Cast your mind back to life a decade ago. You probably had a flip phone. You might have been wearing Ed Hardy, and it’s possible you were posting five-word updates on new-fangled platform ‘Facebook’.
George W. Bush was still President, and TomKat was a thing. You had a permanent desk in your agency (hotdesks were still away in the future). You replied to emails from your computer. It’s likely you got your daily dose of news from the TV, a newspaper or the radio. My how things have changed! Today, we receive our news, interact with our friends and shop via our mobile devices. Our phones and tablets have brought the workplace into our domestic environment too, with emails being received ‘round the clock. This single piece of mobile technology has changed everything about our lives: from our workplaces, to our patterns as consumers. Of course, it’s totally changed the reality of being an estate agent, too.
The future of real estate is about mobility. Enabled by technology, estate agencies and individual agents have the power to be agile and responsive. Powered by new apps rich with incredible data about the communities we service, individual agents now have the capacity to boost productivity, amplify their influence and leverage their markets. There’s no excuse for estate agencies living in the past, using databases which actively disadvantage their team’s earning capacity. The reality is, real estate is a technology business: it’s about data incoming to your team, and data outgoing (at the right time, in the right way) to your audience of prospective clients. Here’s how the future of real estate will look.
New Principal-Agent Relationships
Welcome to the era of the ‘free agent’, irrevocably changing the nature of relationships between Principals and their sales teams. In the past, real estate accountability was about hours on the phone in the office. It meant data being captured and held by the Principal alone. Today, high-performing agents want relationships of greater freedom and parity with their chosen employer. The new era of high-performance real estate is one of ‘pod’ formations, comprising of a listing agent, buyer’s agent and marketing administrator. Such powerful pod collaborations have the power to bring their own databases with them wherever they elect to build their businesses. Accountability in the new era of real estate is about measurable results and outcomes rather than putting in hours on the floor of an agency: freedom meets responsibility in a collaboration between agent and Principal that works both ways.
Real Time Listing
An increasingly educated clientele of vendors and landlords want pacey communications and quick results from their real estate partners. Resultantly, agents are working 24-7 in ways that suit them. Whether they’re proving their deep market connections via a tailored tablet presentation in a vendor’s workplace or loungeroom, or providing confidence-building stats to buyers at an OFI – agents will need to invest in quality technology and databases to build value and add clout. There’s no coming back to win the listing: it’s winner takes all in the moment.
Not all CRMs are created equal. And until the NBN’s issues nation-wide are sorted, uniform quality in coverage across Australia isn’t a sure thing, either. As agents spend more time in the field and less time in the office, a database being mobile-friendly is critical to listing success. You can’t afford to miss out on winning the business because you couldn’t SMS a ‘hot buyer’ list for your potential vendor ‘on-the-spot’. Ensure any database you invest in has offline capacity, allowing data collected whilst off-grid to neatly synchronise when returning online. Clean data is valuable data: offline capacity is the way of the future, protecting your investment.
Mobility on All Fronts
The reality of an increasingly technology-centric real estate industry is less agents doing more work. The future agent is fleet-footed, able to keep pace with their clients’ demands on-the-go with supreme accuracy and speed. Whether the daily office is your Range Rover or a chic coworking space, you will need to easily contact all relevant potential purchasers of a property, and reach out to them swiftly from your tablet or phone. Equally, if a hot buyer is ready to make a decision – you’ll need the power to identify prospective vendors whose property match their requirements and make them aware of the opportunity immediately.
In the future, it’s winner takes all. And that winner takes it with technology.