Commercial and residential Real Estate businesses operate in one of the most competitive and dynamic industries in Australia.
Agency sales departments are looking for every opportunity to increase listings, attract buyers and ultimately increase sales volume and value. Property managers want to build the size and quality of their rent roll. Agency principals also want to drive operational efficiencies in order to reduce costs and ensure staff are focused on value driving activity.
Against the backdrop of innovation being driven by the PropTech industry, how can agents embrace digital best practice to deliver an exceptional customer experience and grow their business?
And importantly, what telecommunications infrastructure will they need to enable them to embrace this best practice, and in turn future-proof their agency.
Moving to the Cloud is Enabling Agents to Focus on Building Client Relationships
Agents work in an industry that has seen massive compression of commission rates, and increased regulatory compliance costs.
They have been at the forefront of embracing cloud software and PropTech innovation to address these systemic industry changes and to drive greater efficiency and automation in what is essentially a relationship based business. Less time on necessary front and back office functions means more time focused on clients.
Being a good sales agent is still about maximising the number of conversations you are having with prospective sellers and buyers. A good agent will allocate time to make as many prospecting calls as possible. Waiting for a cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to load and update data kills productivity and the number of calls an agent can make. So having the right connectivity, with a fast path to cloud providers is critical to their productivity.
Agents are also moving to new Artificial Intelligence tools like Getaire which plug into their CRM and generate qualified leads and enable agents to have more hyper-personalised conversations.
While these type of Customer Relationship Management platforms enable agencies to better manage prospects, leads, existing clients, landlords and tenants, they also enable agencies to automate tasks such as data entry, at scale, and ensure agency IP is centralised and accessible across the agency team.
When it comes to back office functions, there’s a growing range of cloud-based tools, from UpKeep and TopDesk for more efficient notification processing for building managers, to commission management and accounting systems such as CORE Backoffice that streamlines agent billings and commission tracking.
Using cloud services also means agency principals no longer need to bear the cost of supporting servers and ongoing hardware maintenance. Across virtually every area of their business, agents are moving to cloud-based solutions and needing to rethink the type of internet they will need to support them.
Creating a High Quality Search and Review Experience
The growth of aggregated search engines like Domain and Realestate.com have made it easy and convenient for people to search, review and even buy properties online. It’s also made it critical for agencies to have a digital “shopfront” that best represents their properties and their brand.
Owned digital channels are likely to be the first step in a potential buyer or seller interacting with the agency. Not only are they critical for ensuring a property for sale or rental is showcased in its best light, but also to build client trust and confidence they are dealing with a quality agency.
To do this an agency’s digital platforms need to be able to support the production, curation and accessibility of large graphic files – think video, animation, and floor plans. They also need to be able to integrate a range of software tools such as digital image classification and CRM automation to help customers find the information they are searching for and to provide more personalised and relevant communication.
Delivering Exceptional “Virtual Experiences”
While there has been a move to virtual events - due in most part to Covid restrictions - over the last 18 months, the industry pre-Covid was already embracing the game-changing benefits of Augmented and Mixed Reality.
AR (Augmented Reality) overlays virtual objects on real world environments, while VR (Virtual Reality) immerses users in a fully artificial environment.
Online Guided Tours – 360 degree video can help build a more emotional connection between the buyer and property. They can also broaden the reach of the potential buyer pool by providing access to buyers that are in other states or even other countries who may not have otherwise been able to experience the property.
Greater interaction with the property – by clicking on hot spot items potential buyers can take a closer look at individual areas or items that are of personal interest to them.
Staging – ideal for new or off-the plan developments, there are new tools which enable agents and developers to access virtual reality staging services so buyers can envisage the final look and feel of the property or even use the tools to customize it further, adding different furniture or homewares.
Ultimately these technologies enable potential buyers to literally walk through a property, look at it from every angle, and add their own touches. It provides an emotional connection so that potential buyers can feel like they have literally been “in” the home.
Closing Sales with Virtual Events/Online Auctions
Just as buyers are already comfortable with conducting the majority of their property searching online, Covid restrictions have necessitated an increase in the number of virtual or online auctions. These require agencies to have access to a fully digitised solution that can enable everything from showcasing the property, bidder registration, accepting bids, and ensuring an audit trail of all activity.
When it comes to these events, agents want the peace of mind of knowing they have the internet speed (bandwidth) to support these online sales activities. No agent wants to start, or be half through, an online auction and have bidders unable to connect or drop out, potentially losing the sale – a story we recently heard from one agent!
Ensuring Compliant and Efficient Information Storage, Movement and Management
PropTech, or Property Technology is helping to reshape the $7.7T Australian real estate industry.
PropTech is one of the most funded innovation sectors in Australia and is benefiting the industry by identifying technology that can remove inefficiencies and drive a superior client experience.
Agencies are increasingly using new digital solutions to manage the movement, use and secure collection of large volumes of graphics files, contract documents, and personal and financial information.
And like many industries, property businesses are faced with the same challenges of managing growing data pools, while also thinking of how best to use this data for everything from predictive analytics to pre-screening – think buyer profiling and tenant applications.
Outside of core PropTech advancements, other cloud-based tools like Docusign are being integrated to ensure a faster and easier experience for all parties in the transaction, while still ensuring the necessary levels of data privacy and security.
And digital image classification technologies are reducing the time to find and produce the images needed for high quality marketing and sales materials.
Building a High-Performing Team
The nature of the job requires sales agents and property managers to work just as effectively during the many hours they spend on the road, as they do in the office.
Agency principals also want to ensure that team members are working cohesively in order to meet and exceed client expectations through their buying, selling or renting journey.
Online collaboration, communication and workflow management tools have become a critical component of driving a high performing agency team.
Whether they communicate through MS Teams or Slack, use Asana or Monday.com for workflow management or prefer Zoom or Google Hangouts for video conferencing, agents are embracing cloud based solutions to drive team collaboration and performance.
Rethinking their Internet “Backbone” to Harness the Benefits of Digitisation
As the real estate industry continues to embrace cloud software and broader digitisation it’s critical that agencies have access to reliable, high capacity internet. Internet that provides the backbone necessary to support all the opportunities and benefits of the move to the cloud, PropTech and new immersive, experiential technologies like AR and VR.
At GigaComm, we set out to build a better internet, one that can deliver these ultra-fast speeds.
That’s why we have designed, built and now manage a network delivering reliable, Gigabit speeds.
Our network is completely independent from the NBN.
It uses a combination of optical fibre and the very latest fixed wireless technology. The design of the network and technology choices delivers business grade reliability for every customer on our network.
Instead of relying on being in a fibre NBN area or waiting months for higher speeds services to arrive, GigaComm can ensure you have a reliable, ultra-fast service now. Plus, we provide priority business support, and because we own and run the network, there’s no buck passing or getting passed around through multiple contacts or departments. When you do need us, our team are easy to reach and helpful.
In fact, we are so confident your agency will benefit from our ultra-fast, reliable internet we even offer our GigaComm Guarantee – try us out for 30 days and if for any reason you don’t love your new service you can simply contact us before the end of the 30 days to cancel and receive a refund for any GigaComm charges.
Why not call us today for an obligation free quote or check out our business plans.
GigaComm provides great value Gigabit Internet, delivered over our revolutionary network.
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