Online platforms help real estate agents adapt to new rules

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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.”