REB asked four of Australia’s leading networks what they have learnt from the UK, US and other overseas markets, and how they are implementing these best practices into their own networks.
LJ Hooker network chief Graeme Hyde said the US is the fastest-growing online learning marketplace in the world.
“We’re bringing that flexibility to Australia through our bespoke online coaching and training platform, RealEdge,” Mr Hyde said.
He said that LJ Hooker is currently rolling out its second stage of RealEdge.
“It is a more mobile-dependent approach. Mobile in terms of agents’ use of mobile phones and tablets to absorb information, and mobile in terms of the mobility of our agents.
“Successful agents rarely spend extended periods of time at their desk, so the LJ Hooker Training Institute has ensured modules and training sessions are short, intensive and come in a variety of engaging formats blended with video and podcasts.”
He said that RealEdge is a multi-tiered platform.
“Users are given a unique login to RealEdge, which reflects their capabilities,” Mr Hyde said.
“For instance, newcomers to real estate must complete introductory modules before accessing further training; an agent writing say $150,000 GCI that is challenged by listing presentations can undertake best-practice learnings to overcome this discipline; while a million-dollar writer would undertake modules which coach them on managing PAs and sales assistants.”
Mr Hyde also said that LJ Hooker has introduced “blended learning” to RealEdge, a combination of online and offline training and learning.
“Blended learning is a large part of LJ Hooker’s industry-leading Future Captains Program. Prior to the four-day Future Captains Program, attendees must complete online modules which are the entrée to the classroom teachings of the program.
“Creating an online/offline program stimulates students by allowing them to discuss e-learnings in a classroom environment with highly experienced teachers and fellow agents, allowing for a richer and more effective learning experience.”
Century 21 chairman and owner Charles Tarbey said that, wherever possible, C21 looks to take a global approach to various real estate projects.
“A buyer for a property in Australia or New Zealand can come from anywhere in the world these days, and as the world’s largest real estate sales organisation, we can utilise our collective resources and reach to help ensure that properties that are listed with C21 attract global interest.
“This is a unique proposition and one that appeals to sellers and helps our agents win listings.”
Raine & Horne executive chairman Angus Raine said that Raine & Horne constantly monitors the new trends emerging in the UK.
“Significantly, we were introduced to CCT Marketing, the Scandinavian company that has developed the Amplify technology by our British affiliates,” Mr Raine said.
“The London-based firm has used the technology to drive up appraisals, listings and sales across the British capital.”
Mr Raine said that the group has since implemented the Amplify software, with “stellar” results.
“Since launching, over 3,200 listings across the Raine & Horne network have used Amplify,” the executive chairman said.
“The results have been exceptional. The average reading time is more than two minutes, which over the course of the year has generated more than 100,000 hours spent on our website via Amplify ads alone. And the click-through rate is 12 per cent, compared with a real estate industry average of 1 per cent.”
Mr Raine said that in almost every situation, the page views from the Amplify program have exceeded the page views from every other property platform.
“More significantly, millions of Australians have been exposed to the Raine & Horne brand, with over 2.77 million taking the time to review a property on rh.com.au.”
Laing+Simmons managing director Leanne Pilkington said that given the tens of billions being invested in the global real tech space, on unlocking the potential of artificial intelligence and its scope to disrupt the industry, Laing+Simmons has commenced an active investment in this space through its parent company, Dexar Group.
“It’s clear that consumer expectation is being fundamentally reshaped by organisations that have led in the tech space to deliver amazing customer experiences, and we refuse to be left behind by the coming shift that AI will create.
“Yes, there are threats, but there is also a multitude of opportunities that digital transformation and artificial intelligence will bring to real estate.”
Ms Pilkington said that real tech can enable agents to understand more about consumers.
“Down to a fine granular detail, meaning consumer experiences can be personalised en masse to develop new, scalable service offerings and business models that deliver a valuable, frictionless service.”
Ms Pilkington said that Laing+Simmons is investigating the possibilities of AI in real estate at the franchisor level.
“For instance, we’re looking into the possibilities associated with machine learning, natural language processing, voice user interface, expert systems which simulate human thinking, and vision machine recognition.
“All of these have real estate implications. Ultimately, our objective is to create a platform or ecosystem that triggers into action as soon as someone touches the Laing+Simmons brand, regardless of how they do so.”
Ms Pilkington said that harnessing the power of big data will play a highly significant role in the future of real estate.
“The more we understand consumers and their needs, the better we’ll be able to predict what they want and need from us.
“We can then create services around this insight, turning real estate on its head from being primarily a services industry to a data industry, monetising data through the delivery of products and services around property transactions.”