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The coronavirus has driven the real estate industry to innovate at warp speed. Professionals and companies at all levels have released cutting-edge products and systems to adapt to a world without face-to-face communication. Connect Now moderator Kendall Bonner and panelists Rainy Hake Austin and David Walker encouraged agents to keep harnessing this wave of innovation and learning how to use technology and not fear.
“I don’t think technology, be it artificial intelligence (AI) or other advanced technologies, is replacing the human experience,” said Hake Austin, president of the agency. “But I think they are improving [the human experience] in an interesting way. “
For example, Hake Austin said agents often struggle to maintain relationships after a transaction is completed and that technology can help them build a robust database, know when to contact previous customers, and identify new customers ready to start buying or selling home travel.
“[They] can use technology, maybe not AI, but more advanced technologies like predictive analytics in a CRM to find out which people are most accessible to stay in front of their customers, ”she said. “But really, for their own perspective, what was their greatest return on investment, [tech] can also tell them who is most likely to buy and who is likely to sell. [It] can enable them to manage their most valuable resource which is their own time. “
David Walker, CEO of Triplemint, said agents not only keep the lines of communication open after a transaction, but they can use the technology to create a stronger value proposition. Walker said his brokerage firm uses real estate data to identify offers that are most likely to hold or appreciate their value in the years to come. This is invaluable information for sellers.
“The area I’m really obsessed with is, how can we empower agents to add value to their customers?” he said. “At Triplemint we have created a flight-to-quality model in which we analyze each individual property in the markets we serve and add a quality and value factor to them.”
“So we can say, ‘OK, based on previous recessions, which properties are most likely to hold value against potential future economic uncertainty and which properties are currently the best priced in the market,” he added. “That uses AI and data science to empowering an agent to offer their buyers and sellers something truly unique that they cannot get anywhere else. “
Even with an abundance of tools and technology, according to Hake Austin and Walker, many real estate agents still stick to the idea that real estate is all about relationships and that technology is a nuisance at best and a nuisance at worst. an enemy.
“That is not everything [about] Relationships more, ”said Hake Austin of the luxury market. “It’s really about an experience.”
According to Hake Austin, high-end buyers and sellers expect a “more robust and personalized experience” that can only be achieved through the use of AI, predictive analytics and other advanced technologies. She explained that tech does some of the heavy lifting of crunching numbers and searching for listings, leaving more room for agents to hone their interpersonal skills.
“As personalization becomes more important than ever in real estate and in all consumer experiences, behaviors and decisions, agents need a way more than ever to personalize the experience, such as personalizing the recommended properties for their searches,” said Hake Austin. “But even an agent must be able to use his personal network to possibly generate off-market listings that he knows from his relationships in the market.”
“So technology certainly does not replace the agents’ network, their knowledge of local markets, communities, trends, their business skills in negotiating and their ability to recognize the contracts,” she added. “But I think customers in all segments of the market have the expectation that you can now personalize their search experience to anticipate their needs.”
While technology is an integral part of meeting the needs of today’s consumers, Walker says agents and brokers must remember that without solid systems for attracting and retaining lifelong customers, technology will not produce results. When you have a large CRM database, consistent sales training and processes, and a strong tech stack in place, your agents will have a hard time failing to shine.
“[Tech is] This provides a tremendous opportunity for brokers and agents to better use their relationship building, negotiating, and selling skills, ”he said. “So I see this world of AI and technology improving the opportunities for real estate agents to be the most human of themselves and add more value to their customers.”
“But there is no technology that can solve good and bad behavior for people,” he added. “Ultimately, as real estate agents, we run our own business and we have to be fully committed. We have to commit to what we will do. “
Looking ahead, both leaders said technology will only become a bigger part of the real estate industry. Instead of dreading new tools and platforms, Hake Austin encouraged agents to use the technology to become more versatile and move outside of their comfort zones.
“We have to learn for life and strive to keep getting better,” said Hake Austin. “I don’t think the fundamentals of sales and real estate have really changed. We just have new tools and platforms to use and people are afraid to try new things because [older business practices] are what they have done successfully. “
Meanwhile, Walker said agents and brokers must use technology as a magnifying glass to identify issues with the value proposition or implementation.
“I think [the fear of tech] comes from a lack of comfort in the value they bring to customers, ”said Walker. “Any agent I know who is absolutely confident of the value it brings is not afraid that technology will pose a threat to them.”
“If you are an agent out there and you think technology is a threat or scary to you, you are probably not getting the resources from your company that you need to use them well,” he added.
Email Marian McPherson