By its customers,
profitability and sustainability). Time will tell whether the market will adopt these models partially, significantly or not at all in the medium to long term. Right now, it’s too early to judge market take-up, and whether 1.5% is a model that can be sustainably profitable.”
He says, however, it is a given there will be ongoing technological/digital advances and increasing automation of many processes within the real estate environment, seemingly at almost every component of what makes up a real estate transaction. Some – like search (via portals) – have occurred already; others will take longer.
“Notwithstanding these technological advances, for now, consumers – both home purchasers and sellers – are seeing value in the ongoing human interaction value that traditional estate agents provide. The requirement of and need for credible, professional, expert advice is sensible and prudent.
“No property transaction is exactly the same as another. Each has specific peculiarities and nuances to which the average homeowner is not likely to have been exposed.”
Golding says automated, non-agent models presume the buyer and the seller can reach agreement on price without an intermediary.
“Our experience over 40 years is that this is often not the case and another area where an agent brings their considerable skill and knowhow to bear.”
Rob Stefanutto, group managing director, Dogon Group Properties, says: “While alternative options exist, it is important to compare apples with apples in terms of the services you receive.”
The daily tasks of an estate agent have changed “quite considerably over the past few years” and they now no longer simply sell real estate.
“With the advent of Fica and Capital Gains Tax and other changes in the industry, a proficient broker is there not only to market your property, but also to guide you through the process.
“A good agency will understand how to deal with all the compliances you need for your finance, and any other pitfalls that may arise in today’s market.
“Many consumers have limited knowledge of the real estate business and an estate agent should be seen as a property professional.
“This is one of the reasons why the Estate Agency Affairs Board and agencies over the past few years have increased the levels of training for their agents and members. This has meant the commission paid is for a full service bouquet to the consumer,” says Steffanutti.
Disruptor PropertyFox agrees that you have to compare apples with apples.
Its co- founder, Ashley James, says they saw and took a gap in the market “to help people sell their houses for a fraction of the cost, while simultaneously offering more exposure in the market”.
“PropertyFox can’t be compared to an estate agency as we don’t have the same systems or the same financial structure as the traditional model. We are a team that utilises technology to offer clients more, for less. We focus on selling homes as well as the speed with which the transaction takes place.”
Customer service, he says, is “our strongest attribute, followed by massive savings”.
“We have, in fact, reinvented and restructured the traditional sales model not only to significantly reduce the costs involved, but also to allow for
Technology has seen ‘disruptors’ moving into the real estate market, offering huge savings on the commission charged for negotiating sales.