Real Estate Industry Digital Transformation Map – What to Expect?
As we all know, we are in the world of Digital Age now. Many traditional businesses are fighting to survive this digital transformation whereby their businesses are disrupted by technology, whether they like it or not. See the likes of ride hailing apps, Uber and Grab, on how they have affected the taxi industry in the world; Airbnb – how it has elevated the business of hospitality to a new different level. The real estate industry cannot be spared either. In fact, it is long time coming.
So what will we be expecting from the changes to come?
Singapore has launched a new initiative in February this year called The Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (ITM) to provide the real estate industry with a roadmap to become future-ready. It was developed over the last year with inputs from different subsectors across the real estate value chain together with industry partners and the Labour Movement, the Ministry of National Development (MND), Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Council of Estate Agencies (CEA) with the objective of making the industry more technology enabled, customer-centric and productive. This is also to ensure that the industry can continue to grow and provide good jobs for Singaporeans.
There are 2 main areas of focus of this initiative:
- Property Transaction Services
- Facilities Management
Transforming Property Transaction Services
A property transaction process covers a wide range of activities from marketing and sourcing of a property, contracting, valuation, financing to the legal completion of the transaction.
The vision for this sector is to have seamless, efficient property transaction services delivered by professionals who are productive and technology-enabled.
Its key initiatives include forming a new digitalized property transactions workgroup to facilitate electronic contracts, payments, and industry-wide document submissions. It has launched a HDB resale portal on 1st January 2018 to streamline its application process. It aims to automate due diligence checks for property transactions by sharing access to government data in the later part of 2018. HDB resale portal has already integrated its eligibility checks in it.
They are also assisting property agencies to transform business models and processes via IT solutions. Launch courses to equip the workforce to gain skills to handle digitalized processes, reviewing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses to ensure that they cover an expanded spectrum of different real estate knowledge and skills. Property agents’ completed transaction records will be published to sustain consumer trust in agents and that can be expected by end-2018 for HDB transactions and end-2019 for private residential transactions.
Transforming Facilities Management
Facilities Management (FM) ensures that buildings operate effectively and perform sustainably. It leverages integrated digital and smart technologies to provide a safe, healthy, clean and conducive environment to live and play in.
The vision is to have an integrated and efficient execution of FM by a professional workforce for a high quality environment and aims to use advanced smart technologies such as real-time monitoring to achieve an efficient and optimized building performance that are user-orientated and less reliant for ‘on-the-ground’ manpower.
Key initiatives will include having developers to design and build their buildings with FM in mind, encourage use of innovative FM solutions and build up local FM talent and raise professionalism and attractiveness of the FM industry by reviewing and updating the curriculum in schools and expanding their training and development opportunities.
Therefore, with these initiatives, we can expect the number of DIY transactions to go up further once data are made readily available. Property agents will then have to provide value-added services in order to remain relevant in this digital world. We are very excited too with the ITM as we will be providing the industry with one-stop solution which is in line with the initiative of providing a seamless, efficient and transparent process for end users. Look out for the space here! Digital Transformation in the Property Industry just gets hotter!
As for FM, we shall also be seeing the public playing a more active role in reporting defects in a commercial building or in your condominium/flat as such, shortening the turn-around time for an issue to be fixed. We might not even have to wait for a breakdown to occur and have the impending issue fixed as advanced smart technology will be able to detect it through predictive fault detection. This sure is an exciting time for the real estate industry and we look forward to more innovative technology coming up.