Elite AgentOPINION

Online, connected models of selling show the future for agents: Matthew McGrath

The Australian real estate market is at a major tipping point, and agents need to look beyond their own backyards to online and connected selling models to survive changing market conditions.

Leading the charge on these shifting grounds for real estate agents is the decline of housing prices in major capital cities, following years of rapid and often unsustainable levels of growth. Property prices nationwide have just plunged for the ninth month in a row according to CoreLogic.

And it’s far from over. Experts predict that the findings of the banking royal commission will contribute to a further push down of housing prices, once the banks begin tightening lending processes (particularly to investors), seeking to avoid any potential risk. In Sydney, the slowing property market is set to lose the state government $6 billion in revenue due to revised stamp duty figures.

If interest rates were to rise just one per cent, some suburbs will be so badly affected that almost every household will tip into the classification of experiencing ‘mortgage stress,’ according to a recent study.

Consequently, real estate agents often have no-one turn up to open houses, and there’s reduced auction clearance rates due to a lack of competitive bidders.

Real estate agents are hurting, and we’re not going to solve any of these problems by going at it alone. We’re also not going to solve any problems by ignoring the fact that technological advancements, new applications, and international incumbents have fundamentally changed the way the industry operates.

As obtaining listings and selling properties becomes increasingly difficult, agents must adapt to their changing industry. To futureproof and ensure agents have confidence and control no matter the market condition, we must collaborate using the new technology platforms available.

Agents must embrace cross-border technology, using models of buying and selling embedded in the online sphere. This will not only expand agents’ reach across countries, but give buyers and sellers a reason to pick them over the thousands of other agents in competition for commission.

Increase the saleability of property, no matter the market condition

The ultimate goal for real estate agents is to increase the saleability of their properties, no matter the market condition. Macroeconomic circumstances need not bind real estate agents – they should be equipped with the tools to give them the confidence and control over their properties, even in down markets and amidst new waves of competition.

As obtaining listings and selling properties becomes increasingly more challenging, agents need to take advantage of diversified opportunities that are available through new online ecosystems.

Connected marketplace technology through platforms such as Twillis allows agents collaborate on listings, connecting agents and investors locally, nationally and overseas.

A connected, multi-channel platform allows for cross-pollination and off-shore prospects. Opportunities for agents become limitless, with those embedded in second hand residential sales branching into off-the-plan, and vice versa, enabling limitless industry growth.

Think global, act global

Technology also means a more borderless approach to property – no longer must real estate agents exist only in the realm of their own city. Leveraging the power of online means new chances to network and a unique ability to sell and buy across regions, particularly where there are opportunities to have a gateway into the South East Asian region.

Online connection and collaboration amongst agents must also involve expanding outside of a local postcode, and exploring areas of international reach.

Real estate agents needn’t feel they are restricted by their postcode, particularly when it comes to higher-stakes projects, nor should they feel the need to attend events, exhibitions, or travel for networking.

Technology is changing the game

The days of taking out advertisements on billboards or letterbox dropping flyers is long gone for real estate agents. It’s time for agents to rethink their approach to marketing and lead generation in a digital sphere.

For agents, use of a multi-listing service online makes new markets accessible that they may not have previously considered. It’s important that real estate agents use technology to open new doors for themselves, expanding their ability to sell in more than one sector, in multiple different countries around the world.

The role of the real estate agent is not disappearing, rather, it is evolving.

Agents must diversify their opportunities by leveraging new, online connected marketplace ecosystems, allowing them to have increased confidence and control over their properties, no matter the market conditions.

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Matthew McGrath

Matthew McGrath is a Senior Business Solutions Manager at Twillis; a global online platform transforming the way property is traded. With his ten years experience in the Real Estate Industry, he has demonstrated a history of first-class negotiation, sales, customer service, and real estate and business development.