The Global Digital Revolution Poses a Challenge for Turkey’s Real Estate Sector

The era of digital revolution is set to sweep the property and construction sector globally in 2018 and Turkey will be no exception. Expect to see more smart homes, intelligent facilities management solutions and the introduction of autonomous transportation systems amongst a plethora of other innovative digital solutions.

What is spurring the growth of digital platforms and the inevitable impact on real estate is the impressive growth in smart phones, which has changed the mind-set of consumers.  According to IDC the number of smart phones shipped worldwide in 2017 was 1.53 billion units and by 2021 IDC predicts global smartphone shipments to touch 1.77 billion. In the same period, the number of smart phones used by the population of Turkey is set to grow from 41.09m in 2017 to 58.61m in 2021.

    When considering the growth in smart phones alongside other connected devices like laptops, tablets, household devices (fridges, lights, microwave, cooker, TVs , cameras, air-conditioning, curtains etc.), wearables and so forth, it is easy to see that the property sector is on the cusp of a huge digital disruption fueled by IoT (internet of things).

    Increasingly, consumers are being exposed to voice activated devices in their homes like Amazon’s Alexa or Samsung’s smart TVs. Outside the home, consumers are driving cars that are connected to the internet and command systems are voice activated. Shopping for many is becoming more and more an online experience than a physical visit to the store. All of the aforementioned items are controlled by the smartphone. In short , the smartphone has become the hub of multiple life styles, and a gateway for companies seduce customers.

    In the hyper-connected world, the property industry globally has to adjust to this digital disruption or face the consequences. Yet despite these prevailing trends, the construction industry around the world as well as in Turkey is behind the digital curve and risks falling behind other industries.

    Buyers in real estate—irrespective of retail or commercial—are showing greater interest in properties that are smart and easily controlled by their smart phones. Customers want to control the devices and gadgets in their homes at a touch of a button. Commercial customers want real-time information and control over how their facilities are managed from setting the ambience of buildings to safeguarding security. Hoteliers are struggling to keep up with customers that demand a seamless digital experience, which involves no physical check-in or checkout—the entire journey is controlled via the smartphone including the entry and exit to the room.

   The current stock of properties on the market falls way short of customer expectations. The era of building box standard units with negligible intelligence is over. Those developers that choose to build smart buildings and empower customers through a variety of digital services will do extremely well in the coming decade. Others that fail to adapt to the digital revolution will cease to exist. The clock is ticking and the race is on globally. Can Turkey’s real estate industry rise to the challenge is the question on everyone’s mind.

About the author

Abid Mustafa is a special guest writer for PropertyTR. He is a digital transformation expert and his specialism includes building digital life styles, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

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