Technology influences almost all sectors in the world we live today. Every day people are faced with new technologies that are meant to improve the way things are done. The real estate is one of the fast growing industries in Dubai. There has been a rising demand for housing in Dubai, and as a result, real estate companies have been forced to inject more capital into the industry to meet the increasing demand (Witkin, American Bar Association & American Bar Association, 2014). Various technologies are also developed and introduced into the industry to help investors meet this growing demand. It is, therefore necessary to study how the real estate sector in Dubai comes to accept and use the various technologies developed for use in the industry. The technology acceptance model (TAM) is information systems theory that was first proposed in 1989 (Venkatesh, 2000). The TAM models how people come to use and accept a new technology once it is presented to them. The model comprises of the beliefs and perceptions that determine the attitude to adopt a new technology. The opinion of users on adoption of the new technology decided on their positive or negative behavior concerning the technology in future. The TAM uses two important factors in determining how users come to accept and use a technology and these are; perceived ease of use (PEOU) and perceived usefulness (PU) of the new technology (Venkatesh, 2000).
Perceived usefulness (PU)
Before adopting a given technology in the real estate industry, they have to view it as useful in the task for which it was designed. The people must have a belief that the new technology/ system have the capacity to improve job performance. Job performance in the real estate industry can be measured quantity and quality output. A study conducted by Venkatesh and Davis (2000) on the TAM model in various industries including real estate revealed that several factors explain why a person would consider a given system or technology useful. In this study 156, knowledge workers were used whereby they were to use different systems voluntarily. The study then collected results on their perceptions and reports on the perceived usefulness of the various machines/ systems. The information on the perceived usefulness was collected before implementation and one and three months after implementation. The study revealed that such factors as quality and quantity output, image, job relevance and results demonstrability played a pivotal role in building their perception about the new technology usability. For instance, a new system must be able to improve the quality and quantity in the industry in a way that convinces the users that adopting it will be advantageous. The new system should also be able to demonstrate results of what it promises to offer. The benefit of the technology should be easily visible and demonstrable (Capella University, 2009). Users should also possess the belief that use of the new technology will positively impact on the image of their company. The system should not have adverse negative effects on the environment, users and community as a whole. When considering the usefulness of new systems users also have the tendency to look at its relevance to the job to which it is being introduced. The new technology, system or machines should not be irrelevant such that the job could still be executed successfully without it.
Perceived ease of use (PEOS)
The complex real estate industry needs technological innovations that will steer it forward to the same level as most of other industries in Dubai. The real estate Dubai is gradually adopting technology that will help it meet the expectations of customers. Techniques like using drones and virtual reality among construction systems are some of the innovations that have completely altered the way business is conducted in Dubai real estate. However, the adoption of any technology r system highly depends on peoples perceived ease of use. Users have general beliefs about technology. These beliefs are anchored into the society by institutions such as school, workplace, and religion. For instance, it is believed that the use of computer makes work easy and fast. This perception may greatly influence investors and players in the real estate industry in Dubai to adopt a computer system or software. However, studies show that other beliefs determine the perceived ease of use which is shaped by a users direct interaction and experience with the technology.
Research by Venkatesh (2000) in factors shaping perceived ease of use identified several antecedents. In this research, Venkatesh used three different organizations from various industries which include building and construction, real estate and e-commerce. 246 participants were selected to participate and the results collected for three months. The results from this study indicated that several variables establish perceived ease of use. These variables could be classified into two broad categories which include anchors and adjustments. Anchors comprise of computer self-efficacy, Perceptions on external controls, computer anxiety, and computer playfulness. On the other hand, adjustments consist of such factors as perceived enjoyment and actual usability. When a new technology or system is developed and introduced into the real-estate industry, the players have general perceptions about the system or technology. These general opinions are referred to as anchors. They are the attitudes that shape ones beliefs towards adopting the new technology even without having tried or interacted with it. For instance, people believe that computer is efficient. Therefore when a machine/ system or technology that uses a computer is introduced, they are likely to have a positive perception towards it use, efficiency and ability to take work easier. However, there are other variables such as anxiety and external control that may contribute to negative perception about accepting and using a new technology. After the initial interaction with new technology, users form perception based on their experience with it. They may find it easy to use, enjoyable, objective, complex or simple. These variables highly contribute to the perceived ease of use of new technology. The people will then decide on whether to accept and use the new technology based on perceived usefulness or perceived ease of use.
TAM in real Estate Dubai
The management in the real estate industry in Dubai bears the responsibility to introduce efficient and effective technology in their respective organization. In the world we live today, a company cannot be competitive if it does not move forward with adopting the right technology. The real estate industry is a multifaceted industry which faces big challenges in this era of technology-driven society. Only companies that utilize the best technology first and fast will be competitive enough to survive. However, it is critical for management to employ the TAM model to determine if their employees accept particular technology before investing millions of money in something that may not deliver the benefits it promises. It is important for the management to set aside some measures to see how users will interact with new technology and thus understand if users will adopt it. There is the need to test the technology within a small group of users to see how they interact with it and also collect their perceptions/ view and self-reports before embarking on purchasing it and introducing it throughout the entire organization.
Technology can only be adopted if the users are convinced that it is useful and easy to use. The users must not be in doubt of the technologys capacity to improve job performance without requiring them to increase their physical and mental efforts. TAM model is a powerful tool for the real estate industry in Dubai. It will ensure that funds are not wasted in developing/ innovating technologies that are not required or useful. Dubai is an upcoming market in the real estate, and there is rising demand for land, houses and commercial buildings especially over the past decade. Though there is the need for high technology to meet customer demand, it is also important to ensure that only the right and useful technology is innovated, developed and adopted. Managements ability to understand users perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of a new system or technology will go a long way in determining the users intention to eventually accept and use the technology in the commercial real estate not only in Dubai but across the globe (Capella University, 2009).
Capella University. (2009).Business Intelligence Within Commercial Real Estate: An Application of the Motivation and Acceptance Model
Venkatesh, V. & Davis, F. (2000). A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: four longitudinal field studies. Management Science.
Venkatesh, V. (2000). Determinants of perceived ease of use: Integrating control, intrinsic motivation, and emotion into the technology acceptance model. Information systems research, 11(4), 342-365.
Witkin, J. B., American Bar Association., & American Bar Association. (2014). Environmental aspects of real estate and commercial transactions. Chicago: Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Real Property, Probate and Trust Section, American Bar Association.
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