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‘Make sure that you are pursuing proven problems’

By Grace Ormsby
06 May 2022 | 1 minute read

When it comes to integrating technology into a business, adopting technology for problems that don’t exist or problems that they don’t have is where a lot of people go wrong, said a leader in the space.

Speaking on a previous episode of The WIRE, Sarah Bell acknowledged there are a couple of pathways people do take when adopting technology solutions in the real estate space.

While some people like technology for technology’s sake – and the cool gadgetry it can provide  the co-founder of AiRE software and RiTA’s mum said she prefers to see technology “as a tool for the job that has to be done”.

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She lamented that many people go wrong by adopting technology for problems that don’t exist and problems they aren’t actually dealing with, due to framing their uptake of technology as “there’s a plethora of solutions: How do you choose a solution?”

Instead, Ms Bell encourages framing the question as: “What problems in my business can I prove?”

That way, there will be a benefit to not only using – but paying for  that tool.

Adding that when agents and business owners do look at technology, service design needs to be considered, Ms Bell said it’s worth asking the question: “What agent do I want to be? And what experience do I want my customers to have?”

Then, you pick the tools and technology that’s going to best support that service model.

“If you want to be a high-tech, hands-off, high-volume, low-cost agent, the best thing that you can do is adopt a heap of technology that puts a screen at the customer interface, and you don’t talk to your customers,” she imparted.

On the other hand, if you want to be an agent that is paid a high fee to support a higher level of customer service and a higher level of touch, “then I think you need to be mindful of putting too much disintermediating technology in between you and the customer,” she said.

The benefit of this service-model style is that individuals and businesses can keep themselves at the centre of the transaction.

Acknowledging that the latter is where most agents are going due to customer demand for good service, she is urging agents and business owners to be thinking critically about their choices to sweepingly adopt technology, warning that “it may be that we can’t unpick those choices”.

“We’ve seen that in the industry before, we traded the convenience of having to seek buyers and buy leads,” she reflected.

“We traded that for the convenience of the portals, and now people don’t like the control that the portals have, but it was a trade that we made for convenience.”

A human revolution

In 2022, Ms Bell acknowledges that most businesses are looking to technology to create efficiencies – and finding the value within it.

Even so, she believes that “ultimately, when we look back on this particular technological revolution and the capacities and the capabilities that emergent technology like advanced automation and AI have, I think, we will understand that this was not a technological revolution, that this is a human revolution.

“This is about putting technology back in its place …,” she stated, arguing that technology should serve us, as humans.

“We should be more optimised and productive because it exists  not the other way around,” she explained.

You can listen to the full conversation with Sarah Bell here.

‘Make sure that you are pursuing proven problems’
Sarah Bell reb
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby

Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.

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