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IS DEVELOPING TECH A THREAT TO AGENTS?132

Tim private msg quote post Address this user
Written by TIM SCOTT co-founder of Ticketyview 24/12/2014

Technology is advancing at a rapid rate and there isn't a thing we can do about it. Look back 10 years ago and people were just starting to dabble in myspace. Not long after that and people would say "what is myspace?". Today's reality is that almost everything is available online. Not only is it available, it is extremely convenient in an increasingly busy world. The interconnectedness of FaceBook allows for a slew of marketing techniques at a reasonable price. So where does all of this fit in with the real estate industry?

I myself have been a real estate enthusiast, amateur developer and investor and I struggle to remember a time before realestate.com. When I dig deep enough I do however recall the pain of trawling through the weekend paper thinking to myself "what if I have missed something?". I used to stress whilst trying to find my first property in Adelaide back in 2001. How could anyone possibly have the time to find a property for sale, inspect it and go through the entire process of sorting finance? In reflection I'm not sure, but it happened.

Having said that, things were a lot slower back then. Social media wasn't prominent and online marketing was in its infancy. Now enter 2014...realestate.com has 99.9% of available property right in the palm of our hands. Easy and simplistic in its form, an agents dream. A one stop shop for anybody looking for real estate. What more could we possibly want? Simply put, more! I wont even entertain the thought of a property online unless it has a large amount of professional photos and a well constructed floor plan accompanying the listing. If it doesn't have these, it better be in the golden lasso and be at a bargain basement price. What vendors don't seem to realise is that whilst people may now find your property easily, they may not have the time to give it the attention it deserves.

Our culture is fast paced and unforgiving and the old adage of you snooze you lose is more prevalent than ever. Why is it that in an age where we have cost effective solutions to these problems, a majority of agents are still afraid of what this means for their industry? Shouldn't they embrace digital solutions with open arms? Not yet, it would seem. Despite a a need in an online world to have a marketing edge, some agents see it as a threat rather than a marketing tool. Right now the technology exists for people to have their property scanned and photographed in under an hour at a price less than an ad in the paper or professional photography, it allows for a fully accurate scaled 3D model and a "true" 3D virtual tour allowing prospective buyers to tour a property the moment it goes online. Not only can they tour it, they have access to an interactive floor plan whereby they can enter and exit the tour where and when they like. It sounds to good to be true but this service is already available in South Australia. I know this because myself and my three business partners have brought it here.

The interesting thing we have found in bringing this amazing new technology to our sleepy state is that the vast majority of agents are intimidated by it. A strange thing that we didn't see coming. Buyers and vendors love it and seriously cant get enough, but not all agents see the pros. Some of the feedback from agents so far has been "what if no one comes to my open", "what if there are parts of the house we don't want people to see", "what about security". Surely agents only want people that like the property and are genuine buyers at their opens, surely when people come to an open they will see all parts of the home and finally if they wanted to case the place...they'll probably be at your open. Sure, like anything there are pros and cons, but in this instance the advantages certainly outweigh the negatives.

This technology also allows us to build full virtual reality experiences using Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. Facebook didn't buy Oculus for $2billion to not see it in everyone's homes. Buyers love the ability to quickly and easily assess the suitability of a home, vendors only like spending hours presenting their home for informed and genuine buyers. Once more agents start to consider these advantages, (plus the many more) hopefully they will embrace the changing technology and do what they do best and use all of the potential marketing tools available to their advantage. One thing we know is that the tech has arrived and its only getting better...
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Glenda private msg quote post Address this user
Geez, could you summarize your thoughts in a few bullet points? I have a REALLY short attention span ... LOL!
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Jamie private msg quote post Address this user
Haha geez Tim, you waffle on more than my Mrs
Post 3 IP   flag post
Tim private msg quote post Address this user
Geez seems a popular phrase...
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Glenda private msg quote post Address this user
Geez, yes ... LOL!
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Jamie private msg quote post Address this user
Strewth Tim
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ToddRuhl private msg quote post Address this user
There are some agents who actually embrace new technology...

