Office bookings in India go virtual as firms avoid actual site visits owing to travel bans and quarantine

Corporates are finalising new office spaces through virtual tours as companies look to expand or relocate before calling back all employees, say developers and property consultants.

Developers have prepared virtual tours to enable clients to navigate the entire office complex at their own pace.

Giving one such example, Ozone Group COO Vamsi Sai said a US-based company wanted to lease a portion of their under construction office space in Bengaluru but the decision makers of that company were not allowed to travel as per the company policy and also due to the ban on international travel.

“Our team facilitated a ‘walk-through’ for the decision makers and that, in turn, has enabled us to engage in advance discussions in relation to lease finalisation,” he said. Developers said clients are not keen on travelling to India fearing exposure to the virus and also due to the 14-day quarantine condition. Similarly, Max Estates has relied heavily on virtual tours in the last few months.

“At Max Towers, we did more leasing during Covid-19 than pre-Covid-19, and virtual tours were critical in decision making and closures invariably across all our transactions,” said Rishi Raj, chief operating officer at Max Estates. “Covid-19 has presented an opportunity to embrace and speed up digital adoption that would enhance the experience of end users and enable them to truly WorkWell.”

Before the pandemic, physical visits of all stakeholders, including ones based out of India, were a must before an organisation closed a large office space deal. “We were able to successfully transition to a hybrid approach post-Covid-19 where the local team visited the site in person and others experienced it virtually,” said Raj.