In the last two decades, technology has changed the world so much that it can appear unrecognisable.
Industries which were once thought untouchable have folded, while others have been forced to adapt or die. And, as the real estate sector has been gradually finding out (and which the pandemic has accelerated) technological innovation can be far more helpful than harmful if used, and embraced, appropriately.
While once real estate agents relied on manual handling in pretty much all aspects of their job, technology has made it possible for much of their work to be automated and digitised.
One advantage of adopting a technology platform such as Sorted Services, which is especially designed for the real estate sector, is that it’s able to take care of 50 per cent of the tasks that occupy an agent’s time and mental energy.
Proptechs now offer a seamless tenant onboarding process, not only reducing costs in operational support, but also enhancing the overall customer experience.
Reference checking, communications and leasing handovers, which used to take hours of agents’ time and emotional energy, can now be largely automated, redirecting agents’ time to more pleasant and interesting tasks, such as thinking of ways to meet clients’ emotional needs or expanding the business further.
The internet also provides real estate agent businesses with far more targeted reach than traditional newspapers. Agents used to spend small fortunes running classified ads in newspapers, while now far more sophisticated Google and ad targeting can get much better results at a fraction of the cost.
If technology could help take the pressure off of marketing costs, application and reference checks, agents could spend more time providing customers with the assurance that they’re being listened to and that their issues are being addressed in a timely and sensitive manner.
Easier for consumers means more business for Real Estate Australia
Technology (and various proptechs) in the past 15 years has fundamentally changed how consumers search for homes.
Consumers are going online to look for information to support their buying and renting decisions, with surveys demonstrating that more than 90 per cent start their new home journey online.
People also watch “how-to” videos on YouTube, read review sites, look up specific brands on search engines and already have an idea of what they want before an agent even enters the picture.
As a result, agents no longer have to take each client to see new properties for the first time, freeing them up to deliver better client service by going above and beyond what is expected.
The fact that consumers also search online more means that portals such as Domain or Realestate.com.au can gather valuable data into consumer renting and buying behaviour, making it easier for agents to advertise appropriately to different segments of society.
For instance, we know that in Australia, national buyer demand fluctuates wildly across the states, with New South Wales and Victoria seeing high activity while smaller states such as the Northern Territory and Western Australia commanding less, and different, types of attention.
It’s difficult to see just how much the various proptechs, enabled by the internet, have changed the way real estate functions. While what we’ve included above may not seem so revolutionary now, literally life-changing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, cloud services or touch screens didn’t even exist 16 years ago, let alone were being used routinely in most industries and by most people.
Who’s to say what will happen in the next 16?