What will the real estate agent of the future look like?
It goes without saying they will be dashingly handsome.
But those who are most successful will also regularly chat online to their clientele, expand their services beyond selling houses and never lose sight of their trump card – their humanness.
Communication still vital
“I don’t know what we’re going to ‘look’ like – hopefully I’ll look much more youthful – but that face-to-face customer service we already offer is going to be so critical to us retaining our value,” says Telly Karadimos, Director of Barry Plant Parkwood on the Gold Coast.
“Exceptional communication is, and will always be, the most important thing an agent can offer.”
Exceptional communication is, and will always be, the most important thing an agent can offer.
Karadimos believes the onslaught of technology will make communication even more important than it is today.
“Hopefully it (agent’s worth) never dies and we see agents offering high levels of service to clients, counter to society’s move towards self-service,” he says.
“Online databases are important but if you are always focused on your iPad then that is where you should be, not in real estate, which is all about people.”
Adam Woods runs Professionals Mudgee with his sister Chandelle.
Social media matters
The country NSW agent is a big fan of social media, which he uses to grow his profile.
Wood’s agency’s Facebook page has 5500+ likes and he blogs regularly, adding rich content on local events, issues and real estate.
He sees his online contributions as something future agents will need to do to connect with their markets and stay valuable.
Online contributions are something future agents will need to do to connect with their markets.
In the US, 84% of property agents use social media to speak to their markets, according to RealEstateAgentU.com. Facebook is the most used, followed by Twitter then LinkedIn.
“Having travelled over there (the US) a few times, I can see they certainly embrace technology a lot more (than us),” Woods says.
“You do have to be in touch with your local market and we now keep in touch with most of our market via Facebook.
“I know a business in Melbourne with 16,000 followers on Instagram. It is a great way to influence people.”
It’s a virtual world…
Woods doesn’t think Aussie agents will look too different 50 years from now: “It is always going to be a people business.”
What will change is, how much business is managed online, enabling agents to work remotely as mobile workforces operating under a bigger agency brand name.
“We will see more agents trading without bricks and mortar agencies because mainstream shop frontages and the expense of leases may just not be necessary nor expected by your market.
“Already virtual agents are popping up as real-time communication makes you as accessible to your market lying on the sofa with your laptop as you are today in a bricks and mortar shop.”
… and a one-stop-shop
Melbourne-based Nigel O’Neil, CEO of the Hocking Stuart agency group, sees the agent of the future as a “one-stop-shop” for vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants.
Buying, selling and leasing will remain agents’ “bread and butter” but O’Neil sees big potential for redefinition of what it means to be “a real estate professional”.
“We can expect to see real estate becoming a one-stop-shop … as services that were once delivered by multiple providers are now increasingly coming under the same umbrella brand,” O’Neil says.
“From assisting clients to staging or renovating their property for sale, to finding a new home, leasing, booking removalists and establishing utility connections, real estate professionals will engage with clients earlier in their property journey and remain there for long.”
Read more: Smart home tech
originally posted on realestate.com.au - click here to read more