Elite AgentFeature Interviews

The real estate veteran flipping the script on tech: Jane Doogan

Jane Doogan is anything but 'plain Jane' when it comes to making smart use of technology. At 73 the veteran real estate agent is embracing all the digital world throws her way, with social media and artificial intelligence no match for Jane’s passion to succeed.

Jane Doogan is the first to admit she doesn’t look like a tech-fan.

In fact, at 73 you’d be forgiven for expecting the LJ Hooker Nerang sales associate to be a technophobe.

Instead, the industry veteran of 30 years is among the first agents in the country to trial RITA, a real estate digital employee that uses Artificial Intelligence to automate a host of tasks.

“There’s no doubt technology has been a quantum leap for me,” Jane said.

“I’ve been in the industry for 30 years and at that stage we didn’t have computers, we didn’t have mobiles, we didn’t even have ‘brick’ mobiles.

“We had two-way radios back in the ’80s.

“My motto is ‘bring it on’ and if I can’t work it out I will pass it on to or employ someone who can.”

“Technology has exponentially changed the face of real estate and if you don’t embrace it you won’t get ahead, you’ll be stuck in a time warp.”

Jane said technology was all about making the real estate process smoother for agents, administrative staff and clients.

She said one of the ways RITA had helped streamline her business was mining her database of more than 5,000 contacts to extract former vendors and buyers she had not recently spoken to in order to follow up and, hopefully, generate new leads.

“My motto is ‘bring it on’ and if I can’t work it out I will pass it on to or employ someone who can.”

“When you’ve got a really big database it can be difficult to manage. RITA is helping me put my name and voice back in front of people I may not have spoken to in the past 12 months, instead of calling someone I may have spoken to last week or just a month or two ago,” Jane said.

“I’m in favour of anything that can make my business grow.

“My motto is ‘bring it on’ and if I can’t work it out I will pass it on to or employ someone who can.”

Before becoming a real estate agent Jane, a mother of two, was a hairdresser.

She said innovation had always been in her blood.

“I only had two weeks off when I had each of my babies,” Jane said.

“I’ve always been one to push the boundaries and when I had my hairdressing salons if there was a new style of cutting or colouring I was learning it and doing it.”

Now Jane has embraced not only computers and mobile phones but video listings and social media.

She has her own website, Facebook page and Instagram.

“I’ve really tried to embrace social media with Facebook advertising and video, using Facebook Pixel and retargeting,” Jane said.

“Technology can be polarising, especially for people of my age as we tend to get stuck in a time warp and get nervous, so then we don’t try.

“For me, technology has streamlined everything unbelievably and freed me up to do more of what real estate agents should be doing – listing, negotiating and selling.”

Jane initially employed someone to manage her social media full-time, but and has since streamlined that process by outsourcing the work so she pays only for the hours spent on her tasks.

Another way Jane stays on top of her game and the advances in the digital world is to work with a mentor and to regularly attend seminars and training, including those from the REA Group’s Steve Carroll.

“There are new approaches and new ideas all the time,” she said.

“Real estate has an ever-changing face and you’re not going to be able to compete if you don’t embrace change.

“Having a mentor keeps me at the coalface and it means I”m not allowed to get complacent.”

Technology has streamlined everything unbelievably and freed me up to do more of what real estate agents should be doing – listing, negotiating and selling.”

With many still fearing a technological takeover in many aspects of our lives, Jane said embracing change in real estate didn’t mean doing away with the human element of the business, but using it to allow her to do personal touch points better.

“If you look at some of the reasons people sell houses, ill health, finance issues, divorce and death, all the technology in the world isn’t going to be able to handle that like a human can – with sensitivity and empathy,” she said.

“Real estate agents will always be needed to do the listing presentation, the negotiating, the auctions, the sale, the anniversary calls.

“People are selling their most prized possession and they get emotional about it.

“You can’t get a robot to do that for you because people still want that human element.”

Jane said she also tried to keep a human touch in her social media videos and photos, opting for pictures of owners putting the sold stickers up rather than just the signboard or photograph of the property that had been stamped as sold.

“It’s important not to get lost in technology and forget someone has sold an important part of their lives or that someone has bought a new home,” she said.

If you’re thinking Jane, who also volunteers for Lifeline, may be considering retirement you’d be wrong on that front too.

“Why would I retire? I’m very successful and I absolutely love what I do,” she said.

“There’s nothing going to come (in technology) that I’ll say no to.

“If it helps me in business, I will embrace it all.”

Show More

Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is a freelance writer and Managing Editor of Connected Media Solutions, which specialises in real estate content and marketing solutions. For more information visit connectedmedia.com.au.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close