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Proptech must be flexible and talk to each other

By Malavika Santhebennur
29 September 2022 | 11 minute read
Daniel Bignold reb

Choosing the right tech tools can be daunting, but ensuring that they allow customisation and integration is a good place to start for agents, according to Propps.

At the outset of his conversation with REB ahead of its REInnovate conference in Melbourne in October, the digital offer management platform chief executive and founder Daniel Bignold emphasised that technology would not replace real estate agents.

“But agents who leverage and utilise technology will definitely replace those who don’t,” he warned.

Noting that the property market is changing significantly amid rising interest rates, increased mortgage stress, and longer median days on market (which is compelling vendors to offer higher discounts on their properties), Mr Bignold said the most significant threat agents face is “complacency”.

“If agents don’t adopt technology, they’ll be left behind because those who are conscious of the changing market and adapting to it accordingly are seeing greater success than those who are not,” he said.

Lower buyer demand and a healthy supply of properties mean that agents must shift from a vendor-focused customer service mentality to one that focuses on the buyer, Mr Bignold argued.

To do this, they could use various digital tools and map out coherent workflows and processes for a buyer experience that is streamlined and professional, he added.

For example, agencies could implement artificial intelligence technology that can respond to buyer inquiries and provide meaningful conversations and engagement at any time of the day.

In addition, agents could also use tools to assist with offer management, digital auctions, and their social media strategy, Mr Bignold said.

Research tech before use

However, one of the pitfalls of proptech is that it can be rigid, and as such, could prevent agents from customising their service offerings across each of their campaigns, he pointed out.

“If the agent is happy with the way tech runs, then it’s fine,” he said.

“But if they want to offer a bespoke, personalised service offering, add their own flavour to it, and stamp it with their own brand, while aligning it with their workflow, they need to make sure the product is flexible and customisable.

“It’s a really important question to ask when agents are researching new technology.”

Alongside this, agents should avoid adopting standalone solutions, because they could be scrambling to “make these solutions talk to each other”, Mr Bignold said.

He advised agents to choose solutions that can integrate with each other and be centralised into their CRM for a streamlined process.

“The goal with tech is making sure that the process and tools that are implemented are seamless and just work in the background,” Mr Bignold said.

“You shouldn’t have to manually make the solutions talk and re-enter and sync data across multiple platforms. The software providers need to do the hard work and provide a solution that just works.”

In unison with this, agents must challenge themselves and identify gaps in their workflows and processes as well as pain points and choose solutions to eliminate them, Mr Bignold advised.

At REInnovate, Mr Bignold will explore how agents can keep sight of what is critical to their role and the industry while cutting through the noise as the chatter around digital transformation, technology, and “accelerated change” becomes louder.

During his presentation, Mr Bignold will outline three principles that must underpin the use of technology: simplicity, accessibility, and being smart.

“Simplicity means the technology works in the background and is easy to consume,” he explained.

“Secondly, technology should be accessible and aligned with your current workflow. If it’s too complex, agents won’t apply it.

“Finally, being smart is about increasing your efficiency by cutting down on processes and manual data entry.

“This should allow agents to focus on selling a listing rather than becoming distracted by manual processes and admin tasks.”

To hear more from Daniel Bignold about the role of technology in real estate, the threats lurking in the industry, and how agents can maximise their potential by adopting the right technology, come along to REB REInnovate.

It will be held at the Pullman in Melbourne on Tuesday, 25 October.

Click here to buy your tickets and make sure you don’t miss out!

For more information, including agenda and speakers, click here.

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