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The algorithm of real estate

By Adam Flynn
28 January 2022 | 1 minute read

The real estate industry didn’t stop just because a pandemic swept the world. In fact, one could argue that the industry got even busier as a result. As agents, the main way we could communicate with clients, vendors and purchasers was either online or on the phone. Very rarely were we able to meet in person, and open-for-inspections became a digital experience.

And, as the world adapts to living with COVID, this is unlikely to change. In fact, in a post-COVID reality, properties will continue to be bought and sold online, often sight unseen, especially as technology becomes more advanced, giving people the opportunity to view properties virtually. 

It’s for this reason, I believe, that the role of agents will undergo a shift from “show and tell” to negotiation”, and as a result, marketing will transition to whoever provides the best metaverse experience.

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So, while algorithms can’t take the place of the agent, they can successfully take some of the workloads.

Looking at the metaverse, an online virtual world where one can replicate people with avatars, buy products, offer services, and even see theatre shows and concerts virtually, it’s easy to see how technology can be utilised in everyday life. And the real estate industry isn’t immune to this. This same technology needs to be embraced in the real estate space, so the consumer has the ability to view properties virtually and make decisions based on that. This could be via metaverse or even simply virtual reality inspections.

Put simply though, companies that aren’t open to embracing how far things may very well progress over the next 10 years will most certainly be left behind.

Consider the way the world was 20 or 30 years ago. Traditionally, to find a real estate agent, unless they had a preexisting relationship with a company or agent, consumers would typically interview a few and choose an agent based on several different factors. Some would prioritise price, others results in the area and others would look at strategy.

Now though, we are very quickly transitioning to an era where people seek ultimate convenience. They want things to happen efficiently and in a timely manner. Think about this with respect to your phone. If you don’t have reception or internet capabilities for even a scant five seconds, the frustration starts to build. The world now wants things immediately.

Embracing technology is the only way we can achieve this. Humour me with a story for a moment. The other night, I ordered some dinner. Without me having to speak to anyone, I jumped online, and within 20 minutes, the food was at my door.

Ultimately, real estate has the potential to head in this direction. As time goes on, people want to have everything at their fingertips without having to spend hours and hours going through the rigmarole of choosing an agent. At the end of the day, putting their property on the market isn’t the grand decision – choosing to accept an offer and sell the property is, which is where the agent should come into play.

If you can articulate your strategy via phone or zoom, or even via a detailed PDF with everything consumers need to know about why they should use you to sell their property, why would you take up valuable time – yours and theirs – doing things the old-fashioned way?

If you look at it this way, consumers will start to choose agents based on their ability to strategise and negotiate the best price of sale. The role of the agent will transition from “why you should choose me” to “this is how my negotiation skills and strategic point of difference will maximise your return in any given market”.

At the end of the day, the main reason why we go through the onsite appraisal process is to demonstrate a point of difference from our competitors. Ultimately, it’s an interview process. But if you, as an agent, can demonstrate that the consumer should be looking for the best negotiator, and that’s you, without having to go to sites in person, you’re saving everyone.

The agent’s role will become one of negotiation alongside the evolution of the metaverse – consumers will be able to walk through the property virtually, step by step, rather than seeing it in a 2D online world. And that’s how a property should be marketed. Then it’s up to you to pull in the dollars with your killer negotiation skills.

Adam Flynn is the state director of Coronis Group Victoria.

The algorithm of real estate
Adam Flynn reb
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