Promoted by Realtair.
An increasing number of buyers are losing their hard-saved property deposits to scammers. But proactive real estate agents are fighting back with tech to protect consumers, according to end-to-end digital platform provider Realtair.
Data from the ACCC’s ScamWatch shows that Australians have lost over $161 million to scammers so far in 2022. False billing and identity theft – of which property transactions are a major target – are the third and fourth most common types of scams respectively.
With consumers increasingly worried about security when buying a property, the biggest purchase most will ever make, taking steps to protect their customers means agents can enhance their service offering and build trust in the process, says Realtair CEO and Founder, and President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, Peter Matthews.
“The volume and size of the monetary transfers involved makes real estate transactions a key target for scammers. Hacked emails and stolen deposits are giving consumers a justifiable headache. But agents are fighting back,” says Mr Matthews.
“One way agents can disempower fraudsters is to take transactions off their favourite channels, like emails and phones, and instead use encrypted digital platforms that still enable consumers to do everything they expect to be able to do in an online environment.
“Not only are such platforms far more secure and infinitely less vulnerable to impersonation than emails or SMS, as happens with false billing scams, they also offer buyers the ease and convenience of being able to make payments anytime, anywhere.
“Technology which both supports and enables the entire agent process, from prospecting to settlement, can bridge the trust gap by ensuring security, transparency, compliance, accountability and protection for consumers. And the best tech solutions mean agents remain in the driving seat in managing consumer relationships. It’s about eliminating the potential for human error while maximising the human experience agents provide,” he says.
The Realtair end-to-end platform enables agents to monitor all accounts, transactions, and deals, both outstanding and complete, with all buyer information including offers and registrations securely stored on the platform.
Safety measures are built into the system, including two-factor authentication codes and the encryption of banking details. Vendors – not agents – are responsible for inputting bank details, which are securely relayed through the platform to the agent’s trust account team for payment.
Andrew Jensen of The Agency was an early adopter of the Realtair platform, largely because of the elevated security in service he wanted to offer his customers.
“We recognised not only the need but the opportunity to integrate digital technology into our existing workflow and customer value proposition, which would enable us to provide an elevated offering to our customers in terms of convenience, efficiency and perhaps most importantly, security,” says Mr Jensen.
“A consumer security solution which prioritises the customer experience while empowering agents to deliver a better service, is more than just a competitive advantage – it’s a platform for cementing trust.”
The regulator for the real estate industry in NSW, Fair Trading, has recognised the need too, with education around agents’ rights and responsibilities in providing a secure service to consumers forming part of the current year’s essential CPD requirements for agents.
“There’s broad recognition of the importance of providing consumers a robust and secure platform and agents leading the charge in making these solutions available to their customers are building trust in the process, which will help to elevate the industry as a whole,” says Realtair’s Mr Matthews.
Stephen Naylor, Wise McBaron
0432 656 193
Established in Realtair is a leading end-to-end digital platform designed by real estate professionals. It enables agents to access data, appraise, list, and sell properties more efficiently and cost-effectively from any device. Realtair’s proptech platform automates and streamlines the steps from appraisal to settlement to equip agents with mobile, easy to use technology.
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