Brendan Wong and Stacey Moseley
Technology can be a barrier to real estate agents if it is used incorrectly, according to a number of leading industry service providers.
At Real Estate Business’ recent Technology Roundtable, experts were asked if technology-based tools could impede the work of agents.
Director of Real Simple Property Gary Odewahn said the blame did not lie with the agents themselves but with providers, since issues were usually due to agents being unable to use their system or software.
“It’s actually [necessary to go back and say], 'We haven't developed it smart enough', so we’ll use things like passive mouse monitoring [and] heat map tracking to actually find out what the user’s doing, where they’re getting stuck, so we can actually change our system to benefit them,” he said.
“I think at the end of the day, it’s up to the provider to make the system smarter [and] simpler ... so that we don’t have these technology barriers or [agents] using technology incorrectly.
“That’s the biggest thing we’ve found: just making sure that we follow what the user is doing so that we can make the improvements from there.”
CEO of Onthehouse Holdings Michael Fredericks said the industry had moved towards a reliance on 'gadgets'.
“The point of it should be having the right discussions with the right people at the right time and then it’s up to the strategy and the brand and the individual involved,” he said.
“You can’t get past that at the end of the day. It’s a service industry. It’s just how you have those discussions [more smartly], so smarter marketing, more efficient use of time.”
General manager, real estate at Domain, Tony Blamey, said good strategies required agencies to establish goals.
“I think it’s important too that the goals are clear, that the principal is setting the right goals and setting a strategy to deliver those goals and not just picking up technology or doing things because it’s a nice idea,” Mr Blamey said.
Product director of MyDesktop Damon Pezaro said that ultimately, there is a need to understand the value that technology offers an agent and not to let it compromise face-to-face communication.
“It’s all too easy to sometimes hide behind technology because it’s often very efficient and quick versus the value of picking up the telephone or actually going out and visiting someone.
“I think it’s finding that balance, not being lost in the technology and using it as a way to just add extra value to your business.”
The other attendees at the roundtable were managing director of Agent Box, Eddie Cetin; CEO of Price Finder, Tom White; head of product at Rockend, Scott Shepherd; managing director of Real Simple Property, Gary Odewahn; and segment leader at RP Data, Mike Salway.