Real estate: Bricks, mortar and a billion bytes in between

Dec 07 2013, 16:44 IST
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Be it architectural design, structural engineering, project management, there is IT involved at every step in development of a real estate project. Be it architectural design, structural engineering, project management, there is IT involved at every step in development of a real estate project.
SummaryFrom managing project timelines to a 3D walkthrough, IT is involved at every step in real estate industry.

major way to provide support to the construction site as well as integrate various departments and functions for better management.”

Numerous developers have adopted building information modelling (BIM) or virtual design and construction (VDC) technology to streamline the design and construction processes. “BIM or VDC allows the project team to design and construction the project twice once “virtually” and then on the site. This facilitates eradication of a majority of mistakes and inefficiencies in the processes,” says Sawhney.

Most projects, big and small, use enterprise resources planning (ERP) modules to manage both men and materials and achieve efficiency. “Most of the major developers have embraced the benefits of information technology. They realise that the advantages in terms of saved project costs, increased construction quality and optimised delivery timelines are crucial. It is only the unorganised sector, defined by smaller builders, who have yet to adopt such solutions,” says Anurag Mathur, CEO – Projects & Development Services, Jones Lang LaSalle India.

Sawhney agrees. “Internationally the construction sector has been slow to adopt IT in its various business processes. Indian scene is no different. There is reportedly low usage of IT in the sector especially due to the presence of small and medium enterprises. A plethora of problems exist—fragmented nature of the industry, lack of standardisation, restrictively framed contracts, lack of incentives, and general apprehension about IT.”

This is also reflected in the fragmented nature of the market, with a huge asymmetry of information within micromarkets in a city., a start-up in the listings space, has developed proprietary tools to help a prospective buyer get around this problem. The Data Sciences Lab at has developed innovative algorithms that trawl through this maze of data and present it to enable decision making.

One outcome of all that programming is what the website calls a Price Heat Map, which shows price variations across a locality in colour-coded form. Another initiative is the Child Friendliness Index, which is a colour-coded ranking of various localities in a metro on child-friendly parameters such as schools and parks.

“This is the first time that anyone has gleaned data from real estate and structured it. With the help of this structured data, we have come up with never seen before features that add immense value to people’s home search process,” says Advitiya Sharma, co-founder,

The adoption of IT in the sector is not restricted to developers and users consulting real estate portals. Governments

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