In the age of online sharing and social media, lifestyle aspirations are driving consumer preferences in the real estate industry.
This is according to Tina Bautista, head of Property24, one of the most powerful online enablers for property buyers and sellers. Bautista cites, in particular, upper mid and luxury properties are expected to be in high demand this year.
The Philippines continues to lead the world in social media usage, spending the most amount of time online, about four hours and 12 minutes a day. The number of social media users in the country grew by 13 percent, with more than 9 million users added since January 2018.
Bautista, who has 12 years of experience in creating strategies for online products and studying online consumer consumption, foresees a shift in buyer preferences, especially in the real estate industry, over the next five years.
“The major shift that may happen over the next five years is that technology will enable more than just searching and communication between property buyers and sellers. Technology will be able to change even how properties are bought and rented or financed by banks. We see this happening in more advanced markets,” she says.
Bautista continues, “Generally as well, because of consumer preferences, we can also expect property developers to cater to emerging technology needs, such as high speed Internet connectivity, online delivery and receiving hubs, and smart home technologies.”
In the real estate industry, the speed of transactions and the expectations of potential property buyers are increasing rapidly, as the amount of information and influence that they receive online also grows. That is why Bautista advises companies to adapt swiftly to these developments.
“In our case, we are constantly working with our Product and Engineering teams, including enhancing our chat and contact form features, to make communication easier and faster between buyers and sellers. We also fine tune our search algorithms and filters to be able to reflect better user behavior and preferences,” she says.
She adds, “Buyers today have many options and resources at their fingertips. It’s best for them to compare across all of these to be able to make the best decision. At the same time, they also have to exercise caution and judgment to ensure they are transacting with trusted brokers and agents.”
The Property24 head asserts that brand identity is the most effective way to gain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Image and perception on social media and branding of property developers are the key factors for property buyers and investors.
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