Property and construction companies have been forced to accelerate their digital transformation in recent years due to the global health crisis.
The pandemic made it abundantly clear that a wait-and-see stance was no longer enough to ensure a thriving, future-proof business. So, to support collaboration, drive efficiency and reduce bottlenecks that hinder productivity, organisations have been turning to exciting technologies like augmented reality.
We’ve provided three examples of property and construction companies using augmented reality to give you a glimpse into what AR looks like in practice.
Example 1: Kingdom Housing Association
Kingdom Housing Association was one of the first property and construction companies to use augmented reality technology to help their tenants fix routine repairs without sending out a technician.
Right before the pandemic hit in 2020, the organisation introduced augmented reality into their repairs process — a coincidence that would make them more agile and better equipped to handle the crisis that was about the strike. The technology works by allowing trade operatives to be virtually present in tenants’ homes. Expert personnel can visualise and assess the issue in real-time via a mobile phone or tablet.
Technicians offer support and advice, with their hands superimposed on the tenants’ smartphone or device screens via AR. Tenants benefit from instant visual guidance, enabling them to fix simple problems without waiting around for a repair person to be dispatched to their home.
During the pandemic, remote repairs ensured that Kingdom Housing Association could assist their tenants without breaking social distancing rules or lockdown mandates. The technology also empowered tenants to take matters into their own hands under the supervision of an expert to drive efficiency, share knowledge and boost their confidence when faced with simple repairs.
The coronavirus outbreak had countless negative impacts on the construction industry, but the adoption of augmented reality could be the much-needed silver lining to a turbulent period.
Example 2: MCP Property Services
MCP Property Services is a repairs contractor that adopted AR technology during the pandemic to reduce face-to-face contact. Maintenance and repair specialists can launch a live stream that the resident can also access through an AR remote assistance tool.
The two individuals can then collaborate to identify and discuss maintenance issues and, in the case of simple issues such as boiler resets, resolve the issue remotely with real-time expert supervision.
According to Matt Clarke, the Managing Director of MCP Property Services, AR enables surveyors to save time, which otherwise would be lost travelling to residents’ homes. AR allows surveyors to understand the problem ahead of their initial visit for a speedy diagnosis. As a result, the technician already has a solution in mind when it comes to the repair, greatly improving first time fix rates.
For MCP Property Services, there’s also scope for AR to become a catalyst in the creation of jobs for older, more experienced repair operatives who can no longer handle physical, on-site labour. In the construction industry, where domain knowledge is at risk of being lost due to an ageing workforce, AR could help prevent a long reported skill drain.
For example, with AR remote assistance, experts can offer advice to novices who have just finished their apprenticeship, guiding them visually through tasks to build their confidence and narrow the skills gap.
Example 3: Karbon Homes
Karbon Homes also took advantage of the pandemic to accelerate their digital transformation journey and adopt innovative AR technology to assist with repair and maintenance projects. By deploying a remote assistance tool, the organisation could resolve issues instantly — and remotely — reducing waiting times and improving their overall customer service.
For example, Karbon Homes used AR to give permission to a tenant looking to extend their patio. Using remote assistance, the surveyor was able to examine the patio and confirm how far it could be extended. With 26,000 homes in their portfolio, the company stands to save a huge amount of time by limiting unnecessary callouts.
Karbon has also been testing out AR technology with tenants who call outside office hours. Instead of sending an operative to their home, experts can assess the situation remotely to decide whether or not it’s an emergency or offer helpful advice to keep the tenant’s concerns at bay.
Like Kingdom Housing Association and MCP Property Services, Karbon recognises that AR can transform the property and construction industry, whether it’s used to speed up repairs for improved customer satisfaction, provide real-time guidance to “new on the tools” operatives, or slash costs.
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