Future proofing in the tech age

Many fear technology will render traditional real estate agents obsolete. Eddie Cetin examines why this won’t happen and how embracing technological change will make a great agent more, not less, important.

Working closely with many of Australia’s leading agents allows us to see what separates the best agents from the pack.

Despite the transformation in real estate right now, it almost always comes down to the same factors.

The best agents have mastered four things: prospecting, listing, negotiating and – of course – selling.

We believe that as digital disruption continues in our space, it will allow agents to focus even more on these fundamentals.

The result will be that the best agents become even more adept at winning work, managing properties, selling homes and generating profit.

Meanwhile, those who fail to invest in the latest technology or fail to use technology effectively will find it increasingly difficult to compete.

The pace of change getting faster
One of the main ways technology is changing the real estate industry is in its ability to make agents’ systems and processes more efficient.

In the next few years, we anticipate further advances in technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), and big data will continue to accelerate these trends.

This will allow agents to make more informed, data-driven decisions and make agencies more agile and responsive.

New tools will streamline agents’ activities on the frontline of engaging with clients and prospects, thereby freeing up time to allow them to build relationships and negotiate the best results.

After all, as automation becomes ubiquitous in every aspect of our lives, it would be foolish to think that the real estate industry would not move with the times and be part of this generational evolution.

The biggest risk real estate agents face when it comes to technology is not keeping up with it.

What technology won’t change
The human elements of being a real estate agent – such as building personal relationships, gaining the trust of prospective vendors and buyers, negotiating the terms of a deal or carrying out an effective open home – will remain best performed by a human, not a machine.

Increasingly, the differentiator between agents will be their ability to use technology to enhance these skills by knowing which data matters and which doesn’t.

The best agents will become even better while the agents who fail to future proof their business will fade away.

7 Ways real estate agents can future proof their business

1. Keep up with technology. Increasingly, real estate agents who aren’t using the latest apps and software will be at a disadvantage. Make sure it is real and adds value to your business activities, as new shiny objects can also be an expensive distraction.

2. Know the value you bring. Focus on what you do best and see how technology can take care of the rest. Be methodical in how you assess this and develop a plan to enable a better version of you.

3. Do a threat assessment. Work out where you’re potentially vulnerable and see what technology is available to help you meet these challenges.

4. Think short and long-term. Analyse what opportunities are here today but give some thought to where the market is headed.

5. Take it to the top. Give responsibility for meeting the technological challenge to your business owners or managers. As a leading agent, don’t feel you need to rely on laggards if they are impeding your success.

6. Stay open-minded. Remember, good ideas and insights can come from anywhere. It pays to listen.

7. Stick to the fundamentals of what makes a great agent. Keep developing your prospect lists, focus on clean data, build relationships and stay on top of your training needs so you can continually implement improvements in your office.

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Eddie Cetin

Eddie Cetin is the APAC Managing Director of Reapit Group. The combined Agentbox and Reapit offering provides real estate agencies with one market-leading solution for Sales and Property Management. Eddie co-founded Agentbox, the Sales CRM of choice for most high performing agents around Australia. For more information, visit