Where Digitization and Real Estate Intersect
By Omar Watson on 19 Sep, 2019
Recently started work with Terra Caribbean, Barbados’ leading Real Estate institution, and being a Business Development professional I am always keen on looking to see where old processes can be refreshed and new ideas injected. Little did I know, and I must say was pleasantly surprised to find out, Real Estate is very much at the forefront of commercial digitization. Who would think that one of the world’s oldest industries would overtake some of the newest industries in the adoption of digitization? In a culture and economy where even our leading financial institutions are playing catch up, Real Estate has already capitalized and is positioned to continue to capitalize on this revolution.
The more I thought of it though the more I realized I’d already known, I’d already been seeded and I’d already participated. Who looks for anything in print anymore, even the power of word of mouth is dwindling we look for EVERYTHING online. Grabbed my laptop and sure enough, every Real Estate company in Barbados has its own website; branding digitally, advertising, introducing digitally, communicating digitally, expanding digitally. It’s blown the industry-wide open, created a competitive market place and enhanced the experience of the most important entity in the transaction; the end-user. Accessibility beyond borders and brand promotion are welcomed by bi-products, not just the brand of the agencies but the brand that IS Barbados as well. Makes me wonder if anyone has taken the time to see just how Real Estate digitization has affected tourism, where tourists can jump on their laptop, tablet or even mobile phone to imagine themselves sitting on a patio watching the beachfront sunset/sunrise in their long or short term rental long before they ever book their ticket.
It’s the perfect example as to how digitization can not only benefit the industry it is deployed in but can bleed positively into connecting verticals as well. How far away is Government digitization? Where property deeds, land tax information, plot plans are available at a keyboard stroke. Not only does this solve the issues with record-keeping at the government institution-level but it also enables the consumer; the property owner AND the prospective property owner. Consumer enablement encourages economic activity, economic activity drives commerce, commercial activity drives government earnings through taxation, government earnings drive economic revival, economic revival inspires investor interest and so on and so on.
It might sound odd to even say this but our local industries including our commercial and central banks need to follow the example Real Estate has set, digitization is the way forward. It’s how you take your brand, your product, and this economy to the next level.