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|Apps like Sunshine App signal the dawn of cyber property sales|
Sunshine Group – one of Vietnam’s leading real estate developers – has introduced Sunshine App early this year. Through this app, customers interested in Sunshine Group's projects can now fully find out themselves the project’s information and select the unit’s size and shape, as well as review perspectives of the apartment. They can also close transactions, settle payments, and even join the lucky-draw which are all executed via smartphone swiftly and efficiently. The traditional sales opening ceremonies that have been physical events for decades have now been updated into the digital sphere via the Sunshine App.
In April, Vingroup set foot in the online domain. Through online sale, customers can directly contact the investor and be referred to information regarding project sites and planning through open databases. Dat Xanh Group also launched an app that allows investors and homebuyers to search for specific real estate products through voice recognition and receive suggestions on other relevant products that could suit their needs.
Through its customer care network, the three entities assist buyers on a 24/7 basis, giving them a look at the units by 3D VR technology and allowing them to complete documents and procedures online.
|The traditional sales opening ceremonies that have been physical events for decades have now been updated into the digital sphere via the Sunshine App.|
Not only domestic investors, their foreign counterparts have also quickly transferred their sales teams from conventional platforms to online ones. For instance, Gamuda Land has just launched its online distribution channel through which homebuyers can access real estate information, Feng Shui advice, and conduct various transactions.
In reality, more and more enterprises are opting to do business online in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The real estate sector is not immune to the pandemic – on the contrary, it shows signs of declining supply and demand. Instead of simply going into hibernation, businesses now need to radically alter their strategies to fit their current circumstances. Along with incentive and promotional programmes, cyber trading is becoming the key approach in the upcoming time to ensure revenue.
According to Sunshine Group – the owner of Sunshine App – there are three main reasons for investors to take their dealings to online trading platforms.
First, as traditional trading floors are effectively "frozen" due to the impact of COVID-19, activities like welcoming buyers and taking them on a site tour, briefing customers at the show units, and transactions are unlikely to take place in person due to social distancing. By the end of March, 800 of about 1,000 real estate trading floors nationwide came to a halt, according to the Vietnam Real Estate Brokers Association. The remaining 20 per cent maintain minimal operations and have converted to teleworking.
Online marketing channels provide wider and longer reach for investors looking to contact potential customers with high investment demand even during the pandemic, thereby sustaining sales operations. Online apps and sales websites are effective aids for sales executives and distribution agents to tout products without forcing buyers into close contact.
|Clients have easy access to property information and can make an instant transaction via such apps|
Second, the new medium will partly eliminate buyers’ hesitation to spend money. During the pandemic, many investors have been tightening spending plans and are more reluctant to make a final decision, especially if the property in question is of a high value. Therefore, technology apps such as VR, 360-degree images, and other innovative project materials that help buyers better understand the product and the project site, along with transparent payment schedules can be a game-changer.
“Apart from the apps, the developers’ websites help ensure the consistency and transparency of information. The handed-over units will not deviate from the planning and utilities shown through these platforms. Thereby, buyers can make decisions not only based on the sales agents’ presentations,” said a Sunshine spokesperson.
Third, as digital transformation is an inevitable socio-economic trend, the real estate sector cannot fall behind. In fact, while it was not until the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that technology platforms and proptech apps were launched, these tools have long been in the making by developers and investors, particularly those in the high-end housing segment.
The disease has been a challenge prompting businesses to speed up digitalisation. Currently, many projects in the market have deployed resident apps offering eminent features like paying management fees, utility bills, making service reservations, calling technical staff, and immediately contacting the building’s management board.
Alongside with residential service, the Sunshine Group representative affirmed that apps like the Sunshine App prioritise real estate trading and management for investors to save costs for both customers and developers, thereby reducing the price tags on the final products, delivering real values to customers and stakeholders across the full value chain.
However, in order for the apps or virtual platforms to come into play at full capacity, they need not only be flexible and resilient to market fluctuations but should build upon powerful economic potentials and solid technological foundations of real estate developers. "Cyber property sales" is going to be a long-term trend, not only a situational solution to cope with the current pandemic.
“Online marketing channels are not launched overnight – they have to go through a process of research and constant development to create the best experience for users. Only investors who are well-prepared can foresee the market and post best revenues,” said the corporation representative.
In practice, Sunshine App, originally developed in 2019 and launched in January, integrates two major demands: online housing purchase and real estate investment. Thanks to its trailblazing, the app has been exponentially increasing downloads over the past three months.
Currently, on peak-day occasions, the app receives hundreds of thousands of visits, with transactions also increasing sharply. The company has recorded nearly 500 successful transactions so far in April.
In addition, the corporation also promoted the real estate investment channel through Sunshine Fintech feature via app, which is vigorously welcomed by investors in the pandemic crisis. Accordingly directly opposed to ordinary apartment investment, investors only need to pay the lowest investment of VND100 million ($43,470) to own part of an apartment or a villa unit with prices ranging from a few billion to up to tens of billion VND.