What the Heck…is Digital Disruption?

Business, Industry News, Journal,  Principals

Disruption in the workforce is hardly a new phenomenon but will AI and the fourth industrial revolution threaten jobs? Or, are there are opportunities for growth?

Über. AirBNB. Spotify. Netflix. If you’ve been to a seminar in the last few years, those are the big names people often drop when talking about digital disruption. Disruption – for better or worse – has well and truly entered the business zeitgeist. However, for the sheer volume of discussion around digital disruption, the general lack of understanding is very surprising. So, what is it exactly?

Here’s what the Oxford Dictionary says: Digital disruption is a transformation that is caused by emerging digital technologies and business models. These innovative new technologies and models can impact the value of existing products and services offered in the industry.

All of that has more of an impact on the real estate industry than you might think…

Digital Disruption Forces You to Provide a Better Service

The long and short of it is that consumers’ expectations have changed, thanks to new technologies. For example, speed is often considered the ultimate differentiator between basic service providers today. We want faster internet, service, food, products. People want things now and if you can’t give it to them, they’ll go somewhere else. Look at Blockbuster for example/ They succumbed to Netflix. Or Uber, which killed (or at least, heavily wounded) the taxi industry. When it comes to longer-term service or bigger purchases, we want a great experience. To keep existing customers happy (and attract new ones), you need to provide it. Apple has managed to achieve this with its Geniuses, for example.

What Disruption Could Look Like In Your Agency

We’ve all heard about the big disruptors – the discount agencies lowering prices for their service by either lowering commission splits, or reducing the services offered. However, there are ways you can implement new digital technologies into your own agencies that disrupt the way you do business entirely.

  • E-signatures: Gone are the days when you’d need to get a physical signature on a contract. Then rush it over to the other party for signing. Then rush it back to the office to scan it into your system. Start using an e-sign provider and save time for you and your client(s). Removing any unnecessary human interaction is a positive right now in a COVID-19 environment. Running all over town to get signatures sure seems unnecessary, given the tech tools we have at our disposal.
  • Chat bots: Install one on your website so visitors can automatically receive a response to their queries. The smartest ones can even surface answers to FAQs.
  • Blockchain: Embrace this new technology to keep all important documents in one place and track the progress of a sale through to completion.

The Good News

While the rapid demise of Blockbuster probably makes you feel a little uneasy about such technology, let’s be frank: Real estate agents will be around for a long time. There’s no doubt technology is changing the face of real estate, but unlike DVD rentals, film photography and transport, real estate can’t simply be disrupted. Your job is to guide your clients through the exhausting and often emotional process of buying and selling property.

Don’t be fooled by the term ‘disruption’ either. It could easily be misinterpreted as a negative; an attack on their business. In reality, it’s only a negative for those businesses who choose to ignore or resist it. Those who embrace it usually find it’s a benefit, or even a point of difference for their business.

So, there you have it. A quick explanation of what digital disruption means in the context of real estate. If you want to know more, check out these links:

 

This article has been written and produced in partnership with Rexlabs – a leading product house based in Brisbane that is creating software-driven solutions for the real estate and broader property sector. As a local business with a foothold in the UK, they are uniquely positioned to understand the complexities Queensland real estate professionals face and cross-pollinate innovation across the oceans. Rexlabs design, develop and support Rex Software, Siteloft, Spoke and Hitch

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