Traditional Real Estate agencies have been around since 1979, so what exactly is it that’s kicked up a fuss now? 52% of people turn to the Internet as their first port of call to buy or sell, so being tech savvy as a real estate agency is more important than ever. These are 6 Real Estate digitrends that are storming the real estate market at the same pace that Apple took the smartphone industry. Below are the companies, their characteristics and how to use them in your own business to boost sales!
Development of low cost agencies
Low-cost agencies are no longer small players in the real estate world and have been on the rise for several years now. Some companies have invested hugely in technology and research and development in order to become important proptech actors. They are financially supported and use state-of-the-art technology! Below are two examples of successful low cost agencies…
Yopa was founded in September 2015 by Daniel Attia. Chief executive Daniel was aiming to disrupt the estate agency market by using tech to cut down costs. They do everything except the actual house viewing, but according to Daniel it’s a low-cost online real estate agency that simplifies transactions and applies skills ‘on-the-ground’. Fees for selling a home start from just £510. Human interactions are minimised to make the process even easier, it offers fixed prices and a clear proposal to instill confidence in the seller.
Image Credit: Forbes
Yopa assigns a real estate agent to you, who can cater to your personal needs and sell your home for the best price. They don’t get commision, and let you pay however you want, either at the beginning or after ten months. In addition, you can choose a No Sale, No Fee plan, so you pay nothing until your house is sold! Find out more about the No Sale, No Fee plans here.
”The old estate agents are like the tape cassette, we are the iPod.” - CEO Daniel Attia
Purple Bricks provides a full estate agency service at a low cost, by removing the expensive offices and fleets of cars that you usually see in agencies. The one-off fee is payable either at the start, or can be deferred for up to 10 months. If your property doesn’t sell within 10 months, then Purple Bricks will continue to market your property for no extra cost until it does sell. In addition, they offer to do the viewings for you (additional cost of £300) but if you’d prefer to do it yourself, that’s okay too!
If you’re feeling inspired by brand new, innovative, low cost agencies like Yopa and Purple Bricks, then follow these criteria:
Differentiate your services from real estate agencies by explaining what you do best
Invest heavily in Communication and Marketing for increased publicity
Process mandates online to make your seller’s life easier
Give the tools to the vendors to allow them more independence (e.g. a private space for each user)
Dramatic increase of mobile apps
Customers are always on their mobile phones. According to research done by Quartz, one in five American adults only access the Internet via a smartphone, not a computer. The ‘app’ culture is expanding, and becoming the norm. If you don’t get on-board with mobile friendly sites and apps, then you’ll start to lose 90% of your business!
The Digital Experience
Build on the digital experience like Compass:
Compass - a real estate company with a purpose. Compass sees itself as the first modern real estate platform, combining talented individuals with technology “to make the search and sell experience intelligent and seamless”. As trailblazers in the industry, it requires the smartest tools built by experts in the fields of engineering, design, and strategy.
“Compass is changing how agents and clients navigate the process of finding or selling a home.”
Build your company from the great example shown by Compass by:
Recruiting the best agents and retaining them
Giving your team some crafted data showing how often properties are seen on your site
Providing the best tools for your agents
Displaying photos to show your employees as approachable, trustworthy agents with the help of a professional photographer
Giving a clear vision of your company to your employees
In 2014, Opendoor set out to reinvent moving house with a new, simple way to buy and sell your home. Nearly 20,000 customers who have come to Opendoor in search of making moving house easier. Whether it’s getting married, starting a family, or taking a new job, they understand it can be stressful and they de-dramatise the real estate transaction for you.
Opendoor bids on homes, buys them and then sells them, charging a fee of about 6.7% to 13%. It eliminates steps such as finding a real estate agent and hosting open houses, so that homeowners are not stuck waiting to sell their house before they can move or forced to juggle two house payments. The company is on pace to spend more than $2.5 billion on home purchases over the next year, with the average price of a home at $250,000.
Here is Opendoor's breakdown of what they offer sellers and buyers:
Your home expert prepares an offer with market data and the unique information you provide.
You review your offer and associated fees. When you’re ready to sign your contract so are we.
Schedule your free home assessment. If repairs are needed, Opendoor can do the work post-close. We’ll simply deduct the costs from your proceeds.
Get paid in a matter of days and move on to your next home stress-free while we get the home list-ready.
We’ll handle the maintenance of the home and find the next buyer.
Visit Opendoor homes on your schedule and access them using the Opendoor app.
Once you fall in love, we’ll guide you through making an offer.
Every home comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so you can purchase with confidence.
You close and settle into your new home.
Trending ibuyers, like Opendoor use advertising to entice clients by showing them what it would be like to sell their house with Opendoor:
Video Credit: Youtube
To reassure your clients, make sure you:
Give clients a date and a fixed price
Master your estimation process with certainty
Focus on processing mandates online to make your client’s life easier
Follow up any of your clients’ problems
Centralise your interactions in the same place, like Good Lord, a rental management site. An approach like this will help you to keep all your requests in one place and will save you time. Here you can create a rental property profile, form a contract and share it, complete all the relevant documentation through the referencing form and within a matter of minutes you’ll have a signed contract ready!
Another similar website is Mynd, which offers improved services to residents and owners to serve its clients more efficiently. It offers better resident services, simple portfolio management for owners and is there for you 24/7!
Image Credit: Dribble
Technology is at the heart of both of these companies and is used for all of these procedures. It allows you to manage your rental file, secure your file, sign electronically, book appointments and establish an inventory with the customer. All of this will set you apart from your competitors.
Position yourself uniquely on the market, where there is little to no competition. Leosquare is a french company that has found a gap in the market; its aim is to find offices in Paris tailored to the needs of its clients.
It uses algorithms such as Immoscan, a cutting-edge new technology that uses artificial intelligence and semantic analysis. This algorithm displays which average price per m2 sells the fastest, the percentage of goods sold in a certain number of days and much more.
Be transparent in the market. Honesty is the best policy! And always remember to be human throughout the entire customer process.
Ubiquity is an example of an innovative blockchain technology founded in the US in September 2015. This startup is creating a blockchain-driven system for tracking the complicated legal process which creates friction and expense in real estate transfer.
Icon is a 3D printing tech company that creates 3D-printers, robotics, and advanced materials that are revolutionising homebuilding.
Meero is shaking up the market too, utilising artificial intelligence in imaging to change the face of photography. Meero’s machine learning algorithms allow for accelerated delivery, high scalability and standardised quality, helping companies sell more with inspiring realistic photographs.