Real estate industry expert Sean McCauley, co-founder and CEO of the Dubai-based Devmark Group, has highlighted the importance of embracing technology in the real estate market as research reveals a surge of tech-literate millennials investing in property around the world.
According to the platform FinanceOnline, millennials will remain the largest real estate buyers in 2021 worldwide. This is expected to continue and grow in 2022, accounting for around 55% of global real estate market sales.
“Millennials have always been disruptive from a technology perspective; however, the real estate industry was lagging because millennial buying power was stagnant. Their buying power has now caught up with the market price, and we’re now seeing less dynamic and progressive consultancies struggling to bridge the gap and capitalise on this burgeoning vertical,” commented McCauley.
As the market grows, many within the real estate industry have been forced to reassess their marketing strategies and adapt to the changing needs of millennials and the way they utilise technology. Companies are adjusting their websites to allow this market segment to view properties virtually, watch videos, view floor plans in 3D, and see interactive maps of the neighbourhood from wherever they are in the world.
“It is crucial when selling to the millennial market to cater to how they want to interact, or how they want to view a property, for example, in-person or via cutting-edge video conference technology. I firmly believe there are vast opportunities to woo this market by incorporating this kind of technology,” added McCauley.
Underscoring the Devmark Group’s leadership credentials, at the recent Arabian Property Awards, Devmark was crowned the best consultancy in Dubai 2021-22, beating off stiff competition from larger, more traditional real estate brands and highlighting the changing real estate landscape in the region.
“The real estate industry is undoubtedly changing and is now more than ever focused on innovative technologies and bringing new methodologies and tech-driven approaches to the fore. This award is not only representative of our growth in the market but also our fresh way of thinking, which has seen the introduction of a range of cutting-edge mechanics resulting in higher sales success ratios for a range of developers,” said McCauley.
Despite a raft of real estate reports highlighting the positive sentiment in Dubai, including Chestertons, who revealed total residential transaction values in Dubai increased by almost 50% in Q2 compared with the previous quarter, up over AED 10 billion to more than AED 31 billion, McCauley still believes there are opportunities to improve still further.
“The uptake of new technology by developers, consultancies and brokers is becoming a game-changer. The market is currently lagging behind other global hubs in utilising basic technologies, so an uptick in adoption will see Dubai compete on the international stage,” he said.
Another tech trend that could impact the industry is payment methods. Many financial analysts believe the likes of Bitcoin could be here to stay as a practical, secure and efficient means of payment.
Also, being internet-based, cryptocurrencies have a decentralised payment system. Although each user has an anonymous address, it is possible to trace every bitcoin's transaction history through blockchain technology, a database platform or ledger that co-exists in several locations and is shared by the community.
The Dubai Land Department (DLD) was the world's first government entity to adopt Blockchain technology. The platform has been designed to allow investors to verify documents and make payments electronically, with the DLD believing this will help gain the confidence of global real estate investors.
“The more companies embrace technology, the greater the competitive advantage they will have; unfortunately, those not following the curve will be the ones found wanting as the real estate industry moves forward,” he added.
The Devmark Group comprises specialist units including real estate advisory, project sales and marketing, investment and Prop-Tech solutions. Unique in the market, its ecosystem has been designed to create tailor-made marketing solutions across the real estate project value chain to offer developers the strategy, creativity, and insight that every project needs to succeed.