An industry figure has revealed one of the skills that he believes will be a game changer for the real estate industry in the long run, while also forecasting the demise of an old way of working.
RateMyAgent’s CEO, Mark Armstrong, has told REB that agents adapted very quickly to the COVID-19 crisis, but there are some age-old practices that will probably be lost in the process.
“In April, the sky was falling in,” he said.
“Everyone thought everything was going to end and real estate would never be the same again, but it was really quite short and sharp.
“There was so much uncertainty, but what we saw happen was agents adapted very quickly — and not every agent — but the good agents actually saw the benefits.”
He flagged the example of good agents realising “this is a great opportunity to really just work with potential buyers who are really looking to buy”.
“In the old way, we all know that 50, 60, 70 per cent of people that come through an open for inspection or want to look at a property are really just tyre kickers,” the CEO said.
Not only has COVID-19 opened the doors for more engagement and efficiencies with potential buyers, it’s also helping agents with vendors, too.
“In a similar way, good agents are able to say, ‘Look, are you ready to sell now?’, and really prequalify their sellers,” Mr Armstrong said, and the behaviours being learnt are likely to stick around.
“That idea of learning that skill of how to prequalify buyers and only take people through properties that are genuine buyers, and working more efficiently… That will absolutely stick.
“COVID-19 has forced them to be more efficient in the way they work and there’s some really good habits that are being learnt out there.”
So, on the flipside, what may we never see again, even if or once life does return to some semblance of normal?
“Letterbox drops and some of those old forms of marketing,” Mr Armstrong has predicted.
Stating that we’ve seen a big shift already, the CEO said COVID-19 has only spurred on a move away from the “whole idea of that physical world”.
Noting that agents are realising that there’s “more efficient, cost-effective ways to do some of these things”, Mr Armstrong has observed good agents as “really harnessing social media for their marketing, going more heavily into that digital space”.
“If we break it out in terms of how they market themselves and how they conduct themselves and how they conduct their business, I think that a lot of the marketing world will stay [online],” he said.