New Normal, New Strategy: Property industry must adapt to changing climate by going digital

By Clifford Hii, Group Managing Director of HCK Capital Group Berhad

The Covid-19 outbreak has left no stone unturned. Every sector must now scramble to adapt to the change introduced by the pandemic, and shift marketing plans to take on the ‘new normal’ ‒ the property industry is no different. With the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), reports have suggested that property prices could decline up to 20 percent, and that the property market will continue to experience stress from different perspectives, leading to a hold on investments for both commercial and residential properties.

While the outlook for the property industry looks bleak in the months to come, the first half of 2021 is expected to be a strong period for market recovery, and businesses must strategise for the long run to best capitalise on this. With limited contact and movement expected well beyond the MCO, businesses will have to anticipate a change in business structure, and direct their efforts towards more creative means of conducting business.

Traditionally, the property industry has relied on showroom and property visits for sales ‒ the post-MCO world will challenge businesses to expand and potentially pivot to digitising their processes for the future.

What Happens When Property Meets Technology

Industries dealing with large volumes of consumers and prospective customers will likely have access to a vast amount of data. Through a holistic approach to digital transformation, businesses can leverage on existing data to accelerate business outcomes and minimise loss, providing them with a competitive advantage that can set them apart.

Recognising that data is the lifeblood of an organisation is the first step in this evolution, and when data analytics become commonplace among property developers, they can then turn that data into useful information, providing a clearer picture for actionable insights.

With the challenges presented by the pandemic outbreak, the property industry will need to plan for the long term, and proper management of data can be used to accurately identify property buyers as opposed to a scattergun approach. Realising this potential, HCK has leveraged its data across almost six years, enabling an easier transition into digitising its crucial processes. This includes but is not limited to the implementation of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). These technologies work well with a unique and innovative approach to showrooms, making them virtual while also enhancing the customer experience. This allows for a larger volume of visits within a shorter time, increasing overall efficiency as well as a more structured means of gaining customer insights and the analysis of that information.

Creating The Ideal Customer Experience

Perfecting the customer experience has been the goal for all organisations ever since competition within and across markets has existed. With today’s advancements in technology, the possibilities are endless despite the setbacks faced due to Covid-19. As more businesses move to digitise their operations, harnessing and understanding large volumes of data has become important not only for organisations and their marketing approach but also to provide the ideal customer experience.

With up to 71 percent of customers preferring personalised advertisements, the need to understand prospective customers on a deeper level is more crucial than ever in adding value to initial interactions. This allows for the promotion of more relevant information to the right audiences, enhancing the customer experience.

The adoption of VR and AR can also be used in crafting a more personalised experience – one with fewer limitations. It creates new opportunities for people to take a longer and deeper look at their dream property from the comfort of their homes with further benefits stretching beyond the MCO by eliminating the need to travel long distances for overseas and out-of-state buyers. It will also be accompanied by video walkthroughs, providing an immersive yet contactless experience as more property buyers search and even make final decisions online.

Furthermore, legal documentation such as Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) that often require physical meetings can also be done online through close collaboration with legal firms. The implementation of these technologies will also be applied to execute virtual events and launches in the future where refreshments will be provided at the attendees’ doorstep, limiting the need for close contact in crowded places.

As one of the leading property developers in Malaysia, HCK is innovating their processes through their digital transformation initiatives. As we step into a new normal following the MCO, HCK’s commitment to the community will also see the brand create safer places for their customers for when they visit HCK property, while also reworking their policies to benefit those affected by the virus.


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