Proptech is increasingly imposing itself on the Australian real estate landscape. Those few that still resist it will continue to isolate themselves and become marginalised. The majority will embrace it and thrive. Here is how four of the top networks are helping with the everyday integration.
Laing+Simmons managing director Leanne Pilkington said that technology never sleeps, and that Laing+Simmons is constantly reviewing its systems to remain at the cutting edge.
“We have commenced a serious investigation into the implications artificial intelligence will have on real estate and how we can harness the power of data to help our people deliver better customer service.
“We are always investing in new technologies. Part of our brand proposition in the crowded marketplace is that of being an innovator and we’ve won numerous awards in this space.”
Ms Pilkington said that Laing+Simmons has pioneered many innovative initiatives, including the comprehensive agent resource library available via the Laing+Simmons App.
She said that Digital Frameworks is the app’s next evolution.
“It’s an online learning management system which provides every member of the Laing+Simmons family access to an easy-to-follow road map of learning modules instantaneously.
“Whether our people are on their mobile, tablet or desktop, they have click-through access to audio, videos and reading material — around 900 resources in total — 24/7.”
LJ Hooker network chief Graeme Hyde,said that, last year, LJ Hooker launched its $1 million social and digital media strategy, LJ Hooker Boost.
“As part of Boost, LJ Hooker partnered with digital advertising aggregator Tiger Pistol to promote listings and amplify the profile of agents through Facebook and Instagram,” Mr Hyde said.
“Generating leads through advanced data targeting, the initiative generated a spike in enquiries and enhanced the pipelines of agents.”
Mr Hyde added that LJ Hooker Boost included stylised, specialist property domains through its Spotlight feature, enhancing the presentation and SEO of listings.
And to round out a holistic online experience, LJ Hooker customers, via a tool called ActivePipe, received automated (and engaging) content to assist them in their property journey, Mr Hyde added.
The network chief also said that some of the results were remarkable.
“An average of 457,920 LJ Hooker advertisements were seen each day on Facebook and Instagram, resulting in a 133 per cent year-on-year increase campaign appraisals for agencies.
“Of all new LJ Hooker listings in 2018, the Spotlight premium packages have accounted for more than a third of all marketing campaigns, helping our vendors’ properties stand out in the marketplace.”
Century 21 chairman and owner Charles Tarbey said that the C21 network has a “world-class, real-time” CRM developed specifically for its agents and offices.
“Century 21 has always invested heavily into technology,” Mr Tarbey said.
“So, our offices were well placed to benefit off the sweeping technological changes and changing consumer habits that have affected the industry over the last decade.”
Mr Tarbey said that it was important to keep abreast of changes and industry dynamics.
He said that this allows for early identification of both growth and problem areas in the business.
“Our focus is on ensuring that our value offering to agents is as strong as it can be. Our marketing clearly promotes and differentiates our offices in the field. I believe that growth will take care of itself if we do these, and other little things, right.”
To this end, Mr Tarbey pointed to C21’s recently launched marketing campaign, saying that the initiative was already yielding results.
“We recently launched one of our largest marketing campaigns in Australian history in order to promote the repositioning of our brand. This investment is already benefitting our offices and helping to strengthen the network.”
Raine & Horne executive chairman Angus Raine said that Raine & Horne’s commitment to embracing proptech can be quickly answered with two words: Digikit and Amplify.
“Digikit is a first-to-market web-based interactive appraisal platform for both sales and property management, which is exclusive to our network.
“This product sets us apart from our competitors, and it is already receiving a significant thumbs up from consumers. It is a fantastic innovation that streamlines the appraisal process and delivers eye-catching documents, which are brand-consistent whether we are working with a landlord in Darwin or a Melbourne home owner.”
Mr Raine said that Raine & Horne launched in 2018 its social media marketing platform, Amplify, which scrapes data from Google and Facebook to target the most relevant buyers.
“Amplify uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to constantly update our property ads across multiple channels so that our agents have the best opportunity to increase their sales.”
He said that the results to date have been stunning.
“The Raine & Horne website is ranking number one behind the portals in the suburbs and towns where Amplify is being used to promote properties. Better still, the Raine & Horne brand has been exposed more than 23 million times online, with over 2.77 million people viewing properties on our website.”
Mr Raine said that Amplify has enabled the group to increase traffic to some of its businesses by over 1,000 per cent.
“This massive spike in traffic is an outstanding result, given we only launched Amplify in February, and is now translating to more appraisals, listings and sales.”