Proptech To Help Real Estate Agents Survive Covid19

Archive for coronavirus

Proptech To Help Real Estate Agents Survive Covid19

This is an article written by KYLIE DAVIS

With multi-party inspections and auctions now shut down, real estate agents everywhere are looking for tech options to help them to continue to list, sell and manage properties digitally. 

Here’s a quick summary of the Australian proptechs that can help you keep operating. 

1. Technology to keep you in contact with your market

Everyone is now scanning social media constantly so now is a good time to build your social media profile and finally get your EDM strategy under control. Look at ACTIVEPIPE to set up your EDMs so that you’re tracking, engaging with clients and generating leads and CAMPAIGNTRACK to help automate your listing marketing. 

But if listings are slowing, look at how you can create great content further up the marketing funnel to build your reputation as a market expert. HOMEPREZZO turns your data feeds into great content in the form of suburb videos and reports while REALCONTENT offers a range of ready-to-go articles already pre-written.

Turning that content into targeted advertising is the next step and there’s now a range of tools to help real estate agents do that without needing to master Facebook Ad Manager. Check out SPOKEAPP .IO which will automate digital ad creation for Facebook, Instagram and GoogleAds. ADFENIX and CCT are other options being used by agents in Australia. 

Or if you want to outsource it altogether, use this time to check out PLEZZL or SOCIALESTATE which offer more media-agency based services.

2. Technology for appraisals and sales workflow

Look to new appraisal tools that allow you to create pitches for potential vendors and support the end to end sales process. Options like PROPOSAL POINT will allow you to create interactive presentations and send them easily. Schedule a Zoom meeting or Google Hangout to run through the proposal with your vendor.  

Full  end to end digital sales solutions can be found in REALTAIR which has products called Pitch, Sign, Flow and Track to let you appraise, pitch and manage sales documentation from end to end and connects seamlessly with CAMPAIGNTRACKREAL TIME AGENT also manages end to end sales administration saving four hours per property in paperwork. 

3. Technology for digital forms and contracts

Whether you’re in property management or sales, one of the risks of everyone working from home is having multiple copies of forms and contracts sitting on desktops in various state of completion. Now more than ever is time to embrace DocuSign and digital forms and contracts from REI FORMS LIVEREALWORKS in Queensland or FORMS LIVE in Victoria. Standardised Covid19 forms have now been loaded for easy access. 

4. Technology for virtual staging

If the virus has caught your sellers on the hop and you’ve not had time to stage it, send internal shots to BOXBROWNIE who will not only fix the lighting, but can install virtual furniture, carry out some virtual renovations or just clean up the clutter. It’s ridiculously affordable. 

5. Technology for Open Homes

There’s a myriad of tech that allows viewings to be done digitally. If your sellers are okay with you visiting the property you can do a quick virtual walkthrough with HOMELIVE or create a virtual tour with  VIRTUAL TOURS CREATOR so you can see where people stop and click. DIAKRIT also offers virtual tours. 

But if your sellers barricade the doors, there’s still an option. Check out REALAR. Provide them with a floorplan and your portal listing photos and they will build an augmented walkthrough that will help buyers feel like they’re really there. If you need a floorplan created, BoxBrownie can build one cheaply for you.

6. Technology to keep you selling

With public auctions now banned, it’s time to look at digital options. Realtair have just launched AuctionNow, while WA proptech OPENN NEGOTIATION is another digital auction site.

There’s also a growing number of transparent negotiation systems including RESO and MARKETBUY. Both allow you to receive offers centrally, share them with your sellers and inform all buyers when a strong offer has been received (but it won’t necessarily share what those offers are). Both apps encourage interested parties to put their best foot forward and will allow your team to close sales without coming into the office. MarketBuy can behave like an auction if you wish it. 

7. Technology for property maintenance 

With tenants spending more time at home, the maintenance requests are likely to step up rather than slow down. Email is NOT the tool to manage this. 

