John Hellaby: Consumers want tech, but an agent’s role is vital

When it comes to the role of technology in the real estate industry, there are mixed views. While some believe its role will be to replace the real estate agent, Market Buy’s John Hellaby says the agent’s role will always be essential.

Real estate agents are the industry’s sherpas; they guide buyers and sellers through the most emotionally and financially fraught transaction many people will go through in their lives. Because of that fact, technology’s role as far as we’re concerned is to enhance and support the agent and their clients.

Over time, that role has moved significantly towards creating greater efficiencies, speed, insight and transparency, whereas in the past, technology was more about providing a unique sales proposition (USP).

Now, more than ever, how an agent uses technology rather than the tech itself is the USP.

These days, you can literally buy your next home from your mobile phone, transparently, in real time, at 3am in the morning if you want to.

I remember back in 2010, when I was an agent battling the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis and everyone was coming out with a slight tweak on an old product or service and claiming they were a ‘disruptor’.

At that time, I wrote a blog post, full of the bluster of youth that basically said, ‘Until I can buy my next house from my mobile phone, you’re not a disruptor, so sod off!’

Yet, here we are, it’s 2022 and you’ve been able to buy your house from your mobile phone on Market Buy for more than five years.

Consumers have begun to rely on technology  

There are hundreds of studies showing a tidal wave of sentiment supporting tech-driven transactions.

Now real estate is catching up and the feedback we’re seeing is overwhelmingly positive.

Even buyers who miss out feel, for the first time, they have had a fair and equal opportunity to secure the property – which is something they’ve been asking for since the beginning.

They’re also kept informed at every step of the transaction, something they’re delighted with, as a lack of communication has been one of their major frustrations for decades.

Sellers love it too, having long since been frustrated with the lack of real-time communication in transactions – now every party to the transaction is informed as the action happens.

Everyone is in the loop. This changes the conversations they’re having with their agents and also alleviates a lot of the stress.

Even though the agent is in control at all times, sellers feel like they’re right there and are receiving the information they’ve wanted all along and in real time.

Taking that burden of communication off the agent’s shoulders has also freed them up to keep finding more buyers, creating a competitive environment for the property – and in a competitive environment, the sellers get much better results.

Market Buy makes all this happen – freeing agents up to find more buyers and better manage the ones they have.

But agents are more important than ever before – they are the vital player, without which the transaction fails to achieve its best possible outcome.

They’re still marketing, bringing in and then managing buyers, they’re still negotiating and encouraging buyers, and pushing for the best result for their seller.

Market Buy simply makes the whole process more efficient and less time-consuming, allowing agents to handle more stock simultaneously and provide a much higher level of communication and customer service without any extra effort.

The role of the agent has evolved, rather than changed, superficially in relation to how they manage that role.

They’re communicating more efficiently now thanks to Market Buy, keeping everyone informed in real time.

The conversations they’re having are backed by facts and results that the buyers and sellers can see, so agents are coming from a place of trust.

We’ve all experienced buyers or sellers not believing us as agents, but they’re seeing it firsthand themselves now, so the tone of the conversation changes and agents are able to work at the speed of trust.

Good agents will never see their role disappear

They’ll adapt and bring on new tech to provide better communication and make themselves more efficient.

Their focus is always on the client and providing a better experience to the client, their role will always be vital.

In real estate, survival of the fittest doesn’t mean the strongest, it means the most adaptable.

It’s why you see award winners using Market Buy now, they know the hot market can’t last forever, so they’re prepping for the next shift.

Agents must embrace the right technology and avoid gimmicks and tech that doesn’t really solve a problem for them.

Successful agents adapt and are constantly looking for ways to improve their business – now is the time to adopt Market Buy.

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John Hellaby

John Hellaby is the Chief Executive Officer at Market Buy.

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