Is it time for a revolution in the real estate industry? Many would say it’s not only time for revolution, but that it’s long overdue.
On Easter Sunday I was interviewed on the Sunday Social, a Radio Live show focusing on technology about the impact of the digital era on the real estate industry and what it could mean for the future (listen to the full interview here.) Truth be told, the impact of technology to date hasn’t yet been felt in our industry. Call us impatient, but we think the real estate industry has a touch of the ‘technological complacencies.’ This terrible infliction results in an unhealthy reliance on outdated, expensive business models while ignoring the simple, efficient new technologies that are all around us.
Stand up people. It’s time to embrace the technology.
Joining the revolution
We’ve seen many industries transform themselves in recent years. And those industries that haven’t transformed and have remained complacent in the face of change have been subjected to the devastating effects of clever, young disrupters. Think Uber, who arrived on the scene and shook the taxi industry to its core. Or the way Netflix hammered the final nail in the coffin of the corner Blockbuster video store. Clever industries willing to embrace low-cost, efficient and simple-to-use technology are providing customers with huge benefits without (and this is the important part) compromising on the quality of the service provided. In the days of TradeMe, Google Maps and qv.co.nz, there’s a legitimate reason for asking why the cost of real estate commissions are so high when so much information is already available. Around our (virtual) office, you won’t find a technophobe among us. Since The Property Market opened its doors 5 years ago, we have fervently embraced new ideas and new technologies to give customers a better deal on commission rates. It’s the reason our fees are a shadow of what the bigger players charge. If we can automate it, take it online or outsource it, we will.
These days, many smart, lean businesses outsource functions like IT, marketing and accounting. The Property Market has shed a huge cost by outsourcing its trust account. We operate through an independent trust account and have removed the need for an in-house resource to manage, reconcile and audit the account. The benefit is a digital service that disperses funds quickly and provides higher levels of compliance and control.
The online world is where clever things are born. Some of the ‘clever things’ The Property Market uses include an online appraisals generator, an online tool for document management and sharing, a cloud-based CMS and a cloud-based office to keep up with communication while out on the road. With a simple click of the mouse, we have removed the need for an admin resource by embracing these smart online tools.
Clearly, no real estate listing is worth its salt these days if it doesn’t have an amazing online presence. At The Property Market, we like to take things one step further and provide a few ‘enhancements’ to the online presence. Each property has a unique URL, like this, to boost search performance. As the attention span of online audiences shrinks ever smaller, we’ve embraced the visual medium of video. The Property Market creates a simple, short video for each property to boost social media and web listings, like this. Also virtual 3D property tours, like this, allow buyers to take a tour of the house without leaving their lounge room.
On the horizon
Drone photography continues to improve and provide a chance to grab that killer hero shot. Virtual home-staging technology allows vendors to (virtually) turn an empty room into a beautifully presented space. On the horizon for the real estate industry is geo-fencing where users can opt in and receive notifications of properties for sale based on where they are currently located. This technology is currently used by the retail industry.
Is it all over for the real estate agent?
With private sales remaining steady at 10% of all house sales, it’s clear the public isn’t ready to ditch the real estate agent anytime soon. There is still real value placed on the services of a professional, experienced agent acting on your behalf as you enter into negotiations for what may be the biggest transaction of your life. We’ve seen too many well-meaning folks get into legal or financial hot water after trying to execute a real estate deal on their own. Using technology to expedite or remove the administration side of buying and selling property allows the skills and expertise of a good agent to shine through. With so much available online, the days of open, honest and transparent disclosure of property information can’t be far away. If your real estate agent is still using a roll-a-desk and a pager, it might be time to shop around for a newer model. After all, we have the technology people.
About The Property Market
The Property Market is a full service real estate agency built to deliver a better experience for buyers and sellers. Think real estate, only reinvented.
– Our real estate agents operate in the central and west Auckland suburbs.
– Our real estate agent commission rates are innovative and competitive.
– Our focus on customer service is second-to-none.
– We offer a range of clever online marketing solutions, including a mobile-friendly, personalised website for your property.