You need to help your tenants self-service to resolve issues where possible and have jobs briefed and ready to go in a way that can be easily tracked.

To this end, check out RENTAL HEROES which is a clever chatbot that allows tenants to report issues quickly and easily using SMS or chat, and get help or create a clear brief. Kiwi newcomer TAPI has a nice product called Tenant Concierge that allows tenants to report issues 24/7 helping you acquire all the details and assess the need for a call out. 

8. Technology for property management

It will be extremely difficult for your team to work from home if you are still using a legacy property management system. Now is the time to evaluate the cloud-based options for property management. Check out PROPERTYME,INSPECTREMANAGEDOURPROPERTYCONSOLE CLOUD and PROPERTYTREE. 

This is not a definitive list but it’s tech that is easy to introduce even in the short term.

How digital innovation in real estate makes buying and selling more secure

This is an article published in Domain on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Written by KATE FARELLY

The changes forced on real estate agents by the government’s COVID-19 social distancing measures have led to a mammoth uptake of proptech in a bid to keep business afloat.

“The virus has accelerated agents’ adoption of some of this technology and it’s made a lot of businesses realise they’ve been overly dependent on legacy systems,” says Kylie Davis, founder of the recently formed Proptech Association Australia.

“[These systems] don’t allow them the flexibility to let their staff work from home and those agents have been scrambling for new options.”

Davis says many proptech (property technology) options are already well-tested and offer highly functional solutions that make processes for buying, selling and leasing more robust and secure. 

“The benefits to sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants are light years ahead of what the old manual system can do,” Davis says. 

Stephen Venn, principal of Harcourts VennMillar in Adelaide, was an early adopter of Reso, an online sales platform that records the entire transaction including every buyer and every offer, making it independently auditable. 

Stephen Venn

He also uses Openn to conduct online auctions and says there’s no question these platforms enhance his business processes.

“We started using them before we were forced to and the take-up from buyers has been quite positive, particularly now when they expect agents to be doing everything online.”

Ray White Carrum Downs BDM Victoria Cox started using Forms Live four months ago and recently incorporated DocuSign to better adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“We saw that was the way the world was going anyway and it integrates with our CRM,” Cox says. “It’s a lot faster and easier to get things done and we can make changes from wherever we are. We’re not dealing with paperwork and we’ve cut out those waiting days.”

Sydney-based agent Max Wagschall of The Agency Lower North Shore is happily working from home using Realtair, a digital platform managing the sales process from appraisal to settlement.

“Some agents have come unstuck because they didn’t have systems in place but there’s nothing really holding me back in terms of what I can do for clients and I can continue the workload I was operating at [pre-COVID-19],” he said.

National operations manager for First National Ed Atkinson says he aims to provide members with as many services as possible so they can continue conducting business. 

Atkinson has built First National Hyperlocal, a platform that enables single-click marketing within a certain kilometre radius of any given listing. With buyers stuck at home, his software ensures agent listings find an audience via property portals like Domain and social media platforms. 

“Every week we’ve been publishing out to our network and we’ve got agents that are absolutely smashing it right now, aided by proptech,” he says.

Davis believes anything that adds transparency to real estate transactions and makes the process faster and easier is a good thing.

“When this is all over, anyone who goes back to the old ways of doing business needs their head read,” she says.

Online platforms help real estate agents adapt to new rules

This is an article published in InDaily on Monday, March 30, 2020

Written by Jessica Bassano

Interest in an Adelaide-based online real estate platform that reduces the need for face-to-face interactions between agents and clients is skyrocketing as the latest COVID-19 restrictions force the industry to rely on digital services.

The surge of interest follows last week’s federally imposed ban on in-room and onsite auctions as well as open inspections, which dramatically changes the way Australians buy and sell houses.

While digital platform Real Estate Sale Online (RESO) has experienced steady growth since launching almost 12 months ago, RESO CEO Kate Chalk said interest in the software had doubled in the past fortnight.

