The Digital Summary
Wow the NOW generation, save time & make more money
With digital technology at everyone’s fingertips making information about absolutely anything instantly accessible, consumers no longer want to wait. No matter how comprehensive and professional your hand-delivered listing proposal may look after hours of research and compilation, if another agent beats you to the finish line with a high quality digital proposal, who do you think will look more on top of their game?
Speed to market was one of the key challenges Peter Matthews sought to solve as Director of Strategy and Operations at The Agency on Sydney’s lower north shore. The other key impediments he saw to success in real estate sales were the escalating costs of administration to meet this new consumer demand and compliance, specifically human error at the Agency Agreement stage. With stock levels down across the nation and the reality sinking in that this could be the new norm, Peter knew it was time to look for better ways to grow their market share and generate more listings and sales without increasing their outgoings. And so, in 2016, Realtair and its signature real estate specific software solutions, Pitch, Sign and Flow, were born.
The opportunity was to showcase a point of difference to competitors by becoming a team of agents who have the ability to almost instantly produce and deliver brilliant information and resources to consumers who want answers quickly – not tomorrow or next week.
A solution born out of challenge, frustration & opportunity
Like so many of the world’s most disruptive PropTech (Property Technology) companies, like AirBNB and WeWork, Realtair was born out of challenge, frustration and opportunity. The key challenges were centred on compliance, time, money and effort. The opportunity was to showcase a point of difference to competitors by becoming a team of agents who have the ability to almost instantly produce and deliver brilliant information and resources to consumers who want answers quickly – not tomorrow or next week. But the time, effort and cost to achieve this objective were immense. Peter says, “In our experience, and mine over the last 28 years as a franchisor and franchisee, there was a whole range of different platforms and software systems that we used. But none of them spoke to each other. Like most businesses, we probably had a one to five ratio of marketing and administration people to salespeople. But what was grossly lacking in all of that, especially when we opened our second and third offices, was that we needed to have our salespeople in the office talking to those resources or emailing them in order to get things done because none of those systems spoke to each other.” After breaking down the entire process, Peter identified 289 steps from appraisal to settlement. Is it any wonder that agents were relying on support staff to get it all done?
Realtair provides everything an agent needs to become a self-sufficient digital agent, saving them up to $70,000 per annum in support costs, freeing up their time, creating the speed to market desired by today’s consumer and leaving no room for error at the Agency Agreement stage for total compliance.
In terms of compliance, Peter discovered that up to 80% of Agency Agreements in the business were either missing an element or contained an error, meaning agents would have to return to the client’s home and complete a new Agreement or risk legal action and not getting paid. Upon researching compliance more closely, Peter found this percentage of errors to be the average Australia-wide. He says, “When it comes to the Agency Agreement process, it’s absolutely crucial to get it right. If an Agreement or part of the process was non-compliant, the responsibility would rest with me as Principal. So, I always took the view that we must have a business that if Fair Trading came into it, there would be no cause for anxiety.”
To solve these challenges, Peter and Realtair co-founder, Shane Slater (his business partner at The Agency) developed a middleware platform made from a unique combination of software and off shore resources to create enormous efficiencies and value to real estate agents and businesses. In short, Realtair provides everything an agent needs to become a self-sufficient digital agent, saving them up to $70,000 per annum in support costs, freeing up their time, creating the speed to market desired by today’s consumer and leaving no room for error at the Agency Agreement stage for total compliance. Three years on and the revolutionary real estate software solutions produced Realtair, Pitch, Sign and Flow, have been given a massive thumbs up by some of the industry’s most successful real estate professionals.
The 5-minute pitch from anywhere
As the name suggests, Pitch is software that helps agents present and sell their services to prospective clients. By automatically drawing in the data required, such as comparable sales from various data sources, it allows agents to instantly create and send fully customised pre-listing documents and proposals from any device and from any location.
Rick Woodward from The Agency says Realtair’s Pitch software has been “an absolute game changer” for him in so many ways, including the time and money it has saved him. In real estate for three years, he has not had to take on an assistant even though he is writing significantly more business today. He says, “I recently had five appraisals in one day. That same evening, I went to sport, sat in the car for thirty minutes, punched them out on my laptop and sent them off as texts to each prospective vendor. So I had five appraisals done and sent within half an hour. Before Realtair, each one of those appraisals would have taken me about forty-five minutes to get done. I would have had to do all the research, think of the right words to say and create a professional looking document. It was just way too slow. And I definitely couldn’t have done all that from the car! These days I’m cutting off my competitors through my speed to the owners and how impressive the document is.”
Pitch can also be used as a prospecting tool. Shane Slater, who still actively lists and sells, says it is an excellent tool for prospecting cold and warm potential clients and also for keeping past purchasers up-to-date with recent sales in their neighbourhood. He says, “Pitch, if used smartly, can be the key to maintaining efficient client contact and is a soft touch that gives relevant information. It’s the best prospecting we do. Over 95% of Price Updates we send with Pitch are opened, which we know because the software emails an alert every time the document is opened and indicates which parts are viewed.”
Compliance is everyone’s concern in real estate
Any Principal who has received a request from the Department of Fair Trading to produce all documents and correspondence relating to a property sale would know the stress this causes the entire office, not to mention the time it takes to hunt and gather all the information. What would normally take several days to action can generally be done and sent in under two hours through Realtair.
Realtair’s Sign not only removes the chance of human error but also allows an agent to digitally sign up a prospect on the spot, even if a signatory is in a different location. Danny Grant from The Agency says, “We've all done it where we're doing an appraisal and suddenly it turns into a listing presentation. And suddenly, they're giving you the business. And you don't have an agency agreement with you. Well, it doesn't matter. I can just log in to Sign and create it on the spot. And it will pull everything I need onto it. I can slide marketing budgets in, I can put an amount in, put comparable sales in. And I don't need to print it. They can sign it all on glass. If anything is missed, the system won’t let you continue so mistakes can’t be made. Once it’s done it’s sent straight off to compliance.”
Flow completes the digital sales process
Flow is a digital communication and workflow platform that progressively guides agents through the entire sales journey from prospecting to settlement and trust accounting with full CRM integration.
Staying old school is no longer an option
Today’s agents need to find better ways to increase their market share and make their businesses more profitable. Becoming a modern digital agent who combines world-class tech with technique will achieve those objectives and thrive today and into the future. As more agents jump on the PropTech bandwagon and more consumers want information better and faster than ever before, staying old school is no longer an option.
Call Real Estate Academy on 1300 367 412 or head to the web store to discover the training available now to help you become a Digital Agent.