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Dubai real estate: How developers are winning over buyers in 2024?

Real estate developers in Dubai are prioritising customer needs, tech-driven solutions, and innovative services to create exceptional buyer experiences, stand out in a competitive market, and boost sales in 2024

Dubai real estate: How developers are winning over buyers in 2024?

The real estate industry has changed drastically due to the introduction of RERA, which now requires a focus on the customer and timely delivery of high-quality services. Real estate organisations must learn how to effectively manage customers and turn them into brand ambassadors to succeed in this new environment. Customer centricity is more than just prioritising the customer—it also involves delivering a top-notch experience from the initial home-hunting stage, all the way through the buying process and even after the purchase is complete.

According to experts, consumer centricity is essential for the success of any business, especially in the modern real estate market where homebuyers have diverse needs and preferences. With access to abundant information, today’s consumers are well-informed, environmentally conscious, and tech-savvy. Developers need to adapt to these evolving buyer preferences, focusing on providing differentiated customer experiences to stand out from the competition. Merely offering exceptional residences is no longer sufficient; developers must meet the changing perceptions around lifestyle to create a loyal consumer base and build a strong brand identity.

So, how are developers empowering buyers and boosting sales this year? Let’s delve in.

Customer is king for developers

Gone are the days when anyone could be a builder without real technical expertise. The post-pandemic reality has shifted attitudes towards lifestyle, with buyers now valuing community, neighbourhoods, spatial design, amenities, and services.

Moreover, the real estate market in Dubai has experienced significant growth in the past two years, leading to increased competition among developers to attract buyers and investors. With new residential projects being launched daily in the UAE, developers must prioritise understanding and meeting customer needs throughout the purchase process. Maintaining a focus on the customer journey is essential to staying competitive in the market.

“From the first touch point with a potential home buyer through to closing the purchase, the success of this journey relies on satisfying the customer’s needs and aspirations at every stage. Fundamentally, the journey starts with the value proposition to the potential buyer, which relates to location, pricing, property features, and payment plan.  A ‘what you see is what you get’ approach by creating a model home to show the potential customers what they are getting is a key part of this journey,” explains Ramjee Iyer, Chairman and Managing Director, of Acube Developments

He further continues, “Secondly, the range of amenities and conveniences is also a strong value add for any home buyer who will desire an elevated living experience and want to be satisfied by what comes with the purchase of the property.  The industry is responding to this need by introducing new lifestyle-enhancing amenities which satisfy the needs of the whole family, ranging from in-unit splash pools to water park features to libraries and dedicated entertainment facilities.”

Developers are also focusing on constructing projects that prioritise energy efficiency, durability, and enhanced security to meet the demands of buyers. Features such as increased insulation, triple glazing, and passive solar design, as well as smart technology, are being incorporated into homes to address concerns such as rising electricity bills and water scarcity. Additionally, secure access systems and CCTV are being implemented to ensure the safety of residents.

Modern home buyers want a more holistic living experience that focuses on sustainability and well-being. “Health is a key preference, leading to the popularity of low-density developments that offer safety and security. Proximity to social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, retail spaces, and banks is also essential to buyers. Tech-enabled solutions that provide ease of living, such as temperature control, lighting, and security cameras, are highly sought-after. Control over the home environment at the touch of a button remains a top priority for today’s buyers,” explains Nandini Seth, an architectural and design student.

Technology leading from the front

One of the key approaches being taken by developers is the use of technology to create virtual showings and tours, allowing buyers to explore properties remotely. Additionally, developers are enhancing online platforms to provide more detailed information about properties, such as 3D floor plans and interactive features. By leveraging digital tools and resources, developers aim to make the buying process more convenient and engaging for potential buyers, ultimately driving sales and increasing traction in the market.

 “One of the key initiatives being taken by developers to make the homebuying journey easier and more transparent for buyers includes digitalising the entire process, which includes digitalising documents, contracts, and other legal paperwork to help streamline the structure and make it more efficient. Developers are also introducing new technologies such as virtual reality (VR), which allows buyers to get an immersive experience of the property before they make a purchase. Finally, developers are also introducing home inspection services that allow buyers to get a detailed assessment of the property before they sign on the dotted line,” says Jayesh Rathod, a real estate broker based out of Dubai.

Technology, particularly 3D walkthroughs and virtual reality has become increasingly important in the real estate sector. Developers are using these tools to enhance customer experience, increase sales digitally, and improve construction methods. Digital channels such as AR and VR, along with features like 24/7 chatbot service and video calls, are being utilised to showcase projects to potential buyers and streamline the buying process. This digital transformation is expected to continue growing as a crucial tool for developers, homeowners, and other stakeholders in attracting buyers and tenants.

How will this year look like going forward?

According to experts, the UAE government’s open-door policy for foreign investors has helped to maintain a steady real estate market in Dubai post-pandemic, with the luxury segment expected to continue growing amid strong demand.

“The residential market has seen an upward trend, with transaction levels in 2023 increasing by 18% for sales prices and 26% for rents year-on-year. Cash buyers will dominate the market, while demand for affordable villas and townhouses from residents will drive rental activity. Villa prices have outpaced apartment prices, and rents have increased steadily, this trend is expected to continue during the year, albeit the pace of growth may stabilise further as new supply is launched,” concludes Ritesh Mehta, Senior Director and Head (North and West), residential services and developer initiative, JLL India.