D-day for dig­i­tal di­nosaurs

New tech­nol­ogy of­fers plenty of ways for de­ter­mined agents to mar­ket their prop­er­ties, but the hu­man touch will also al­ways be a part of the selling process

The Courier-Mail - Property - - REALESTATE MARKET OUTLOOK -

TWO buzz words are fil­ter­ing through real es­tate at the mo­ment – dis­rup­tion and dis­in­ter­me­di­a­tion.

We can easily grasp what dis­rup­tion means be­cause we’ve seen it with Uber, with Airbnb and with dig­i­tal cam­eras and Ko­dak.

Dis­in­ter­me­di­a­tion is the re­duc­tion of in­ter­me­di­aries in a trans­ac­tion. In the real es­tate con­text this means the min­imi­sa­tion – or even the elim­i­na­tion – of real es­tate sales agents and prop­erty man­agers, who are the in­ter­me­di­aries be­tween buy­ers and sellers or be­tween land­lords and ten­ants.

Both of these “d” words spell dis­as­ter (another “d” word) for real es­tate prac­ti­tion­ers who fear they may go the way of another “d” word – the di­nosaur – and be made ex­tinct.

But the REIQ sees a far more pos­i­tive thing hap­pen­ing as real es­tate agents adapt and in­te­grate tech­nol­ogy into their busi­ness, cre­at­ing new dig­i­tal ways to con­nect with clients.

We are see­ing agents mov­ing into so­cial media in great num­bers, and ex­celling at it, at­tract­ing ever greater num­bers of fol­low­ers as they of­fer more in­ter­est­ing and cre­ative con­tent in the real es­tate frame.

New apps are be­ing cre­ated by or for real es­tate agents, who are em­brac­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties that tech­nol­ogy brings, iden­ti­fy­ing new ways to im­prove their ser­vice of­fer­ing.

Tech­nol­ogy has en­abled our agents to con­nect with clients in a mul­ti­tude of ways, of­fer­ing choice and lev­els of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the client in a tai­lored way that has never be­fore been pos­si­ble.

In days gone by, an agent would up­date their seller with a reg­u­lar phone call about the process of the house sale.

To­day, an agent can call, text, email, or Periscope the up­date about the latest open house. We’re see­ing some agents us­ing Periscope not only to up­date their clients on the open house, but to also con­duct open houses re­motely.

The democrati­sa­tion of data means that house buy­ers are more in­formed and bet­ter ed­u­cated about the mar­ket than ever be­fore. They can ac­cu­rately and as­tutely eval­u­ate a home’s selling price with a higher de­gree of suc­cess than ever be­fore. But an agent can help an­a­lyse the data, bring­ing it down to a neigh­bour­hood level. An agent can rec­om­mend sub­urbs that will suit a fam­ily, or a young sin­gle cou­ple, from their deep, de­tailed mar­ket knowl­edge.

Also, the apps and the data fail in two im­por­tant ar­eas where a real es­tate agent shines.

Apps can’t pro­vide the per­sonal ser­vice and hu­man el­e­ment. They can’t spot a wor­ried face or a con­cerned ex­pres­sion and ad­dress those con­cerns. All the tech­nol­ogy in the world can’t hold your hand on auc­tion day and steady your nerves as you wait for the auc­tion­eer to bang the gavel.

And the tech­nol­ogy can’t adapt. The dig­i­tal tools that are pro­lif­er­at­ing the real es­tate space are static tools and if they don’t suit you then you sim­ply don’t use them. How­ever, an agent can tai­lor their ap­proach for each dif­fer­ent client in mul­ti­tude ways. They can pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion – or less if you’re over­whelmed, they can pro­vide more com­mu­ni­ca­tion – or less if you’re busy and trust them – to suit each client’s par­tic­u­lar needs. In the end, it’s the agent whose abil­i­ties to adapt that will win the day.

And that’s why the agent will al­ways be part of the process.

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