While many remain at loggerheads over exactly how the industry will be disrupted, most agree that change is coming and that new technologies will shape its future. We asked some of the leading proponents of change about the tech influences we should be anticipating.
General manager at Professionals Alastair Lias said that tech will make itself most felt in the lead generation space by identifying targets early and then mapping them to a close.
“The use of technology to pinpoint prospective sellers early in the customer journey and the ability for programs to assist nurture them to listing,” the GM said.
“This means that the more automated the process, the better to assist in reaching desired customer touchpoints and targeting.”
He said that all of the available data will be channelled in this way.
“We are also heavily relying on lead generation websites that have been internally developed with automated sending and receiving of data between agent and client.”
General manager at Elders Tom Russo said that the PM sector is a good place to start to get an idea of what to expect.
“A great example of new technology enabling our industry are the new products available in the residential property management sector, including electronic payment options, automated maintenance management applications and digital document solutions,” the GM said.
“If embraced, this technology can create significant efficiency improvements in any agency, pushing up margins and strengthening the business.”
The new tech benefits don’t end there, Mr Russo said.
“It also achieves the goal of keeping our landlord clients happy by creating an interface that saves them time, provides them with more control and delivers more transparency into the management of their asset.”
Mr Russo said that tech developments are improving the sales process as well.
“The advancement in CRM platform development, clever digital deal origination products and intelligent prospecting applications utilising ever-expanding data sources enable agents who are willing to embrace best practice to be even more effective and successful.”
He also said that he doesn’t necessarily agree that technology is a threat to the industry.
“Many people in our industry seem to approach proptech or realtech from a defensive position and are pre-occupied by the notion of digital disruption and disintermediation.
“While we definitely need to be alive to disruption and ready to adapt to deal with it, much of the technology coming to market is actually geared towards enabling agencies to perform at a higher level or to create efficiencies, and therefore greater margins and more robust P&Ls.”
Mr Russo said that Elders’ focus is on creating a better experience for its clients.
“What has traditionally been considered agency and property management best practice is often no longer good enough as our clients demand communications, decision-making tools and real-time access to detailed information to be delivered in a form dictated by them.
“The new generation doesn’t necessarily want to sit and hear a detailed weekly campaign briefing from their agent over coffee, but rather want to receive real-time bite-sized updates as events occur or when it suits them.
“So, success will require agents to adapt to evolving client expectations in the context of technology continually changing the vendor-agent relationship.”
Coronis managing director Andrew Coronis agreed but added that real estate, no matter how it evolves, is a people business.
“Customer experience is the core of every good business. You can add as much tech as you want to any business; however, it all comes back to the experience you offer the customer,” the MD said.
To this end, Mr Coronis said that the tech developments Coronis is working on are those that marry the two disciplines together.
“We have identified key software and technology that can help immensely improve the user experience.
“Moving forward, the industry will need to bring major listing sites and the customer transaction closer together. Coronis is currently working with various software partners to make that a reality for our clients such as Google, Bing and Microsoft.”