Stock Dubai Skyline
Co-opting virtual or augmented reality into the property buyer's experience shouldn't be just an add-on. These tech advances could be decisive in securing the deal. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

The real estate industry has expanded its digital capabilities, incorporated more innovations across the value chain, and promoted the broader application of tech. No matter how you look at it, change is happening right now - and technology is revolutionising the way businesses operate.

The real estate industry is focused on creating a thriving tech ecosystem that includes automated workflows, machine learning and immersive technologies that integrate VR, social media platforms and consumer apps. The goal is to work more efficiently and improve customer experience and satisfaction.

Through these AI-based algorithms, you can analyse transaction costs, RoI (return on investment) and ensure smarter real estate management. Big data is also capable of giving consumers - as well as real estate companies - intelligent recommendations based on personalised requirements.

Read More

Need to be less opaque

As a result of the decline in human interactions, companies are rapidly becoming more transparent. This has great long-term implications where companies can better align themselves with customers’ values. For example, De Beers, the world’s largest diamond company, invested in a “traceability platform” for precious stones to reduce worries about counterfeiting and theft. Walmart uses blockchain to monitor its leafy greens so it can track any produce-borne illnesses to the farm, the crop, and even the individual head of lettuce. And the monitoring group Good On You tracks the performance of thousands of fashion brands on ethical sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution.

In the real estate world, blockchain in particular has tremendous potential. Beyond facilitating property transactions, blockchain technology could be a valuable solution to curb industry fraud, by ensuring transparent land records and transaction details.

All for immersive

Real estate companies have also realised that focus should not be solely limited to operational efficiency, but also on immersive technologies. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are continuously improving and gaining traction. The most recent example is Apple's iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, which come with a LiDAR sensor and 5G, two technologies that can make the iPhone much better at running augmented reality apps.

The features are debuting on the iPhone as Apple is rumoured to be working on an AR headset to be released in 2022. VR headsets are already being used alongside 360-degree cameras to generate virtual designs of properties. There are already some home design apps available that are revolutionising the way people can conceptualize their homes.

We have initiated a new 3D visualisation tool for our customers on our website. Customers can view properties to see how their future home would look like. By virtually immersing themselves into the home, it is much easier for them to envision living there… and could be the deciding factor on whether or not they buy.


When the pandemic hit, we were quick on our feet to enable our agents to work remotely. We made this possible by ensuring that our apps were integrated effortlessly with the necessary systems and tools that would enable them to securely work from home.

Technology has been a transformative tool for the real estate sector and is expected to only improve industry performance in the future. Through offering exceptional resources, enhancing the customer service experience, and optimising several daily core functions of our agents, I am diving deep into developing these tools within our company.

Keeping up with rapid advancements in technology can sometimes be challenging - but I believe it to be an investment well worth it.

- Ali Sajwani is General Manager at Damac Properties.