One of the most crucial aspects of property buying in India has been the site visits. More often than not, one site visit was never considered enough to finalise a property. However, with the current pandemic situation, the whole process of site visits will undergo a drastic change. GRAB.com Bureau delves a little deeper to find out how.
Buying a home in India is a process that usually involves the whole family. It is a decision that takes multiple rounds of discussions, pondering, debating, and brainstorming with one’s family. These are usually followed by multiple visits to property sites. However, COVID-19 has put an unprecedented halt to these site visits due to safety concerns. Now, with the lockdown being lifted, developers have resumed site-visits albeit with precautions. So, how are site visits going to be different in the post-COVID era? Let us find out.
Appointment-based site visits
Developers across the country are pushing to take the whole home buying experience online. “Site visits have always been an essential part of the property purchase process. It was during these site visits that developers and buyers connected on a personal level to get a better understanding of each other,” reminisces Vijay Verma, CEO, Sunworld Group. “However,” he continues, “this pattern will undergo a lot of change after COVID as every aspect of business turns digital.”
Unlike earlier times, when one could walk-in for a site visit any time, developers are now encouraging appointment-based visits only.
Only genuine buyers for site visits
Visiting a property site had, to some extent, become a leisure outing for many prospective buyers. Unplanned solo site visits followed by planned family visits were all entertained in the pre-COVID era. However, this trend will take a back seat with both buyers as well as developers adopting safety measures. “Scheduled sites only for genuine homebuyers will be encouraged henceforth,” says Verma.
Frequency of site visits
Before the pandemic it was a normal routine for developers to arrange for multiple site-visits on a single day. Weekends would usually be chock-a-block affair. However, this pattern will also undergo a drastic change with frequency of visits dropping significantly.
On Site safety
Developers are taking all sorts of measures to maintain safety on the sites.
The entire construction site gets monitored in terms of worker density, cleanliness and hygiene. The workers allotted on these sites are trained accordingly to maintain distancing.
A site manager ensures safety guidelines are being followed throughout. Use of sanitizers is encouraged at intervals, disinfection of sites is carried out regularly. Temperature screening on entrances, and a medical officer is kept at the beck and call for any emergency.
Developers across the country are going out of their way to ensure safe site visits. Nonetheless, this pandemic has made us realise the importance of planning our site visits instead of just walking-in.
While these have been testing times, property buyers have shown a positive response towards online platforms during the lockdown. The increased number of digital queries received by developers as well as brokerage platforms during the lockdown has shown that homebuyers are more than ready to accept this pattern.
Thus, unlike what was expected at the beginning of the lockdown, buying interest might not really dampen due to lack of site visits. However, going online definitely prolongs the process of booking a unit. The real estate sector might just have to re-align itself to these new sales-cycles.