As technology continues to influence industries, real estate businesses have also adapted to developments in order to provide the best services. How will these changes influence markets across Australia?
Upside Realty’s Adam Rigby embraced technological advances and, as a result, was able to create a business that is able to put emphasis on customer transparency and boast a fixed-price service.
Overall, he believes that technology has definitely made way for increased efficiency and higher customer satisfaction, but it will not be replacing the ‘human element’ in the real estate landscape any time soon.
According to the property professional: “We've been working hard hire agents who are experienced and know how to get a result, but also quite authentic.”
“Part of getting a great result is actually servicing your buyer as well—connecting well with the potential buyers just as well as with the vendors. I think the authenticity and the genuine connection you have with another person is powerful,” he added.
This is the same reason why do-it-yourself models have yet to conquer the markets, he said.
Since there is huge risk involved in property investment, most people want the ‘human element’ guiding them through the processes in order to make sure that they’re making the right decisions and not throwing away their hard-earned money. And after all is said and done, having a team around you is also just more practical.
“You may not have the time or inclination, the energy, the expertise, but there will be people out there who can do the stuff that needs to be done a lot better than you can,” Mr Rigby said.
At most, technology will provide more platforms for investor-professional transactions, which will lead to more streamlined processes and a better customer experience, according to him.
Buying and selling investment properties have undeniably evolved over the years, and as a buyer’s agent, Mr Rigby has witnessed the changes that were influenced mostly by technology.
Where it used to be paying for property advertisements on paper, more investors are now taking advantage of free platforms to find a buyer for their asset. While others are combining both in the hopes of getting the best results.
However, in the next decade or two, Mr Rigby believes that there won’t be any significant change in the buying and selling of properties.
Agents will continue to serve a purpose to investors, and traditional and modern schemes will also continue to exist for as long as they are able to cater to different types of clients.
The biggest online property catalogues, for instance, will remain as top choices for property marketing, no matter how cluttered they may seem, because they remain smart, sophisticated, and accurate.
The property professional explained: “I think it's going to be about how well the two big players evolve from here, and if there's a left-field entrant. I think it'll be hard to unseat them based on where they are and the control they have in the space.”
In the near future, there may not be any dramatic changes in the landscape, but evolution will surely occur as it always does, he said. The competition may now be about which company or services provider will be able to simplify the investment processes in the best way.
Mr Rigby highlighted: “I think it will evolve in the way they present products and how deeply they get into the transactional side. I think they're busily trying to diversify now, as you've seen them get into loans and home maintenance and various other things.”
Despite his prediction, Mr Rigby does not discount the possibility that top industry players may be unseated anytime.
In the past, companies have tried to increase their revenue through price hikes, which eventually lead to problems with both agents and investors, according to him.
The property professional shared: “I think there's a fine line that they can walk and they've got to be careful because, otherwise, it will open the door to competition.”
These events, if not handled carefully, could lead to a phenomenon in the same league as the entire world’s unexpected transition from MySpace to Facebook, which no one could have predicted 20 years ago.
“MySpace was the world dominant social network and no one thought that was going anywhere, and then all of a sudden, Facebook came along. It's a little different in this space, but things like that can happen. You never know,” Mr Rigby said.
More powerful players like banks, major publishers, realty groups and even global players can also drive unexpected changes into the real estate landscape.
Overall, technology is a big catalyst for change in property investment, as it is in all ventures, but it also matters where power and influence lie because it could very well dictate when and how changes happen.
Tune in to Adam Rigby’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the way technology is influencing the property investment landscape.