Real Estate Brokerage has always been a high growth potential industry and with the changing trends in this sector, it has seen a flow of trends that have restructured the sector. Since the structure of the industry is changing, the time has come when the Real Estate professionals should not even ignore these changing trends. The sector is professionalizing and we need to aim at not only providing better services to the customer but also ensure that we work towards upgrading the status that a “Real Estate Broker” has in the society.
Now one big question that most of us face is “Has Internet replaced the role of the Real Estate brokers and agents? With so much of information about properties already available on the property portals and mobile friendly applications claiming to enable a direct interaction between the seller and the buyer; we may get an impression that there is no need of a Broker/ Agent during the home buying or selling process. What we need to understand is that Real Estate is a field business. Getting of all the information online about the property does not end the process; rather it is just an initiator. Site visits, documentation, negotiations, right pricing etc are the offline side of the business which cannot be completed without the guidance of a Real Estate expert. Technology is just a tool that ultimately helps both the brokers and the end users but it is a fact that it cannot replace the Real Estate Brokers/Consultants. Successfully completing a transaction involves much more than just uploading a listing on a property portal.
If you look 10 years back at the way Real Estate was conducted, a Broker was the keeper of all the information about a particular property. There was no source other than a Broker/Agent to get information about a property and they were minting a lot of money just because of this information dissemination. But now the game has changed. Information starting from the dimensions of the house to nearest utilities to the contact number of the owner is just a click away. There is so much more available on various social media platforms like Facebook groups, communities, What’s app groups etc. To survive in 21st century, a Real Estate Consultant has to learn about the skills that a machine cannot do for a customer. There is a paradigm shift because of the technology and the way business is done and it has impacted the brokerage industry to a very large extent. All the smart Real Estate professionals have already taken the leap by updating themselves with the tools and techniques that will help them offer something more than what is already available online. With Real Estate moving to a more organized and regulated stage, I feel that this is the time that players like us will be the change leaders in the brokerage industry.
To survive in today’s Real Estate market, a Real Estate professional needs to evolve constantly in terms of market knowledge, network, professionalism, marketing, etc to attract new customers. We strongly feel that we need to adopt some practices that will be a value addition to the end user.
Some of them can be:
VALUE THE TIME OF YOUR CUSTOMER: Every end user already comes with a good amount of research done about his buying decision. A Real Estate Consultant should be well equipped with the knowledge about the latest inventory in that locality along with extra relevant information that can act as a catalyst in making the final decision. This value for their time will also build up the trust factor and make customers for life. Moreover, the present day customer looks for an access to maximum number of properties under the same roof as it makes the process more efficient, manageable and more over saves a lot of time that gets wasted in going from broker to broker to find the right property. A Real Estate professional should be able to provide the customer with this value addition to service all kinds of Real Estate needs.
MAKE MAXIMUM OUT OF TECHNOLOGY: Technology has tools that not only help in increasing your productivity but also help in doing much more than that. With set systems and procedures you can not only maintain but also market your inventory with just a few clicks. Though technology cannot replace the human touch that is required in the business, but it can surely help you in building the much required equilibrium between the online and the offline state of the business.
LET YOUR PROFESSIONALISM SPEAK FOR YOU: With the changing demographics of the home buyers; it’s time for Real Estate Consultants to be more professional in their approach. Your own personality, your office’s look, your way of dealing with them can do wonders. These are some very basic things which are acting as game changers in this industry. Every customer wants to deal with a professional and not an unprofessional part-timer opportunist.
UP SKILL YOURSELF: To be able to position yourself in today’s market, you need to constantly up skill yourself to provide a better service to the end user. In addition to knowing your local market in and out; one should also know about the documentation and legalities involved to actually act as a Consultant to the buyer. Instead to being a mediator, the need of the hour is to be able to walk through the entire process and present a blend of the market expertise and cutting edge technology.
We would like to conclude by saying that the way we do this business has changed, but at the end of the day, Real Estate is still a people’s business. Portals can provide unlimited information, technology can provide a national and a global connect but all this cannot match to the human skills of negotiating and understanding what a customer actually wants. So though our industry is experiencing a phenomenal change since the start of the 21st century which has led to some major transformations, it will only be of value addition to the brokers and not their replacement.