Samantha McLean: Hey everyone, Samantha from Elite Agent Magazine and I have the pleasure of welcoming Andrew Rechtman, who is the Executive General Manager of Residential for realestate.com.au. Hi Andrew. How are you going?
Andrew Rechtman: Great to be here. Thank you very much.
Samantha: You’ve got a lot of robotic devices here at AREC this year. So tell us a bit about what’s going on over there in the stands.
Andrew: We like to look forward probably two or three years when we come to AREC and bring some technology that’s really at the leading edge. So the theme this year is all about robotics. How robotics can increase the amount of time you have available, increase the trust that people have in you, and also the transparency in the industry as well.
Samantha: Yeah, we talked to Nigel a lot during Transform about time, trust, and transparency. So tell us a bit about how robots can save an agent time.
Andrew: Well if you think about the amount of time you spend as an agent actually talking with customers, whether they’re buyers or sellers. Those interactions take a lot of time out of your day. Robotics can really help to save you time, whether it’s just Chatbox that we’re going to see coming into the industry quite soon. Or over time even coming to an open and having a robot set up the open for you.
Samantha: You guys are right on the cutting edge of everything, especially in the invention lab and all the rest of it. What are some of the big trends that you’re seeing coming forward with consumers?
Andrew: Look there’s some market trends and I’ll talk to some tech trends. But on market trends some interesting things with prices continuing to rise. We’re actually seeing the great Australian dream is actually not over. It’s just moving a bit further out from the centre of the city. So a lot of our consumers, perhaps they were searching in the five to ten kilometre away from the CBD zone for a three bedroom house. The last sort of year or so, they’ve moved those searches further out. That’s the 15 to 20 kilometres out, they way of working is a bit different going forward. So we’re finding more and more people searching further away from the centre of the central business district and finding better value there as well.
Samantha: We know that there are some listings on realestate.com.au that are really good and some that are not so good. What do you consider to be a good listing in today’s environment?
Andrew: Having a high-res image really makes the product property look a whole lot better. In addition to that we’re seeing people start to take up those new technologies like 3D panoramas. There’s new providers Matterport. 3D panoramas, those sort of technologies really allow a consumer to engage with a property much more deeply. So those have been around a while but the uptake of them is really increasing quite rapidly.
Samantha: But what about around here, have you had an opportunity to walk around and see what’s exciting to you guys?
Andrew: What I think is interesting here today is there’s a lot of software providers. So a lot of new software providers, not necessarily in the space that we operate in, but people with backend, back office tools, different ways of doing things on mobile, different ways to engage with social media, Facebook and Google. So I think that’s a very software oriented AREC this year. There is T2 down the other end, so you can get some tea to chill out as well, and be mindful. It seems like it’s the year of software at AREC.
Samantha: Yeah definitely, I’m sensing an increase in efficiency all round. Andrew, thank you so much for joining us.
Andrew: It’s a pleasure, thanks for having me.
Samantha: Thank you.