Why Technology Has Changed The Way We Buy And Sell Property
Technology has revolutionised the way we buy and sell real estate.
We look at what it means for you.
Technology has revolutionised the real estate sector. From smart websites to social media, we explore how it’s changed the way we buy and sell the property.
Those of us old enough can remember thumbing through the Sydney Morning Herald classifieds on a Saturday morning to find out what was for sale and then mapping out the day to try and fit everything in. Then just over 20 years ago realestate.com.au and Domain came along and changed everything.
Gone was striking through the properties you wanted to view with a highlighter or circling them with a red pen. The property search had moved online and become interactive. There were suddenly images for every home (something confined only to prestige properties when print was all we had), as well as full descriptions and even maps. There was also the opportunity to browse or search and, more importantly, to dream about the next move.
The evolution of real estate agent’s website
As this happened, real estate agents started moving online too.
Initially, however, the agent website was just another place to list properties for sale or rent, or otherwise somewhere to find an agents’ contact details.
Given that many of the property ads on agents’ sites were little different from those already on Domain or realestate.com.au, they actually served little purpose beyond being modern-day White Pages.
Since then, the real estate agent website has evolved.
Our own website has gone through several iterations. Today, it is somewhere buyers and sellers can explore eastern suburbs property in detail and get an understanding of the macro-and micro-trends shaping the local property market. It is also a platform for discovering our properties in far more detail than on the big property portals.
For sellers, our website now allows anyone to get an accurate and automated estimate of their property’s value – something that can be valuable in deciding whether to list. Obviously, this should be treated as a guide only. It always pays to have a real estate professional estimate your home’s value in person.
For buyers, the website also offers ‘off market’ listings they simply won’t find anywhere else.
In short, it gives both buyers and sellers a much richer experience than they could ever previously receive.
Using technology to buy and sell property
Over the past couple of years, the rate of technological change in the real estate sector has really gathered pace, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Increasingly, people are buying homes without ever having set foot in them. We found this was especially true during lockdowns and border closures when many of our buyers were ex-pat Australians who couldn’t even make it into Sydney.
We’ll often FaceTime or video call interstate or overseas buyers to personally walk through a house, answering any questions they might have and giving them a close-up view of anything they’d like to see in detail. It’s a one-on-one tailored process, where we’re able to show them inside each cupboard and outside every window.
We’ve also held auctions exclusively online – although, now that social distancing rules have been relaxed, we’re more inclined to hold live auctions supplemented by the ability for people to view and bid online.
Even where no online component is advertised, we often set up the facility for potential bidders to attend remotely, giving them the capacity to directly place bids.
Selling property in the age of Instagram
Finally, it’s difficult to understate just how much social media now influences our lives, including our buying decisions. Our view is that this hasn’t just made the world more instant and interactive, it’s also made it more visual.
People now expect quality photography. They also expect a visual story behind each property, as well as a written one.
Fortunately, as technology has evolved the cost of taking professional-quality photos has come down significantly too. This has allowed agents to go all out when it comes to showcasing a home visually.
There is a stark difference between property photography today and that of a decade ago. No longer can you expect an agent to take a few snaps from a personal camera. Listings at all price points are presented in a visually appealing and engaging way.
Technology has already begun to revolutionise every facet of the way people buy and sell real estate and, as agents, our job is to ensure we use it to make the lives of every buyer and seller more convenient.
If you’re thinking about buying or selling in Sydney’s eastern suburbs contact my team today.