According to product director at Domain Damon Pezaro, agents need to tap into the potential of ‘big data’ generated from mobile technology and social media networks in order to stay relevant in the changing real estate sphere.
“Big data is really looking at how you take insights into your business through the emerging trends of data and content types,” he told Real Estate Business.
“The key thing around big data is how, as a business, do you make better decisions quicker and more effectively that drive efficiencies through your business?
“Companies now are able to track, store and analyse data in a way that they’ve never been able to before. If you look at all the data that exists in the world today, almost 90 per cent of that has been generated in the last two years alone."
According to Mr Pezaro, agents would be able to have more meaningful conversations with their clients, as they are still an important stakeholder in property transactions.
“Information is freely available to consumers and to be fair, a lot of agents are very scared of this [as] they feel it’s taken their power away," he said.
“It’s a change that’s only going to keep on progressing, and I think it allows agents to really position themselves as even greater local market experts.”
Big data was already being used in overseas markets, with US-based real estate portals Zillow and Trullia tailoring relevant data to homebuyers, he said.
“Take, for example, someone who might be very risk averse and they might have a young family and they’re very interested in buying a property in a neighbourhood that’s safe,” he said.
“What Zillow and Trullia have done is that they’ve taken crime statistics in history so you can now look at a property in the area it’s located in and have full access to the crime reports. As a potential buyer, you can feel very safe in your decision to buy in a certain area."
Mr Pezaro advised agents to start looking at the data they currently had and what they could use.
“For example, if someone’s searching on your site, there’s probably a lot of information that they’ve given you without you even realising it, and that provides a lot of context for that person," he explained.
“It’s very important to start with the end goal in mind and very important to understand where data can add value to your business and where it cannot.
“Data in itself is not going to change your business overnight just because you’ve started to track information.”
Offices should also work with other businesses, such as Domain, to take advantage of different data sets.
“We’ve recently launched an agency performance report, which allows principals in an agency to really reference our data to provide very interesting insights and answer questions about their business," he said.
“The portals have a lot of information and, importantly, we’ve invested in the skills to be able to track and analyse this data and absolutely, it’s a matter of working closer with the portals and the industry to better understand prospective buyers and sellers."