ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) and Big Data, emblematic of the technological forces reshaping industries, are changing the way property developers conceive their projects – with benefits for homebuyers in terms of design and quality of living, leading industry figures say.
“When AI and digital technology entered the property industry, that changed the way we develop residential properties – not only because of the data we could gather about what our customers want, but it also changed the way we design the projects,” Sansiri Plc president Srettha Thavisin and his team said in an interview with The Nation recently.
“These technologies have also enabled us to improve our after-sales service to customers, helping us to better take care of their needs, and reflecting their lifestyles at our residential projects.
“We have more than 30 years of experience in developing residential projects, and this has guided our selection of land for these projects, especially in the areas along Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok.
“We had not moved to other locations for project development where we did not have this experience to conduct business.
“But then we moved to make an investment in residential development in Sathorn. Previously, we didn’t believe that that was an area that would work for residential.
That view changed, Srettha said, when the company saw the data from its information technology team showing strong demand for the area.
“This information proved correct when we launched our new project, the Line Sathorn, worth Bt4 billion in the middle of last year. The project sold out within a day,” he said.
Sansiri is among the property firms that have been expanding their investment in research, including the use of information technology to improve product design that meets customers’ demands. The company has budgeted more than Bt100 million for research and development since 2015.
“We cannot say how much we have invested in research and information technology because the technology changes all the time,” Srettha said. “But we can say we have continued to invest to improve our service to better serve customer demand.
“Technology and the database we have built up have changed our business from residential project development and delivery to now including being residential service providers – covering construction, project delivery and now services that improve our customers’ quality of living under the concept ‘well-being done’.
“Big Data and information technology have changed my decisions about project location and have helped guide our investments to design projects that meet the raised standards of customer service, in every segment.
“We learned more about what our customers need and so can provide ever-more services to them.
“This is a new era for property firms, which have to change as the digital economy gains more influence globally and in the Thai economy.”
Sansiri Plc’s chief technology officer Tawicha Trakulyingyong said that with the country moving towards the digital economy, this shift is spurring property companies to tailor their designs and services offerings to match evolving customer demand – rather than merely developing only the building for delivery to customers.
An example of this is Sansiri’s use of the Big Data derived from its customers to draft residential designs that address the needs of an ageing society, as well as designs that match with people’s lifestyles under a sharing concept that lets condominium customers benefit from facilities such as a smart locker, voice box and a robot service called San Dee.
“We have continued to research and develop residential projects under a universal design concept that addresses the lifestyle needs of all members of a family, such as the elderly, children and young people,” he said. “Information technology helps us to improve our products and after-sales service for our customers over the long term.”
Tawicha said the company uses its Big Data to ascertain what its customers want and also to try to determine what they will want in the future. This is helping the company to design residential projects that serve the present and future demands of its customers.
“Our move to go down this path has enabled us to come up with a point of difference between us and competitors in the property market,” he said.