With the advent of online property portals, the real estate industry in Pakistan has witnessed a tremendous evolution in the past two decades. Many new actors (brokers/agents, developers, promoters, etc.) have emerged during this progression era.
Internet mainstreaming played a vital role in this development. Multiple property portals have emerged throughout this time period. These property portals have paved the way for digital communication between buyers and sellers. The previously limited buying/selling options are now rising into numbers because of these online property portals.
In the present-day market, many realtors think that online systems are the core of the industry. Many urban buyers/sellers prefer digital platforms for the sale/purchase of a property. According to a report published by an independent international agency, 42% of property purchasers first search for property online. In the same document, the agency claimed that more than 90% of the agents/realtors (worldwide) use social media platforms, including online property portals, to increase their influence.
What online property portals offer? /What are their services?
Considering the potential of Pakistan’s real estate industry, many digital portals were launched. Every portal offers some exclusive features to make them unique from others. The potential of online customers and e-commerce has encouraged these digital companies to design such platforms.
It is witnessed that many first time buyers of property (home) pick online property portals because they consider it convenient. In fact, it is not only suitable for purchasers, but it is also expedient for the sellers. There are the following benefits that digitalization has brought to the real estate industry of Pakistan:
- It delivers an online database of buyers, sellers, and agents that is accessible to everyone.
- Provides users an easy communication channel.
- Provides location services by using Artificial Intelligence; for instance, users can remotely search for the property’s location without physically visiting.
- Customizing search options offered by different online property portals is something that fascinates the users because it gives them control.
- Most of the platforms are easy to use because they are designed with a user-friendly approach.
Future of the Pakistan Real Estate Industry in the virtual era:
If we take a look at history, we realize that we are witnessing a digital revolution. In just two decades, many things have changed. In the late 1990s, computers were not easily available in typical households, and mobile phones were confined to the elite of developed countries. Just in twenty years, the internet took over the world, computers became mainstream in the shape of small devices (mobile phones), and every business is turning digital. Many commentators label the 21st century as the virtual era.
Just like the past twenty years, the forthcoming years will witness dramatic technological growth. The online property portals will boom, and the real estate industry will flourish with more pace. E-commerce will lead the global economy and the real estate industry. Some realtors argue that the agents’ property commission will fall because of the growing dependence of buyers and sellers on online property portals and the value added services these portals are offering.
In our opinion, it can be the case if the agents will underestimate the role of online property portals and will not adopt modern (digital) marketing strategies. Whereas in reality, it is reverse; many property dealers/agents were the first ones to accept the online property portals. In contrast, the competition that will emerge as a result of the digitalization of the real estate industry can minimize agents’ commission.