With cooling markets, tech distraction and a DIY model increasingly making its presence felt, real estate in Australia is positioned for change. We asked three AREC 2018 speakers how the industry might look five years from now.
Coach, trainer and keynote speaker Lee Woodward said that we can expect to see more transparency, more normal people working in specialist roles and the pooling of fees.
“In the next five years, real estate won’t be dominated by solo agents. You are going to see team-based specialist business, where three or four people — specialist teams — work on your home,” Mr Woodward told REB.
“My daughter is what they call a leverage agent. She works with a full-blown real estate agent, but she only does one part of the puzzle. She shows the properties, makes sure the owners are up to date, and then escalates the offers to the lead agent who is then responsible for the deal coming together.”
Mr Woodward also said that the industry will also get a facelift.
“Businesses like Airbnb, Airtasker and Uber have brought in a modern, fresh flavor to a very old-fashioned industry.”
For example, the coach said that Airbnb runs property management better today than the real estate industry has ever run property management.
“And we have been here forever,” Mr Woodward said.
“But they just brought in a fresh model where reviews are an interesting thing. While we [read] some agent reviews, they are not publicly transparent as with something like Airbnb or Uber.”
REB Top 100 Agent James Tostevin, from Marshall White, said that he expects there to be a thinning out of numbers, especially now as some of the country’s key markets in Sydney and Melbourne begin to cool.
“The market has been going well and has been readily employing people, almost where there have been too many people within an office, within a company, within an area,” Mr Tostevin said.
“And that is an issue that is confronting our industry moving forward. There will be some people that won’t survive in real estate realistically, the financial benefits of being in our industry will fall away, the hard work that is required, the diligence required is going to be really, really challenging for agents.”
Mr Tostevin said that some will drop out naturally, but others might need to be moved on.
“And companies are going to need to make tough decisions about those that can really survive.”
Mr Tostevin said that a big issue, which will continue to be a problem unless it is corrected, is that of agents undervaluing themselves.
“This is an enormous issue and problem in our market. This becomes their point of difference. It is how they think they can attract that client, that listing — by being cheaper than the competition.
“In some ways, they have made a rod for their own backs. Then if you get referrals and someone says, ‘But you sold for my sister or parents for this fee, why are you suddenly asking for this higher fee?’, you put yourself in a really difficult position.”
Leading coach Josh Phegan feels that the market will be “exactly" the same over the course of the next five years, suggesting that the cream will always rise to the top — no matter the hurdles.
“I think that great agents are always going to do well. I think that the people that have the desire, vision, capability and are coachable and prepared to learn, will absolutely own that marketplace,” the coach said.
“Every market is a market, and you need to make a decision about how to ply your trade. As (American entrepreneur and philosopher) Jim Rohn says: the moment you set the sales, the wind changes, so you change the way the sails are set in order to capture the wind to progress your business and to grow it”.
All three are speakers at AREC 2018.