Agents who do not embrace new technology are running the risk of being ‘left out of the equation’, a business consultant and strategist has claimed.
Creative director at Sydney-based Thinque, Anders Sorman-Nilsson, warned agents and property management professionals at the recent PPM National Property Management Conference that adapting to the digital age is vital for agents who don’t want to be left behind.
“Unless you adapt and adopt that digital revolution, you don’t have much time left in business. Anything that can be digitised will be digitised,” Mr Sorman-Nilsson told Real Estate Business.
While Mr Sorman-Nilsson admits that face-to-face communication is still important, he said websites will soon bypass real estate agents entirely and those who are not prepared will suffer.
“We’re seeing that right now with some websites which manage real estate transactions with landlords and tenants directly," he said. "So you need to engage clients on two levels. You need to appeal to their digital minds and their analog hearts.”
Mr Sorman-Nilsson comments come shortly after a selection of agents questioned whether technology would remove the need for a shop front.
Moreover, recent comments by industry trainer Josh Phegan about a move away from social media and technology by some top performing agents also fired up robust debate.
Mr Sorman-Nilsson said that consumers are thinking more about convenience, speed and mobile communication, but still want customer service and connectivity with an agent.
“I think what principals need to learn is to adapt to the latest digital ways of communicating, to respect Facebook usage. Sometimes it’s really convenient to send an SMS."
“Principals need to create a workspace where their staff are communicating to each other and to clients through both digital and analog means.
“The digital generations, like gen Y and Z, also need to be up-skilled and learn the good old ways that are seen as respectful forms of communication."