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Leveraging Technology To Be Key Pivot For Real Estate Sector To Become RERA Compliant

The paradigm shift in customer profile prompted the industry to reinvent the strategies in marketing and adopt digital platforms

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Real estate industry in India has evolved drastically over the last one decade. First, the advances in IT forced the traditional brick and mortar companies to employ smart construction technologies to achieve speed, economise cost, improve quality and adopt internationally acceptable codes. Next, the lifecycle cost of operating buildings and awareness among occupiers of the carbon footprint forced the industry to innovate to build green buildings.

At the same time, the average home customer profile also changed from the 50-year old man with his savings and PF loan to the 30-year old double income, highly qualified, a well-travelled family with access to the mortgage. The paradigm shift in customer profile prompted the industry to reinvent the strategies in marketing and adopt digital platforms.

But 2016-17 will go down in the history as a watershed phase in the evolution of Indian real estate industry. A plethora of new regulations hit the hitherto unregulated industry. RERA, GST, Bankruptcy law, Benami Properties Act & NGT are among those regulations which together can usher in an urban renaissance in the sector if implemented with diligence.

In this churning to make the industry more organised, technology will play a pivotal role especially with regard to the compliance norms of RERA and GST, the two most important regulations. GST is imposing the same quantum of technology up gradation across the sectors. The GST regulations call for the electronic ledger, online posting, reversal, tax set ups etc. To make this process seamless ERP is necessary.

But the real estate industry has its task cut out under RERA which primarily aims at bringing in transparency and accountability in the sector. The industry players are left with two tasks under RERA - first to put own houses in order and secondly rise up to the new regime which will be driven by the customers. In both these tasks, technology will play an important part. It demands compliance at every stage of the project lifecycle with periodic public reporting. Non-compliance with these regulations means dead-end to business owners. Given the severity of issue, the industry has started working on various solutions.

Enterprise level software has become necessary to help budget, plan, report, track and analyse project wise quantitative performance. Earlier ERP solutions were restricted to certain functional areas only now this is being implemented across functional areas to ensure uniformity of information and meeting shorter reporting timelines. Under RERA every developer has to report for each of the individual project cost, progress and quantitative data pertaining to sales and cost on a quarterly basis. Further for every amount drawn from customer collection three sets of certifications are required. From Architect, Engineer and Chartered Accountant on the project progress, the cost incurred and matching of money drawing from customer collections to project cost. Here again, the only way to achieve this on a timely basis is by collecting the project data, both physical and financial on an enterprise-wide system from every functional area and present it to the certifying persons with adequate corroborating evidence.

CRM software has been in vogue and was restricted to collect, analyse, group and track the leads to its closing stage. It now extends to periodic project progress update reporting, running referral programs, customer change management initiation, online payment enabling to snag management before the handover.

Secondly, the end-users will call the shots under the new regime of RERA and innovation in technology will be the key to win the customers. One of the key elements is to make sure that the customer takes an informed decision for which technological support is a must. A lot more innovation is taking place in the mobility solutions for a customer including video feed updates, payment and progress tracker, payment demand and acceptance interface.

Also, a lot more innovations like virtual reality would play a critical role in the days to come.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
technology RERA gst bill real estate

Vinod Menon

Vinod Menon is the Director & CEO, Citrus Ventures. Having over 15 years of experience across real estate and investment banking, he is a fellow member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India and a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He has also served as an Executive Director at 03 Capital, a leading investment bank and as a CFO at Mfar Holdings - a real estate construction and development company

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