• Lachlan Shields

Why the Real Estate Industry should Embrace Proptech & Disruption

The industry has been going through some pretty big changes in the last couple of years, with two of the ‘buzzwords’ going around in real estate that have fuelled some big debates at real estate events, over social media and over a conversation are “PropTech” and “Disruption”.

The real estate industry believes that disruption is new, that’s simply not the case. Disruption has been occurring for a very long time at a slower rate, newspapers have taken a major hit by the real estate portals & CRM’s have replaced the old “contact flip-book”. Recently though, it’s been turned into overdrive.

Disruption has been dismissed by much of the real estate industry, believing that it won’t affect the Australian real estate industry, citing the downfalls of companies like Hello Real Estate & Purplebricks as examples. That’s simply not the case, these companies failed because they got their business models wrong in Australia, not because the Australian real estate industry is not going to be disrupted.

There will be companies that get their model right. Many other companies around the world (USA being a perfect example) are far more advanced in technology & disruption in the real estate industry, so what makes us exempt? Nothing. It’s simply the fact that we’re in what I call an ‘infancy’ stage of disruption.

Much of the industry is undoubtedly scared about what’s going on. Many agents pose the question of “Will technology take my job?”, the simple answer is no. I know that there are agents out there that are scared that they will lose their jobs or lose business as a result of technology. PropTech & Disruption have been two topics that I’ve been focusing pretty heavily on over the last few months. Even though that I’m not even close to calling myself an ‘expert’ on these topics, I can honestly say that the industry should not be afraid of PropTech & Disruption, but rather embrace it.

There will no doubtly be agents that will lose their jobs as a result of technology. As technology evolves, consumer expectations do as well. The agents that will lose their job will be the ones that can not will not adapt to technology and become tech-savvy and the agents that cannot keep up with customer expectations and overall integrity. What I believe to be the ‘perfect recipe’ for agents to survive what I call to be the ‘real estate tech-crunch’ will be the agents with old school service & relationships who are tech-savvy and can keep up with customer expectations.

A large amount of new technology & companies in real estate is actually here to help us. More advanced and modern CRM’s help agents build better relationships with their clients and free up their time, financing platforms,

Virtual/3D tours and many other new advertising products help agents create points of difference amongst what is considered a crowded market. A cloud based agencies allow us to remove overheads and take more money away and help agents free up time to become more efficient and enjoy life. A Online Auction/Private Treaty platforms help agents make a more seemless and transparent process. There are many more products that are entering the real estate industry, these are some perfect examples of new products and companies that are here to help agents.

To finish, I should put in a warning, real estate agents shouldn’t go out and buy every bit of new real estate tech on the market in the hopes that it might help them in the long run. Agents need to hold back and take the time to find, test and implement platforms that will benefit them, their team, agency, vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants. The real estate agents that keep their morals, professional service and are able to effectively adopt technology will not only survive but flourish in the years to come.

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