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PropTech is not something for agents to fear

Technology is continuing to change the way real estate agents operate, but the huge increase in new PropTech should be seen as an opportunity and not something to fear, according to an expert.

REACH Australia Managing Partner Peter Schravemade, who will be speaking at the upcoming Real Estate Institute of Victoria Conference, READY23, said many agents are worried about what new technology will mean for their jobs, but that’s not the best way to approach the current landscape.

“It’s often the fear of either implementing something different or looking at another way of doing something that you’ve always done,” Mr Schravemade said.

“If you look at it traditionally, you get used to the way you operate and then when something new comes along that kind of disrupts that flow or there’s the potential to do something better there are some agents who will go looking for that.

“They want to maximise efficiency within their operation and the early adopters are typically looking for ways to do things that are faster or cheaper or deliver a better experience to the customer.”

According to Mr Schravemade, who will be talking about ‘Exploring the Future’, the intersection of technology and real estate, the biggest disruptor in the current market is the role of AI and in particular tools like ChatGPT, which are now changing the way many agents operate.

“AI has been around for a while, but the generative side that is there at the moment, is now actually showing up in applicable ways and not just for real estate agents,” he said.

He said there are a number of AI tools that can help create real estate listings, do marketing copy and even create images for listings including styling pictures of vacant homes with furniture.

“These AI tools can also do things like send out personalised letters to your database with a fair rate of success, so I don’t think fearing it is the right way of going about it,” he said.

“Certainly understanding and identifying how it could change your business and how you might utilise that to make your business more efficient and more profitable and better from a consumer perspective.”

Mr Schravemade said there are also other areas of new technology such as the metaverse that will also make sales agents’ jobs a lot easier for off-the-plan sales.

“We’re selling bricks and mortar, we’re doing a contract, we’re swapping money for something that doesn’t exist,” he said.

“What better way to show a person what they’re actually buying than in doing it as realistically as we can in the virtual world?”

Mr Schravemade said that off-the-plan sales have traditionally been done with the help of renders, but buyers are now going to be able to walk through the completed home like they’re in a video game.

“If you throw that into real estate and say, let’s sell that using these technologies, all of a sudden I can walk up to a kitchen bench and change the bench style on the fly to match style number two, which has been offered for sale,” he said.

“Instead of me looking at the Gold Coast apartment at noon, when the sun’s straight up, I’m actually looking at it in the morning to see the sun shining through the front window.

“Advances in metaverse tech for real estate are just going to be huge when you’re selling.”

Peter Schravemade is a keynote speaker at the Real Estate Institute of Victoria conference READY2023 where he will explain why agents should care about new technologies and provide an expert overview of the intersection of NFTs, blockchain, AI, cryptocurrency and the metaverse within real estate.

The REIV Conference, READY23 will take place on 21 March 2023 at the Crown Promenade, Melbourne.

Tickets are available from REIV.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.

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