I can still remember getting laughed at when carrying around a Sony Mavica camera to take digital photos. The thing was nearly the size of a Matterport camera..lol. "Digital photos are the future," I said. "No way you'll ever replace film!" was the typical response.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Tim private msg quote post Address this user
I appreciate that there are Todd otherwise we wouldn't be in business...however the majority are not. Many agents we have talked with feel genuinely threatened by this sort of tech, and we were surprised by it is all. Those that embrace it will hopefully force the hands of the more reluctant...
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ToddRuhl private msg quote post Address this user
They will have no choice, Tim. Realize that you are slightly ahead of the curve. A few innovators always shape the market...the others have to play "catch-up" to stay competitive. And never forget the old adage: "The pioneers get the arrows and the settlers get the land."
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Jamie private msg quote post Address this user
I've found some agents don't like the concept because it shows the property in an honest way. They miss out on getting the buyer to set foot in the house and they miss out on the chance to sell the house to them.
Some other do like it because it saves them time showing the house to tire kickers
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Tim private msg quote post Address this user
I like the sound of that old adage if we are the pioneers and arrows are good...
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Tim private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
I've found some agents don't like the concept because it shows the property in an honest way. They miss out on getting the buyer to set foot in the house and they miss out on the chance to sell the house to them.
Some other do like it because it saves them time showing the house to tire kickers


Same feedback everywhere on the planet by the sounds. once we can port our stuff into the likes of a Gear VR with ease and an agent can carry it on them I believe we will be truly next level with this and it will be undeniable...
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GarySnyder private msg quote post Address this user
Just to add my two cents, I'm seeing the same thing in the UK. The old thinking that the Estate Agents need that personal touch in interacting with the client as they walk through the house.

When I spoken to potential buyers they all love the concept as it saves then countless hours in viewing homes that disappoint them.

In every case when I do have am intelligent conversation with a Estate Agent they all say when the technology starts showing up with their competitors then they will embrace the technology but not till then.
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Bryn private msg quote post Address this user
We have had similar reactions. We frame this as efficiency and sell it as such. Open houses are very unproductive and most of our cleint's don't do them. We pitch the fact that the fewer number of showings are more productive with more qualified and interested buyers. You should be able to handle more listings as a result of spending less time with "tire kicker showings" You will also attract more buyers with the quality and power of the content. Closing the last mile of connecting with the buyer can be a simple website design issue. Put a instant chat tab like you see on our site on the agent site and connect with people while their are digitally within the listing. Push this tech is almost more about educating clients than selling scans. Thanks for the post Tim!
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Jamie private msg quote post Address this user
The agents need to realise that once clients see the technology that's available to help sell their house, then they will potentially choose an agent who embraces it.
It's not just about the one scan/sale, it's about everyone else that can see what is being offered.
Put it to the agents, that they are always marketing themselves for the next listing. If you are happy with just doing the basics for your tens of thousands in commission, then someone else will swoop in under you and take your business. And as it should be.
Wouldn't it be nice if we were paid as much commission as agents
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Tim @Glenda @Jamie @ToddRuhl @GarySnyder @Bryn

While we've been busy creating Matterport 3D Showcases for $1+ million listings in Atlanta, for those agents that get it and love it, we have encountered real estate agents that you (all) have experienced in your presentations.

I thought you would enjoy my blog post about a sale that I failed to make.

I outline my questions and the answers ...

I feel some comfort in knowing that we all experience both those that "get it" and "no clue" ...

Please do not be eating or drinking when you read #12.

Best,

Dan
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Tim

Thank you for your permission to publish your commentary (above) as a guest We Get Around blog post ...

Is Technology a Threat or an Opportunity for Real Estate Agents?

Best,

Dan
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