‘Dinosaur’ agents must embrace technology to boost sales

23 Oct 2015

Estate agents must keep up with the latest advances in communications and technology or risk becoming ‘dinosaurs’ and losing out on sales and productivity, says a real estate boss.

With the average age of agents in Australia at 53 and the median age in the United States at 56, many have not grown up using laptops, tablets and smartphones, says John McGrath.

The Chief Executive of McGrath Estate Agents in Sydney, Australia says, “We think that the dinosaur agent that’s not embracing technology has really got only a couple of years to exist in this industry,” RealEstate Business reports.

“People want information, they want it fast, they want to be able to self-serve and get the information they want when they want it, and when they ask an agent for something, they expect it to be shot over to them very quickly.”

Those who can master modern technology are able to respond quickly to clients to boost sales, work with data sheets and use customer relationship management systems.

“People want information, they want it fast, they want to be able to self-serve and get the information they want when they want it, and when they ask an agent for something, they expect it to be shot over to them very quickly.”

Technology will become more prevalent in the sector, but it will not replace agent themselves, who can examine data, factor in local market information and provide expert advice.

“Agents that are able to assess a situation, connect with a client and build that trust – so that the client not only hears the advice but is happy to act on it – I think they’re going to take over the market.”

Marketing expert, Kyle Reyes, President and Creative Director of The Silent Partner Marketing, says there is still a place for old-fashioned communication in real estate sales.

Technology is killing communication for the millennial generation, he says. “They don’t know how to maintain eye contact or shake a hand…but they’ll Facebook you from the bathroom. Are we beyond saving?

“It’s causing the death of a generation. Or at least the communication of the millennial generation. And we’re all becoming infected.”

In the property industry, where success depends on gaining strangers’ trust, older agents are scared they won’t be able to relate. “There’s a huge disconnect. I’m seeing a slow generational shift towards younger agents.”

According to a Nielsen study, 83% of millennials – those born between the 1980s and 2000 – say they sleep with their smartphones. A Cisco study found that 56% of millennials won’t accept jobs from companies that ban social media. Almost half, 48%, say that word-of-mouth (specifically social media) influences their purchasing decisions over TV ads and 63% stay updated on brands through social networks, an Intrepid study suggests.

Although the lack of communications skills presents issues over their employability, the fact that so few millennials know how to communicate helps make those who do know how to have a real conversation shine,” says Mr Reyes.

It’s sad that so few people in this generation have a strong work ethic, but it means that they will be the few and the proud that succeed.”

To help out-of-touch agents, the National Association of Realtors publishes a Field Guide to Millennial Home Buyers with articles and data on how to communicate with 18-34 year olds that represent almost one in three home buyers (31%) in the United States and 12% of home sellers.

Agents should answer e-mails quickly and post photos of themselves with young buyers on their websites; also, they should demonstrate that a real, live agent knows things that websites such as Zillow and Trulia can’t know, the Bloomberg website suggests.

Steve Goddard, 68, manager of Re/Max Estate Properties in Manhattan Beach, Calif., says the fear of being replaced by younger models and new technology is constant. “We think about them all the time,” To keep up, he answers e-mails around the clock, maintains strong business relationships with buyers and keeps positive.


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Responsable del tratamiento: Vincent Properties Group S.L., Finalidad del tratamiento: Gestión y control de los servicios ofrecidos a través de la página Web de Servicios inmobiliarios, Envío de información a traves de newsletter y otros, Legitimación: Por consentimiento, Destinatarios: No se cederan los datos, salvo para elaborar contabilidad, Derechos de las personas interesadas: Acceder, rectificar y suprimir los datos, solicitar la portabilidad de los mismos, oponerse altratamiento y solicitar la limitación de éste, Procedencia de los datos: El Propio interesado, Información Adicional: Puede consultarse la información adicional y detallada sobre protección de datos Aquí.
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