Ok, we are in 2018 and a lot has changed in the last 10 years. I look at my 12-year-old son and can’t believe that the 1stiPhone hadn’t even cone out when he was born. So much has changed in the last 10 years – but apparently not Real Estate Agents!
10 years ago, there was no Uber, no AirBnB. Consumers needs are changing and those changes are making businesses everywhere sit up and listen. People’s expectations are changing, and they are not happy to settle for ‘average service’ anymore.
So, what are you experiencing as a buyer…..or as a seller? Well whatever it is I can guarantee everyone is having the same experience. In this blog I am going to talk about what you should expect from real estate agents in 2018 and how as real estate agents we need to lift our game to make sure we keep up with the rising tide of service standards.
Buyers are More Educated and Want Transparency
Home buyers are the most educated they have ever been. Essentially, people are getting more specific than ever in their searches—and they expect and demand useful, relevant information quickly.
I am finding that home buyers are well researched and about their home search and want quick and detailed answers to their query’s. They don’t want wishy washy answers or agents that avoid answering altogether. They want quality information and they want transparency. The days of hiding or avoiding talking about the unpleasant aspects of a property are long gone.
Many buyers that I speak to are sometimes better researched and more up to date with sales information than I am. They certainly get to look through more homes than me! And the message is clear from all of them – just be straight with me and make it easy for me to make a decision.
In addition, with the ability to access everything about a property from your mobile phone there are no secrets anymore. Buyers often come into a home with pictures and data about a home from its past sale, being easily able to see what value the current owner has added and assessing that against the asking price.
Just as we personally no longer have any privacy – neither does your home. Everything is easily available either freely or for a small fee. This is very important to know from a seller’s perspective, as it means there is not fooling anyone anymore. Pricing accurately has never been more important, if the buyer feels he/she is being conned, they will run a mile.
Buyers are Time Poor and have Short Attention Spans
Buyers are busy, sellers are busy, we are all busy. The speed of life has made us all time poor and technology has increasingly given us a short attention span.
To entice a buyer to actually visit your home open these days is increasingly difficult as we are all so short on time. Between work, kids, sports, dinner etc etc – it needs to be worthwhile to gain someone’s attention.
So, what does this means for today’s agents, home buyers and home sellers.
- Enquiries need to be responded to quickly otherwise buyers will move on to the next property
- Information requests need to be delivered swiftly – make it easy for the home buyer to buy the home
- Homes need to be priced properly or they’ll be passed over. Trying to get buyers back is very hard.
- Homes need to be presented well and have amazing photography to make your home is on the buyers shopping list
Marketing of your property has never been more important. With over 80% of buyers shopping for property on their mobile devices, it’s a whole new world.
If your photography, pricing and presentation isn’t right, with a flick of their finger they will be on to the next property and you will be just a memory, an unsold one! Research shows that once a buyer has discounted you and moved on, you can only get them to re-engage with one strategy – dropping your price, and no-one wants that
Buyer Distrust is at an All-Time High
We’ve known for a while that Home Buyers are becoming increasingly weary of advertising. But over the past couple years, the general state of trust across the globe has “imploded.”
The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Survey—an annual trust and credibility survey—showed the largest-ever drop in trust across the world’s business’s. As agents we generally come from a low base from the public’s perception anyway – so this is not good news!
So its certainly not difficult to see why video has taken off – its honest!. Humans are visual creatures by nature, and as the internet, social media and technology have evolved, consumers are spending an increasing amount of time in front of the screen—making video a preferred way of viewing a property.
But a bit of change is in the air. Consumers don’t just want engagement these days. They’re also looking for an experience—especially when it comes to products they’re interested in – such as properties. It’s an exciting time buying a home so how do we make the experience better, sell the home quicker and for a better price?
So as a seller what can you do to make your home stand out? Well video is one way, but with technology growing exponentially there are many others. One method we have used extensively over the last 24 months that has been celebrated by buyers is the 3D walkthrough. This allows potential buyers, from where ever they are in the world, to walk through and experience your home.
Buyers are looking to video and 3D to learn the good, the bad and the ugly about the home they’re pondering. Since many buyers are interstate or overseas and aren’t able to physically touch a home before they buy it, agents need to come up with creative ways to help people ‘experience’ it online.
So, whether you’re a home buyer and looking for that perfect place to call home or whether you are a home seller, looking to make sure that you achieve the best result from the sale of your home your choice of agent is all important. Are they a 2018 agent or a 2010 agent. The answer will make all the difference to you.
Make sure you research your choice of agent well. Speak to friends and refer to websites such as ratemyagent.com to see what others have said. Another method I recommend is to email the agent your thinking about working with and see how long they take to get back to you and the quality of the information they provide.
Your choice is important and just like everything else – you need to be well researched and educated about the person you are about to hand they keys to your biggest asset to.