Elite AgentProductivity & Best Practice

Why you need to be tech enabled: Mark McLeod

No matter what new and exciting technology is introduced into the real estate industry, there still needs to be a human connection offered alongside the tech for a great customer experience. Mark McLeod explores how agents can become more compatible with technology.

I recently attended the Inman Conference in San Francisco and witnessed the ongoing debate over disruption and technology in our industry. Let’s start the discussion by asking what technology enables us to do.

From our perspective it’s designed to get our people to talk to more people, at the right time. But despite technological advances, human connection still needs to be the goal.

There are four possibilities as to how this can be shaped over the coming years.

1. Agent only
A single entity agent uses very little or no technology and doesn’t develop a team. I believe the ‘fat lady’ is well and truly on the stage for this agent.

2. Tech only
With little or no intervention by agents, where tech provides the platform to connect buyers and sellers. A recent article spoke well to this, saying that most people transact a relatively small number of times in their lifetime in our areas and feel they need a calm, steady hand to support them.

3. Agents enabling technology
Where tech is at the centre and the agent plays a part role in the process. Some bets are being placed in this area, but it is not the area we are necessarily betting on.

I’ve seen CRM systems that intuitively delivered information to the consumer, precisely at the right time, based upon their opening and reading behaviours.

4. Tech enabling agents
Where the agent remains at the centre of the transaction and technology enables efficiency, speed and differentiating customer experience. We believe strongly that this is where our industry is headed.

I’ve seen CRM systems that intuitively delivered information to the consumer, precisely at the right time, based upon their opening and reading behaviours.

Today’s way of life is nearly unrecognisable compared to 10, or even five, years ago; so it’s ludicrous to think that advancements in tech won’t continue to provide tools that enable us in new ways. Let’s talk about what they may be:

  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) will definitely play roles in all aspects of our transactions, from handling enquiries to integrated workflows. These are areas that we are hugely interested in and working on at present
  • Total paperless transactions are absolutely inevitable
  • Predictive analysis – the ability to identify the customer based on their behaviour, providing services they need before they actually call for them.

One of the other challenges we face is in delivery of content to the consumer. Market analysis, recent sales and all market review documents that our industry provides are now hygiene to homeowners in Australia, and available to them in many varied sources. Delivery of personalised, relevant content to the consumer is going to be one of the ongoing challenges.

I’ve now seen systems that deliver personalised content based upon the consumer’s recent behaviour (AI & ML). I’ve seen CRM systems that intuitively delivered information to the consumer, precisely at the right time, based upon their opening and reading behaviours. There are systems that use gamification to engage the agents in behaviour which underpin and supports tasks that have to be done on a daily basis, increasing the agents’ activity by nearly 30 per cent. I’ve also seen holograms of rooms in homes which enabled the consumer to view properties in the luxury of their home.

These are exciting times for our industry, and I personally can’t wait to see the level of customer experience we can deliver as we further embrace technology. Those agents who are more compatible with it will just happen to be at the centre of more transactions.

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Mark McLeod

Mark McLeod is the Ray White Group’s Chief Executive of Growth. He works alongside both agents and businesses across Australia, helping them reach their ultimate potential to achieve success.

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