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The home buying journey today is not as cumbersome as it was a decade ago. In the past, homebuyers were completely dependent on brokers and personal connect.

However, with evolved needs and technological advancements, information is available at a touch of a button. The consumer has extended his purchases on mobile from ‘roti’ and ‘kapda’ to ‘makaan’. Penetration of mobile and Internet connection have aided consumer convenience.

Digital revolution and technological advancement has accelerated the shift of property search from desktop to mobile phones. Most people use their mobile device to explore at least one of the following: search for listings, find directions to a house, look for more information, call or e-mail an agent directly, even watch a video while looking out for a home.

Consider this. Magicbricks, India’s leading property site, with monthly traffic exceeding 12 million visits and with an active base of over 14 lakh property listings, has led this segment by introducing innovative and industry first consumer friendly features since its inception.

Leading real estate developers across the country are increasingly realising the strategic value of information technology for better business insight and outcomes.

Naturally, the real estate market then becomes a healthy target for mobile marketing. In today’s dynamic business scenario, realty firms are keen to ensure business continuity that is vital to success. It’s imperative that every aspect of a company’s operations continues without disruption, which could lead to serious financial liabilities.

With business operations expanding, clients are faced with the need to step up the hosting capabilities and IT resources to support it. While firms have seen resurgence in investments by real estate developers, a large part of it is getting invested in technology adoption. Large channel partners looking for other IT vertical market specialisations have found success in this sector.

Maigbricks, with 4 million downloads till date, 4.4 rating on Google Play store and a maximum number of reviews by users, stands out at the highest rated and also the fastest growing app in this segment.

This app is user friendly with over 15 lakh property listings and offers intuitive interface that allows buyers to connect with homeowners with just a click.

Personalised features and services like Propworth, real time chat and an EMI calculator amongst others, has made the Magicbricks app distinct in its space and category.

It also offers tools to help make property-related decisions easier. The Magicbricks app today is among the highly engaging app with 90 per cent loyal users and is 30 per cent ahead of its nearest competitor in terms of the user base.

 

Says Prasun Kumar, marketing head Magicbricks.com, “Increasing mobile data consumption and rise in adoption of smartphones have given a thrust to the mobile apps. Thanks to the disruption in the telecom world, there has been an unprecedented growth in this segment. Magicbricks has witnessed a phenomenal 40 per cent growth in app downloads in the last quarter and it has pushed us to evolve with our products and features. We are constantly working towards addressing ever changing consumer demands by creating an immersive online experience for the home buying journey.”

Magicbricks app plays a key role in lead generation as well, since 40 per cent of the consumers experience the site through the app. This also results in lead generation of around 30 per cent for Magicbricks. Keeping in mind the current scenario, apps are increasingly playing a key role for home buying decisions, says Kumar.

There is no doubt that mobile solutions are taking a revolutionary leap in helping buyers get home. Property search via mobile devices has witnessed a significant uplift in the last six quarters both in terms of traffic and leads. In January 2014, mobile search for homes constituted only 10 per cent of the property seekers, which stands at over 40 per cent.

Consider what a recent study by India Property (indiaproperty) suggests:

  • With the convenience of user-friendly apps and responsive website designs, property search through mobile has grown three times faster than desktop.
  • Property search via mobile has grown from 10 per cent to 40 per cent in the past one year with respect to traffic.
  • Property search via mobile in tier-II cities has grown 1.3 times compared to the national average.

Nearly 60 per cent of the property search on desktop is done during office hours (9 am to 5 pm) while property search on mobile devices is consistent throughout the day, their after office hours search also contributing significantly.

Easy accessibility of internet on mobile devices has led to mobile gaining more traffic on the weekend than desktops.

More women are searching for property on mobile and spending a longer time on their phone in the process. To avail various loans, such digital and mobile platforms are coming in increasingly handy.

LoanAdda, for instance, has disbursed the first-ever online Rent Securitisation Loan of Rs 100 crore from Bajaj Finance Ltd for Okaya Energy Ltd.

In a series of firsts, this loan is also the first ever completely online disbursal of this quantum underwritten by its proprietary algorithm. This first of its kind loan disbursal has fast tracked the company’s growth trajectory and is advertised as a testimony to the kind of technology LoanAdda has been building over the years in the domain of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

‘LoanSwift’, its proprietary technology platform, enables it to make quick underwriting decisions using machine and deep learning models across customer life cycle, from acquisition to customer engagement, credit underwriting and risk modelling.

As soon as a customer application is received, its system is capable of pulling diverse data from numerous sources like cash flows, credit scores, tax payments, ratings, margins and other financial data.

All this happens within minutes and a decision is arrived at almost simultaneously, making it a completely automated, digital experience for the customer.

“We used machine learning or artificial intelligence in which several factors are mapped to the corresponding factors to enhance the accuracy or probability of an event, thereby enhancing consumer experience and reducing costs wherein technology lays emphasis on streamlining the customer experience,” says Anshuman Mishra, founder and CEO, LoanAdda.

Traditional underwriting works for evaluating borrowers with a considerable credit history, but when there is limited or no data or even data suggesting a negative consequence, then machine learning helps to find a structure acceptable, including risk mitigators to lend, he says.

There is no possibility of ascertaining the difference between a credit worthy and a high-risk borrower. “Machine learning fills those gaps by analysing a considerably broader set of data. The platform analyses thousands of non-traditional and traditional variables to accurately score borrowers, including thin-file and no-file borrowers. It can analyse vast amounts of in-house data, such as customer interaction data, payments profile and purchase transactions. LoanSwift can also add traditional credit information and non-traditional credit variables, such as how a customer fills out a form, how much time they spend on a site and more,” says Mishra. Automation in home purchases is here clearly here to stay.

ritwikmukherjee@mydigitalfc.com