Today, real estate agents have more information on their customers and property than ever before. The past 5 years alone have streamlined the Real Estate industry into a frenzy of data collection and the prediction for 2019 onwards is a move towards simple ways to use this data we've spent time and energy collecting to create an engaging and personalised experience for customers.
What does this mean for Real Estate?
The real estate industry in particular gets a pretty bad wrap for beating the traditional mass-marketing dead horse. There isn't a person in a metropolitan area who hasn't experienced the very real pain of an overflowing mailbox, packed with a barrage of flyers from local agents informing the owner of the property that "number 13 in your street has just sold!!!".
Irritating, especially considering you're renting.
The reason for this is an underlying sense of extreme urgency within the property sector. This is no surprise when the average Australian is being told it should take around 30 days to sell a property.
The issue that leading real estate agencies have always faced is that any method that is implemented to create more intelligent and personalised marketing has to:
a. Be fast to roll out
b. Be packed with accurate customer and property data
c. Be easy for an Agent to understand and execute on
d. Be easily measurable - it's got to show me it produces results
Over the past few years, the industry has become very good at making it easier and faster for Agents to collect customer data and access property data.
What kind of trends are we seeing?
Firstly, we're expecting a boom in Property Technology investment. Global funding of real estate property technology has been increasing approximately 36% year on year since 2012 and demand is not slowing down.
It will come as no surprise that mobile is a huge focus for real estate with over 88% of Aussies regularly using a smartphone. The focus will be on both smartphone-optimised, accessible marketing material for customers but also more smartphone and tablet-friendly tech for agents on the go, to make following up easier to get more information to a buyer or renter faster.
What can we expect to see more of in 2019?
Enabled by all the tech and data trends emerging, consumers can expect to see more personalisation in the material that guides them through major real estate relationships, namely renting, buying, selling, auctions and property management. This means less 'tech stack' and more cloud-based ecosystems, with each component doing 1 job well and talk to all the other moving parts seamlessly.
As consumers also have access to more information than ever before, agents are going to have to work hard to set themselves apart by providing more up to date property information in marketing material. Because of this pressure, large agencies will be forced to create intelligent nurture tracks that trigger much of this material so that agents can work smarter, not harder.
The other element we can start to see emerging in the age of data is the presence of AI in real estate. It's no longer enough for agents to collect data and then regurgitate it back to the customer. They must use the data they've collected from many customers to predict future behaviour and make suggestions that prove they're the experts they say they are!
The great news for the rest of us is that this pivot heralds the end of the overstuffed catalogue era, which we (and the planet) will all be thankful for!