She said the platform had already been adopted by 428 agents across Australia, with about 1085 houses uploaded to the software from agencies such as Ray White, Harcourts and First National.

“Agents used to have to drive around and get contracts and while they might get an offer via email they still had to go get the contract signed up,” Chalk said.

“RESO is digitising the transaction process.

“But it doesn’t take away the human interaction. It just means the agent, vendor and buyer don’t need to be in the same room as one another because the whole process can be done from start to finish with everyone sitting in their individual homes.”

The platform is among a number of tools real estate agents are adopting so they can continue selling properties despite COVID-19 restrictions. Other digital platforms being adopted include live streaming sites Auction Now, GAVL and Facebook Live as well as video conferencing software Zoom Video Communications and Google Hangout.

Ray White Norwood last week brought forward seven auctions to Wednesday ahead of the new government restrictions banning traditional auctions and open inspections from Thursday. The company is now looking at several digital options to bring future auctions online.

Ray White SA Chief Auctioneer John Morris said adapting to digital platforms would allow the business to continue with auctions in spite of the restrictions.

“When Scott Morrison gave his press release, everyone sat panicked in our industry. But we got down to work and began looking at alternative ways to work – online portals, off-site bidding, remote bidding, all of that sort of thing,” he said.

“There is always opportunity in adversity.”

RESO was developed for property sales including private, pre and post auction and best offer by and can be used for single or multiple offers.

Chalk said the platform streamlined all of the paperwork associated with buying a property, pulling  it all into the one place.

“Agents who use the RESO platform can upload a property in a matter of minutes and provide buyers 24/7 access to the registration, offer and contract process,” she said.

Chalk said not only did this save real estate agents between five and nine hours of work per client, it allowed agents to rank offers.

“The buyer gets an update when the agent has updated the sale, so everyone gets included,” Chalk said.

“We have a level of transparency, which is really important for the buyer, so they can see where they stand. For example, if the buyer’s offer is the second out of four they have the ability to make another offer.

“Buyers can also look at all of the documents and they can put in their conditions without having to see anyone – they can do it from their couch. Then the agent can show the vendor all of the offers and the different conditions and the vendor can choose which offer they want.”

It is all about the technology – #workingwelltogetherapart

Since 1989 Realmark has sold more than eleven thousand Western Australian properties but business has never looked like it does now.

REIWA award winning agent Nathan Tonich, and the Realmark Urban team, have adapted to working with clients who are all #stayinghome thanks to a range of technology solutions.

It is early days in terms of COVID-19 and Nathan knows even more changes are on the horizon, but having adopted the RESO online offer and management solution he is safely and efficiently still selling properties.

“At the moment we haven’t felt a huge negative impact in terms of results,” Nathan says, “in fact, I just sold two RESO properties in three days”.

“They weren’t brand new listings – they both had been on the market for a few weeks – but they sold nonetheless.  And since the escalation in restrictions I have still had some good sales and the rest of the office is having the same experience – properties are still selling at the moment.

“Nevertheless, we are preparing for greater changes while also responding to restrictions that have already been put in place to open inspections and auctions.”

Nathan says one of the first effects he is seeing is a drop-in people choosing to go to market because they are unsure of what the process will look like.

“I did five appraisals in the week before the greater restrictions were put in place and two of those appraisals, given a normal climate would probably come onto the market this week or next week but they are probably holding off for at least the next two to five weeks to just wait and see where we are heading,” Nathan says.

“I do also have a few properties coming onto the market in the next week or two and a couple of those vendors have contacted me and asked if it is the right thing to sell now or not. 

“My advice is that if you are looking to sell imminently then I would go ahead and do it because at the end of the day it may be harder down the track.  So, if people are looking to sell in the next six months, I think they should do it now and we have the processes in place to do that really well.”

Nathan says vendors don’t even have to ask about how he is going to manage the recent restrictions because he mentions it straight away.

“I know it is at the front of their minds and because we do have a solution for the problems it is easy to reassure them,” he says.

