners.

It is precisely to bridge these need-gaps that new-age service providers rose to the occasion by offering tech-driven solutions.

The pandemic factor: How COVID has enabled rapid adoption of remote property management solutions

New-age service providers are empowering property owners to take care of their properties remotely by bringing the entire range of operations related to managing the rental business onto a single tech-enabled platform. Such platforms can provide 360-degree property management services ranging from finding and onboarding a tenant, conducting half-yearly inspections, and collection of rent, managing repair work and adhering to COVID-19 related safety protocols. The range also includes uninterrupted payment of rent even for the months that a house is vacated until a new tenant is found.

Astride such a holistic range of offerings, new-age property management platforms are witnessing a rapid adoption among modern property owners. During the past 8 months, for instance, NoBroker.com has extended its property management services to over 5000 properties across Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune. Buoyed by growing demand, the cutting-edge platform began receiving more than 250 queries by owners interested to know more about this service on a daily basis. It is literally like having a remote control devise for property management.

Ever since the platform’s launch, it has witnessed a staggering 65% rise in the number of NRI customers to date. Moreover, its popularity has been increasing amongst local property owners as well who are residing or working in a different city amidst the viral outbreak, whilst owning multiple properties in various other places. A cursory glance at the statistics reveals that 40% of the platform’s total customers are NRIs, whereas 25% own multiple properties, and the remaining 35% either stay in a different city or are staying in the same city but desire a smooth, hassle-free experience for managing their tenants.

Growth, by definition, requires change. And there is no denying that for the real-estate sector to grow, key stakeholders operating the space, including public as well as private players, will need to forge a dynamic synergy. Only by doing so can India’s real estate sector evolve in keeping with the continuously shifting tides of time. 

Great innovations follow in the heels of great hardships. As the pandemic continues to transform the needs and requirements landscape across sectors, leading real estate players are committed to leveraging the power of innovation to respond to the newfound needs of an interconnected world caught up in the throes of a global situation. And considering the present trends, whether the next generation of long-distance property management solutions will find mainstream acceptance is no longer a matter of possibility but merely that of time. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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