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Agencies say tech will be crucial to future success

By Kyle Robbins
24 February 2023 | 11 minute read
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Business owners and agents are increasingly acknowledging the need to make strides in the technology space, new research has revealed. 

According to the latest Optus Business Real Estate Industry Pulse 2022, technology has become a core component of the sector, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over one-third (39 per cent) of survey respondents ruled technology as extremely imperative to their business plans and strategies, while 89 per cent regard it as overall important to their business function. 

Following just over two years of COVID-19 interruptions, which saw 76 per cent of respondents accelerate their technological investment, real estate practitioners increasingly believe they need to take action to mitigate such risks again in the future. 

Virtual technology solutions, hailed for birthing flexibility within the industry, is the primary focus of future investment across all surveyed businesses with its importance almost equal in businesses with up to four employees (30 per cent) as it is with those employing up to 300 (35 per cent).

Despite a consensus of its importance, resulting in just 12 per cent of those surveyed outlining their uncertainty around technology’s benefits, barriers remain to its complete adoption through the real estate industry. 

Amongst the biggest obstacles include difficulty integrating with existing IT solutions (36 per cent), concerns about security and privacy (30 per cent), and a lack of expertise (22 per cent).

However, businesses are making strides to overcome these headwinds with just over half of all respondents (51 per cent) professing their investment in training designed to streamline the transition to new technology, 42 per cent are forming strategic relationships with trusted technology partners, and 34 per cent completing regular employee training. 

Optus revealed that larger businesses are inevitably greater adopters of new technology when compared to their smaller counterparts with approximately two-thirds of medium and large enterprises considering themselves leaders regarding new technology adoption.

In spite of this, 41 per cent of companies possessing up to four employees regard themselves as early technological adopters as smaller organisations benefit from the ability to swiftly pivot due to lack of processes and approvals required to purchase or utilise new solutions.

Also varying based on company size is the capability to access business applications from mobile devices, with 49 per cent of smaller companies possessing this ability compared to 75 per cent of those with between 20 and 100 full-time employees.

Moving forward, 89 per cent of respondents expressed a need to upgrade at least one application during the year ahead. Among the most popular choices, 54 per cent detailed plans to upgrade their financial software; 42 per cent their project management software; and 44 per cent aim to improve their communications and collaboration software.

In addition to the predicted rise in virtual technology uptake, numerous businesses revealed plans to implement a range of advanced technologies into their operations, including drones, which two-thirds of real estate respondents stated they currently use or plan to utilise within the next five years.

Agencies say tech will be crucial to future success
advance technology reb
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