“It is one of the main selling features that I go through in the process – that we have the RESO online offer process that is also linked through DocuSign so everything is completely remote.

“I find that the RESO website document portal is also much better than most CRM’s because uploading documents is really easy and such a good way for people to access strata plans, minutes from recent strata meetings or anything that they need.  

“The processes of having documents accessible online through RESO is also a good way to get buyers to log on and make an offer because if they are interested enough to look at the documents they can really quickly and easily make an offer.”

Nathan and the Realmark Urban team have also adopted a range of other technologies that are perfectly feeding into the RESO online document and offer portal.

“Everyone has been setting up working remotely from home offices, which will only increase going forward,” Nathan says.

“I have also been encouraging people to embrace RESO and we are undertaking training sessions and also getting all our properties and all the relevant documentation up and ready on www.RESO.com.au 

“We have negotiated an exclusive package with one of the virtual tour providers and we are recommending to all our vendors and landlords that they use these online virtual tours so we can continue to provide access to properties. 

“We are also creating our own virtual tours by walking through the property and filming it on out phones and scheduling home opens on Facebook Live.”

For Nathan, and the team, technology is the key to keeping them all connected, servicing their clients and selling properties safely.

Adapting to the most uncertain of times

The progression of COVID-19 restrictions, including a ban on open inspections and auctions and social distancing measures for workers, is impacting all Australian property workers who are now searching for new ways of doing what they have always done – serve their customers.

COVID-19 is first and foremost, a public health issue, with the wellbeing of Australians, and the global population, our ultimate focus and so the real estate industry needs to adjust.

It is hard to contemplate the extent of this crisis and all the people it is impacting and so we send our heartfelt thoughts to everyone as we all deal with the situation as best we can.

And it is – we are seeing agents all over the country embracing technology like RESO – Real Estate Sales Online – to facilitate efficient transactions anywhere and at anytime, to manage their businesses.

RESO CEO Kate Chalk says the team has been working for hard for a couple of years to develop and continuously update an online platform that provides exceptional customer experience outcomes for agents, buyers and sellers.

Kate Chalk

“Auctions and open inspections have been banned so an online platform like RESO, where all the information, documentation and sales process is online, transparent and able to be accessed every minute of every day from any device, ensures properties can still being bought and sold.

“During these challenging times, we would encourage agents to test and use the technology at their disposal to ensure uninterrupted high levels of customer service,” Kate Chalk says.

“Real Estate Institutes and Group heads around the country have developed COVID-19 toolkits that include, some technology options because the technology is there and with RESO it is free to register and be trained through online webinars or one-on-one online training sessions.”

Responsive agents, like Harcourts VennMillar Principal, Stephen Venn, are adopting sensible measures like technology to sell their properties.

To facilitate customer service during this challenging COVID-19 health crisis Stephen announced RESO’s technology would power his sales process and is advising his team to do the same.

“We are providing the Real Estate Sales Online (RESO) offer platform to buyers to limit as much one-on-one contact as possible as we are finding this is making those wanting to put offers forward far more comfortable and the conversations are done more over the phone,” Stephen Venn says.

Stephen Venn

“Further to this, the provision is made for multiple offers to be ranked using RESO and I have been selling, utilising this platform for nearly two years now, with great success.

“I have found RESO to be user-friendly for buyers, particularly the vast majority who are used to technology, and buyers now, more than ever, appreciate the flexibility around the opportunity to submit an offer in their own time and their own space.”

The RESO team is working to help agents deliver a seamless, professional online customer experience that allows agents to stay working for as long as possible during these difficult times.

“RESO allows agents to facilitate the offer, acceptance and contract process online for buyers and sellers,” Kate Chalk says.

“Agents who use the RESO platform can upload a property in a matter of minutes and provide buyers 24/7 access to the registration, offer and contract process.

“Registration and training is free and that is also all done online.”

The global disruption and rapid change we are experiencing is highly challenging, but it is important to remember that it is our health, safety and welfare, and the welfare of our families, that is most important.