Real estate is an unusual business in that there are effectively no repeat customers. Every day you’re starting again to get new instructions; no matter how big or how small your agency is. So it stands to reason that staying on top of new technology and being a leader in the industry is massively important in staying ahead of the pack. So why are so many estate agents afraid to innovate?
Every other industry has undergone a digital revolution. From entertainment to banking, from retail to restaurant, every industry is making things easier for users so they can get an edge on the competition. So why are real estate agents laggards? What are they risking by waiting for someone else to go first?
The vast majority of estate agent customers make first contact digitally - either through a portal or from the agents own website. How many houses have you sold to people who have walked in off the street?
So why don’t we make it easy for buyers to make offers through the same website they came from? Why don’t we send them a counter-offer link the second someone else has made an offer? Why don’t we let the vendor know the second someone expresses an interest in the house? Why don’t we let the vendor know the second an offer comes in? Any why don’t we let the solicitors know the details of the sale the second it's agreed?
The customer is already digital, agents are making them analog.
According to Mike DelPrete, the next generation of estate agents are being built around a digital customer experience and an integrated eco-system. Whilst that may be double dutch to you, the $200Bn a year being invested in the sector knows exactly what that means.
It means that if you’re not giving the customer what they want, someone else will.
To attract more buyers, your properties need to stand out. What better way to do that than with a bid button?
Once you get past the initial expression of interest, you need to guide the buyer into the sale. And if they can make an offer easier with someone else that with you, who are they going to go with? Not to mention that the agent that gives them greater faith in the process is going to encourage them to participate. The average property on Beagel has 10.3 offers.
Superior vendor experience
When you offer a superior experience and a better sale, you get the business. It’s that simple. If you’re pitching for a listing against an agent who can promise the vendor they’re open 24 hours a day and sell for on average 111.6% of the asking price, who’s going to get the listing?
The marketplace does not care what the agents are used to doing. The customers only do this a few times in a lifetime and if they can buy a car, book a holiday and do their banking online, why can’t they take offers on their house online?
86% of Irish estate agent have 1 office and 51% of them employ less than 3 people. It’s a multi billion euro cottage industry. If these agents fear that technology is going to replace them, so by not adapting they can “save” themselves, then they’re looking at the issue all wrong. Technology isn’t replacing agents, agents with better technology are replacing agents.
If Covid has taught is anything it’s that an industry can change before our eyes and whether we like it or not, there will be losers as well as winners.
The question is, which one are you?