The of­fice of the fu­ture will have ev­ery work­flow os­cil­lat­ing around the needs of their com­mu­nity, pro­vid­ing a gen­uine ser­vice long be­fore they re­quire any real es­tate sales sup­port. Mark McLeod ex­plains.

Elite Agent - - CONTENTS - Mark McLeod

Mark McLeod

Idon’t know whether you have ever tried to write a song, but when I was younger and tried I couldn’t help just re­gur­gi­tat­ing a tune that al­ready ex­isted. Many peo­ple have been asked what the real es­tate of­fice of the fu­ture may look like. It’s quite a chal­lenge to an­swer, as the most dif­fi­cult part is to sep­a­rate your­self from what you al­ready know – not un­like my song-writ­ing at­tempts. But let’s try any­way.

Let’s start by putting the cus­tomer at the cen­tre of ev­ery­thing we do, iden­ti­fy­ing ‘the cus­tomer’ as ev­ery­one who owns a home or en­quires about a home in the area in which you op­er­ate.

The of­fice of the fu­ture will be about more than list­ing and sell­ing. It may be around util­i­ties, how to en­hance the value of their home through ren­o­vat­ing or land­scap­ing, how to se­cure a bet­ter home loan, bet­ter home in­sur­ance, or even down to what new tech­nol­ogy might power the home. Could it be that we pro­vide a full life­style ser­vice?

Then the way that we com­mu­ni­cate to these peo­ple will change. Con­tent will be­come king; the old chest­nut of the agent shak­ing hands with a client in front of a sign­board will not cut it. In-depth, rel­e­vant com­mu­ni­ca­tion about their in­vest­ment, about their life­style, about their com­mu­nity will be at the fore­front; con­tent that is edgy and en­gag­ing, and will keep the con­sumers in our chan­nels longer.

The role of the agent, more than likely, will have to change. We have com­plex dig­i­tal chan­nels rush­ing into our world – por­tals, mo­bile phones, web­sites, so­cial me­dia – and there will be an ex­pec­ta­tion of speed, ef­fi­ciency and the way we re­spond. I can see a day when it is un­likely that an in­di­vid­ual agent will be able to man­age these chan­nels in a way that meets cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tion.

Un­der­stand­ing leads and prospecting is ob­vi­ously one of the most sought-af­ter train­ing pro­grams. How­ever, our re­search shows that most agents have enough leads to last them a life­time. How we han­dle our leads, how we man­age our in­bound leads and the on­go­ing lead mat­u­ra­tion, will be owned and con­trolled by the of­fices of the fu­ture. Will that be owned by in­di­vid­u­als or will there be a way to out­source lead gen­er­a­tion in a way we have never thought of be­fore?

I cer­tainly haven’t got a crys­tal ball that al­lows me to look into what the fu­ture may hold. Un­like many in our in­dus­try, all the usurpers that now present them­selves, from Pur­ple­bricks to the lead gen­er­a­tors, are only iden­ti­fy­ing the short­falls in our cur­rent pro­cesses.

The chal­lenge will be how we de­liver real value back to com­mu­ni­ties that are start­ing to ques­tion the ser­vice we of­fer.

I don’t be­lieve that any­thing will re­place a great re­la­tion­ship and on­go­ing true value. The chal­lenge will be the tools we use to de­velop those re­la­tion­ships, and how we de­liver and dis­play real value back to com­mu­ni­ties that are start­ing to ques­tion the ser­vice we of­fer as an in­dus­try. The fu­ture will be­long to those mem­bers of our real es­tate com­mu­nity who seek to find the an­swers to all their cus­tomer needs.

Mark McLeod is the Ray White Group’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Growth. He works along­side both agents and busi­nesses across Aus­tralia, help­ing them reach their ul­ti­mate po­ten­tial to achieve suc­cess.

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