Predicted Proptech Trends for 2021
It’s mid-March, 2020. Across the globe, largescale lockdowns are happening – and fast. While the general public is scrambling to get enough toilet paper to tide them over for the next few weeks, real estate professionals are left wondering how property can realistically continue to transact during a global pandemic. Thankfully, there’s proptech. Early adopters to digital solutions like virtual tours or One Touch™ can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that whatever happens, their real estate agency could continue to help people buy, sell or rent property.
Flash forward to December 2020, and it’s evident there’s a key takeaway message for business owners from this year: while we cannot predict what the year ahead will hold, we can implement products, programs and procedures that can assist with any curveball.
With this in mind, the REIQ has made three predictions for proptech trends in 2021.
DEMAND FOR PROPTECH THAT ALLOWS VIRTUAL INTERACTIONS WILL INCREASE
The ability to conduct a routine or open home inspection via a virtual tour or 3D walkthrough was invaluable for agents, buyers, sellers and tenants during the height of contagion. While life is almost back to normal in the Sunshine State and buyers/renters are able to walk through a property as per normal, these virtual offerings remove barriers that physical inspections cannot solve. REA Chief Sales Officer Kul Singh says digital alternatives are much easier for consumers, and provide more qualified enquiries for agents. “Once you’ve viewed an inspection online you can then apply, and then to secure the [property] you get to do a private one-on-one inspection, and ultimately this leads to more qualified enquiries,” says Singh.
The uptake of virtual tour technology highlighted that convenience for consumers and property professionals should be at the forefront of any agencies priorities. With that said, it’s little wonder people are looking for digital solutions in other parts of the selling and leasing process. The REIQ predicts property managers will adapt to One Touch™ technology in droves – a digital signing option available in Realworks that returns agreements in record time. In the same vein, sales agents will gravitate towards e-conveyancing platforms like PEXA. Much like virtual tours, these two pieces of technology remove barriers caused by people needing to meet face to face, and at the height of the pandemic, allowed buyers and tenants to either purchase or lease properties in Queensland sight-unseen. This is particularly useful for international and interstate residents trying to relocate to the Sunshine State, but are barred from physically inspecting the property due to border closures or stringent quarantine processes.
MARKETING WILL BECOME MORE PERSONALISED AND MULTIFACETED
COVID-19 changed the course of numerous people’s lives in 2020. Many people were saving their cash for an interstate or overseas relocation, a grand wedding or a year-long backpacking trip before a global pandemic ruined their plans. With this in mind, a lot of consumers in the marketplace are potential buyers – but are not acting as active buyers, because they haven’t decided what they’ll be doing with their spare funds. And as any good agent knows, it’s mainly just active buyers that are scouring the property portals. So, how can property professionals target inactive buyers? By implementing marketing plug-ins to an agencies CRM, agents can capture passive buyers on social media platforms. It’s predicted that agents will be looking to implement proptech offerings such as these plugins in 2021 to make their overall marketing strategy more personalised. That’s not to say, however, that in-person and traditional forms of marketing won’t continue to be used in 2021 – in fact, the REIQ predicts agencies will take on a 360-degree strategy when it comes to marketing their services. The savviest agents will advertise on property portals like realestate.com.au, while using print, video, blogs, and of course, in-person networking.
AGENCIES WILL FOCUS ON DATA AS A SOURCE OF TRUTH
COVID-19 emphasised the why property professionals must source their information from trusted, expert sources. At the height of the pandemic, populist prophets were reporting that house prices nose-dived by 20 per cent or more. It’s expected in 2021 that real estate professionals will heavily lean on sources like CoreLogic’s RP Data to both demonstrate and report on the facts.
On a local level, real estate agencies are leaning heavily on personal data and analytics to determine their individual success. Many customer relationship management systems, such as Rex provide a single reporting centre that provides access to an agencies financials, performance, administrative, and visual reports on every part of a real estate agency’s business. Access to this data allows agents to benchmark their success against their competition, and for principals to have a comprehensive insight into their team’s performance (e.g. appraisal win/loss ratios, activity rates on follow-ups, etc).