It may be the end for the ‘corner shop’ real estate, but not the end of the agent!

It may be the end for the ‘corner shop’ real estate, but not the end of the agent!

In today’s fast changing environment, we’ve seen the way we interact shift dramatically. Technology has changed the way we communicate: think smartphones and social media. Technology has disrupted the traditional way of doing things: think of Uber or AirBnB. We’ve also seen the shift in the way businesses serve the community. The small shopping precincts are being replaced with larger retail hubs and online shopping. This trend has also affected the real estate industry and it’s easy to see why.

I’m a big believer in the theory that a good agent can sell property anywhere; we don’t need an expensive office in each suburb to be able to effectively work in that market. Our Team Curran, we operate out of one office in Lindfield but have sales success across the entire North shore from the Harbour Bridge to Berowra. We’ve achieved this by being the best at what we do; selling property. Having an office in each suburb doesn’t change that; realistically we can work anywhere today so long as we have our laptop, phone, and wireless access. I spend so much of my time with clients both on the vendor and buyer side that my car has effectively become my second office!

What I don’t agree with however is some of the commentary in regards to real estate agents. It often seems like there’s a push against having a real estate agent altogether. This to me seems counter productive. Like we’ve seen in other professions, I think the role is changing but this doesn’t mean we’ll all be looking for a new career any time soon.

There’s a human element to selling a home. It can be an incredibly stressful process regardless of whether you’re selling the family residence or an investment property. A good real estate agent should not only maximise your sales value, they should also be your advisor helping you manage the whole process. We should help alleviate the stress of it all and build a level of comfort into the entire experience. I’ve always felt that this component of the sale is undervalued. In reality our role is more than pure sales.

Our industry is in the midst of a shift: customers demand more, faster and for less, meaning the old school agent will struggle. Agents today need to be ready to embrace technology, we need to adapt to the changing consumer environment. We need to be aware of global and local economic issues as the market we work in moves beyond traditional geographic borders. We need to be better versed in the use of market data and how it can benefit our clients. Our client’s are more educated, they will demand more from their agent and will be prepared to hold them accountable. Agencies, and therefore agents, who don’t adapt will quickly be left behind. I’m constantly looking at the way our team is skilled, we want to stay ahead of the curve. I’ll explain my view of the new type of agent in a later post.

Don’t lament the passing of the old corner shop real estate, embrace the change and make it work for you. My advice; be the agent who adapts and don’t get left behind.

Posted in Ethical practice, Technology on 1st February, 2016

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