WINNING THE COMMUNICATION GAME
Eric Shinseki said it best: “If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less”. Josh Phegan takes a look at the future of real estate in a fast-paced world.
The last 10 years have radically reshaped the way we live. The adoption of mobile phones, socialisation of our relationships and the amplification of remote work have also changed the way we do business. Software is eating the world. What was once done by a team of people is being automated, forcing fewer people in the process to deliver the service. It's changing job roles to be more human, personalised and intimate. We have all the information we need at our fingertips, thanks to Google, meaning that consumers don't need another market report, update or agent in their street today. Instead what they need is someone who's prepared to ask the questions around their dissatisfaction and vision, to help the customer make the first steps.
With the adoption of tech, we're making appointments faster to build rapid rapport and helping customers to make decisions face to face.
It's forcing the industry into a corner. In our rush to be amazing on social, we've forgotten the basics of what makes a business move. To be successful in business you have to make sales, and the first sale that's made every day is booking the appointment.
No one's asking what happens when we get to the point of digital saturation – we're already here. More and more effort is needed. Before I put in any technology, I ask, 'What's the problem we're trying to solve?'. Plenty put in tech or go all-in on social before they ask the question or even define if the problem's worth solving.
What the savvy agents are doing is building out the tech to automate the workflow to deliver on their customer experience. And this where you need to start. Define your brand. It's not a logo; it's a set of customer moments that are either carefully curated or not. Think in moments, then see what technology you can use to automate and improve them for the customer. In the UK, online appointment booking is a massive driver, yet it's hardly taken off here in Australia.
Most of the offshoring we're seeing happen in the property management and sales administration spaces will end up onshore again as automation makes those roles redundant, or the consumer forces a more human experience for the fees we demand.
One thing that's certain is that technology doesn't recognise booms or recessions; it just makes progress. In your business, I'd be surprised if you didn't already have 20-plus applications in what's called your app stack. It could be as simple as Dropbox for file storage and Slack for team communication. Your app stack is allowing your workforce to be more remote, yet the evolution of the workplace with global workplaces like WeWork suggests we actually want to be together to do our work. What we're building is flexibility, and a mobilefirst approach to make working on the road between appointments even easier.
NO ONE'S ASKING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE GET TO THE POINT OF DIGITAL SATURATION – WE'RE ALREADY HERE.