- The Group aims to expand offering to digital assets
- Constant evolution of customer and agent support applications
- Adopting tech trends to enhance value for customers and partners
Dubai, UAE: Leading real estate developer DAMAC Properties has been stepping up its efforts in digital innovations, securing itself as one of the pioneering companies in driving disruptive tech in property, also known as proptech.
“Real estate developers, founders, investors and related industry specialists are facing an era of disruption and proptech is seen as an important way of not only staying relevant but more importantly making the market accessible to customers who otherwise will not be able to climb the property ladder and ‘challengers’ looking to break into the market with creative business models,” said Jayesh Maganlal, Chief Information Officer of DAMAC Properties.
Recently honoured for ‘Smart Innovation’ at the Future Workspace Summit and Awards 2022, the Group remains focused on key tech pillars that span across all facets of the business, driving the use of tech across construction, sales and post-sales (customer relations) and support functions.
DAMAC spearheaded the digital asset industry in the region when it recently became the first real estate company to enter the metaverse. Under the banner D-Labs the company has invested $100 million with the aim of building digital cities, bolstering the Group’s sales prospects and enhancing customer engagement.
In addition to this, DAMAC also became a forefront developer in facilitating transactions for the purchase of property using cryptocurrency.
Customer sales is an area where DAMAC is actively pursuing the use of proptech. Increasing and strengthening its digital channels, the company has switched from a conventional sales approach to a more digital sales approach by engaging with companies that specialise in machine learning.
Customer is King
Customer satisfaction and happiness remain a core goal for DAMAC. Exclusive for its property owners and tenants, DAMAC Living is an easy, quick and convenient way to manage their property through a single platform. The app has recently undergone an update with enhanced features. Property transfer NoCs can now be requested directly through the app and secure digital certificates, helping customers avoid the hassle of walk-ins. Additionally, in cooperation with Dubai Land Department (DLD), DAMAC offers customers the chance to fetch Ejari details of their tenancy contract and raise move-in requests through the app, providing a seamless journey for new tenants. Customers can now make online payments using ApplePay, in addition to credit/debit card payment and internet banking.
In order to cater to the range of customer demographics, the company has also launched an Arabic version of the app, with plans to add more languages subsequently. In addition, the company is gearing up to launch a dedicated living app for its exclusive property in London, DAMAC Towers Nine Elms, that recently began handover.
Another digital initiative has been the integration of chatbots within the DAMAC Customer Relations Management software to make it easier for customers to engage and interact with the CRM team and provide them an opportunity to manage their properties from the palm of their hands.
The chatbot handles an average of 6,300 chat interactions with clients on a monthly basis, covering a range of requests such as making payments, moving in, maintenance, booking amenities, visitor management, and general inquiries.
The department also initiated a ticketing service system to increase efficiency and effectiveness of handling customer transactions received from different channels such as calls, emails, chats, the DAMAC Living App and walk-ins.
“We are constantly evolving and enhancing customer experience on the app. And, it is not just a community management app anymore, we are working towards a one mobile app solution for all touchpoints with DAMAC, right from the point customer shows interest in our properties to when they start residing in our communities,” Maganlal explains.
The company recently upgraded and rebranded its DAMAC Agents app, a digital platform for its real estate brokers. The app provides comprehensive information about the Group, its portfolio and includes property specifications, location, USPs, value add features/amenities and available unit inventory in different formats, offers etc, at their fingertips.
Agencies and agents can now register through the application to be part of the DAMAC family. They can view properties and select the inventory to book online, view full details of the property, take virtual tours, book a ride for their customer(s) to visit the show unit, view upcoming roadshows and events, customise their search, as well as apply for and attend agent training programmes. Furthermore, the agents can sign up for the Fly-in Programme where they can book flights for customers to view international listings, and the Unity Programme which unlocks different levels of club membership based on sales contribution.
According to Statista Research, in 2021, USD 24.3 billion was invested into Proptech companies globally up by 60% over the preceding three years.
“DAMAC Properties considers this an opportunity to diversify and drive bold innovation whilst also injecting a broader corporate responsibility agenda in line with UAE goals through the adoption of the ‘right’ tech. Ultimately the desire is to always translate this into value for the end buyer and positive outcomes for the economy as a whole,” said Maganlal.
“DAMAC is considering this from both an ‘inside-out’ and ‘outside-in’ perspective and is constantly challenging the internal status quo to drive performance and excellence. This requires a balance between what can be achieved internally and, when necessary, externally. Cognizant of the challenges this poses, DAMAC Properties has been actively transforming its approach in the realisation that success requires a delicate balance between core tech, ability to execute and attracting the right talent.”