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Technology making strong headway in Australia’s real estate market is forcing agents and property managers to adopt a new way of serving clients – with those who don’t set to see their business suffer.
Speaking to Smart Property Investment as part of this month’s proptech special, Yabonza’s Mark Trowell and Heidi Guenther shared why “consumer-led innovation” is prompting those operating in the real estate industry to shake up their way of doing business.
“I think there’s an awakening in the industry where companies can do this now because they’re no longer afraid that the consumer won’t react well to it, they’ll be more accepting of it,” Mr Trowell said.
Ms Guenther offered a similar sentiment, but noted that many agencies are still stuck in a rut when it comes to adopting such innovation.
“It’s hard to implement if you’ve already got that old, traditional structure, which is why new agents are often better placed – they’re more likely to embrace the technology,” she said.
In a similar vein, property managers risk losing out due to their unwillingness to make a change.
“We can’t use property managers anymore, not for operational parts, because they just go back to a reactive, old-school way of doing things,” Mr Trowell said.
“It’s going to have to change,” Ms Guenther added.
“They’ll sit over the top of [the matter] and tech will do most of the work. There is a relationship element, but they use data to gain those insights, just as a broker or any investment service type of industry would, to add value to your investment.”
Overall, Mr Trowell said the real estate industry needs a collective approach to meet the evolving needs of investors.
“People value their time, and because people value experiences more, they don’t want their time spent on things they [don’t need to spend time on]. So how do we as a company help them do that?” he said.
“There’s a great quote from a Forbes real estate guy where he talks about the change in the business model and he talks about platforms. Platforms are not just necessarily technology. Technology can’t solve things on its own, you have to change the business model with technology that’s aligned to it.
“And he talks about how the industries that are highly fragmented and don’t have clear leaders, i.e. the real estate industry, is really prone to having a platform business model come in and collapse that whole industry, and they can’t respond quick enough because it’s too fragmented. Individuals themselves can’t make a difference. It needs to be a collective effort.”