Buyers are only interested in what’s online, making many brick-and-mortar offices redundant, according to a Brisbane-based real estate agent.
Garry Jones is the man behind new Brisbane agency Garry Jones Homes, after experiencing a COVID-19 crisis “revelation”.
“The thing was, I was working from home and living in the area which was incredibly convenient,” he said.
“Buyers and sellers had no idea I was working from home.
“Most of my work is over the telephone or in one of the houses I’m selling or in a client’s home. Such a small percentage of my time would be in the office anyway.”
According to the agent, “the public don’t go to offices”.
“Buyers are only interested in what’s online and sellers are only interested in who’s the best agent for them, and they search online for that information,” he explained.
“Everything now is through an online world.
“Since I started Garry Jones Homes, every person who has called me has said, ‘Garry, we don’t care what brand you work for, we employed you and you only.’”
According to the agent, offices “are no longer needed for experienced agents”.
While acknowledging that “the offices of today are breeding grounds for talent”, Mr Jones said that such offices “simply host experienced agents”.
“You do not need to have a label behind you to operate and be recognised as a professional adviser and negotiator,” he said.
“I’m now the only bespoke agent in my area, so I can move with what my client’s needs and wants are. I’m not in a franchise. If the client and I think there’s a better way to do something, we can implement it immediately.”
In reflection of his own experience, he expects the conversations around disruption in the industry and the rise of the independent operator to “get bigger in the next 12 months”.
He’s using UrbanX to underpin the backend operations of his business which he explained as what had previously stopped him from branching out on his own.
“We have all the resources we need to build a bloody good team,” he acknowledged.
“I’m good at negotiation and marketing, not administration. Now I can stay laser-focused on the parts I’m good at.”
He said: “I don’t need to be worried about trust accounting, the time spent back and forth between conveyancers, coming up with marketing collateral or any of that. I don’t have to ring a sign company, a brochure company, a sticker company, a water bottle company, a flag company, a car branding company… UrbanX have all those contacts.
“When it comes to creating Garry Jones Homes and its branding, what we did in two weeks, other companies would take six months to do.”