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The next era: embracing the evolution of real estate technology

Technology is rapidly influencing every aspect of our lives and it is no surprise that the property industry is experiencing a profound transformation. As real estate professionals, we are aware of the ongoing technological changes and the immense impact they are having on the industry. From virtual tours to streamlining property transactions, digital innovations are revolutionising our daily practices and the way we interact with clients. While the pace of change can seem daunting at times, it is essential to embrace new ways of working to prepare for the future and stay ahead in this ever-changing landscape.

Enhancing the real estate landscape

The rise of property technology (Prop Tech) has transformed every corner of the real estate world, empowering us to streamline processes, improve client experiences and enhance business efficiency. When comparing our current technology-driven strategies to traditional real estate practices, the contrast is significant. With print heavy campaigns, flyers and manual transactions once defining our standard operations, our daily processes have completely changed. The incorporation of online listings, 3D imaging and walkthrough technology, and the integration of digital signing and video conferencing are now part of our everyday practices and have optimised business efficiencies. This transformation, amongst other technology advancements, is critical to navigating the real estate landscape in 2024 and beyond.

While technology has been the driving force of innovation across all sectors for some time, the pandemic notably accelerated its impact on our operations. Like many sectors, the real estate industry and professionals had to find solutions to connect with consumers and fulfil responsibilities despite restrictions. Although this new way of working presented challenges, it provided the opportunity to explore new avenues of connection and further supported the transition from paper heavy processes to a more agile environment. The adaption to this new and efficient way of operating had a positive impact on our industry, reinforcing that technology can support us to service clients from virtually anywhere.

Why change is positive for the industry

The advancement of technology has been inevitable and whilst mostly positive, it has posed challenges for some professionals who are embedded in manual culture that has long dominated the industry. In my experience, it has been encouraging to see colleagues and industry peers adapt to new technologies and processes to enhance efficiencies in various areas of our roles. While resistance to change is common, the evolution of technology presents exciting opportunities for the industry, and it is essential we embrace it. Being presented with these opportunities means we can now operate leaner, with greater speed and agility than ever before, and we can overcome limitations in some areas through the knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

By embracing change and leveraging advanced technology, we can:

  • Enhance client experiences: prioritising positive client experience is vital, and technology is valuable in supporting us to communicate and provide a service in ways that are most aligned to their preferences. As consumer behaviour changes, it is crucial for us to adapt and have access to innovative tools to accommodate the evolving needs of our clients, whether it be face-to-face or virtually. Digitisation is about connecting with a wider range of people in a quicker and more efficient way, but not entirely replacing in person communication when it is in the best interest of our clients.

  • Improve efficiency: by embracing new technology, we can streamline workflows and have better time management. Tasks that once consumed hours can now be completed in minutes with the help of software and automation tools. From consumers being able to virtually view a property, to streamlining transactions, technology offers endless benefits when it comes to transforming our everyday processes, making them quicker and more efficient, to the benefit of both us and our clients.

  • Better reach our audience: having access to data and insights over recent years has been invaluable. Through technology, we can use data to gain valuable insight into market trends, property prices, demographic information, plus more. Leveraging these tools can prove highly beneficial, empowering us to make more informed business decisions, stay ahead of competition, and maximise our full potential.

  • Data and security: with privacy now a more major concern, technology has forced real estate agencies to take a more proactive approach with their data management. While operating in a digital world has numerous benefits, it also exposes us to cyber risks, making it highly important to utilise secure technology to keep data and our clients safe. For example, we handle extensive volumes of client information and large sums of money throughout property transactions, which have become a prime target to cybercriminals in recent years. We are fortunate to now have access to secure platforms that enhance property exchanges and ensure they are completed in a cyber secure way, and it’s crucial we take advantage of this. While keeping up with new technology is valuable for our own benefits, it is imperative we prioritise our client’s data and uphold our reputation when it comes to security.

Looking to the future

By embracing change and actively seeking out new technology, real estate agents and agencies are in a positive position to future-proof their business for long term success. These advancements give us the chance to seize new opportunities and position ourselves as industry leaders. While adapting to change may require some time, the ongoing evolution of technology in the industry is inevitable and ultimately something to be excited about. We are being provided with endless opportunities to foster our growth and innovation, helping us to take our business and client experiences to new heights.

Author: Ciaran O’Brien

Ciaran O’Brien is the Operations Manager at Harris Partners Real Estate in Balmain, Sydney. He commenced his career in real estate at the beginning of 2020 and has experience working as a Sales Associate and Sales Consultant. Throughout his property journey, he developed a keen interest towards technology and business operations, which secured his current role where he focuses on crafting the digital environment for Harris Partners and supporting growth trajectory for the future.

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