Why join the property advocacy sector?
What are the benefits of converting from being a selling agent to a property advocate – either a buyers and/or vendor advocate?
The current real estate business model is dying, and the industry is in transformation. Disruption is not just in the use of technology, but the manner in which customers are inadequately serviced.
Today’s customers expect hyper personalised service and real estate agents just aren’t meeting the mark * . Thanks to the technological breakthroughs introduced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the pace of customer expectations is evolving at an unimaginable rate.
Those who have recognised this and put their customers at the epicentre of their business by using imaginative, collaborative and hyper-personalised new business models have thrived. Think Uber, Apple, Airbnb, Facebook, online retailing and F45 – boutique gyms which offer high-intensity training styles and personalised instruction.
Closer to home, mortgage brokers have carved out a niche in the finance industry to become a recognised and licensed profession, winning 60% share of new business today after only two decades. With service that revolves around providing genuine, lawful and professional advice to customers, the future for the broker channel remains bright.
Every industry across the world is being disrupted. The velocity of change is undeniable. The real estate industry is no different. However, while forward-thinking businesses across different sectors are already prioritising customised rather than a one-size-fits-all service, the reality is much of the service model offered by the property industry remains stuck in the 20th century.
The Real Estate Industry – Next in Line for Change
The industry is out of date, out of touch and training is lagging. Instead, savvy real estate buyers and sellers are turning to the internet to do their research and due diligence, and in many instances, are better informed than their (old-school) agents. Market disrupters such as Purple Bricks, Rate My Agent and Next Address have entered the marketplace, reducing commissions and taking market share. And it won’t stop there.
The business-as-usual approach is likely to lead to agencies retrenching staff or closing down, to reduced commissions, poorer conditions and fewer leads. In short, the big players (in other words, the established franchise groups) continue to commoditise the industry and dictate how real estate is transacted.
The great news is that all of these factors points to an inevitable fact: the industry is ripe for radical change.
Those most likely to thrive in the new environment are high-performing agents willing to venture into unknown territory. They’re open to change and retraining. They know there must be a different way to reinvent themselves and their career. They’re ambitious and are willing to work hard to succeed.
Shifting to a New Paradigm…Property Advocacy
So, what does the Fourth Industrial Revolution look like when applied to the property industry? And how can you participate successfully in it?
In this new world, forward-thinking and adaptable real estate agents start to re-think their profession and industry, moving away from transaction-based services (focus on the property) to relationship-based services (focus on people).
Rather than viewing technology-based disruption as a threat, they’re excited to embrace technology to move to a new paradigm – a more intimate personal service. They know the nature of the industry’s current approach to buyers and vendors needs to radically shift. They are ready for a reality that puts people before property. In other words, their clients’ best interests come first.
Today, agents have two choices. Be an employee of an old-school estate agency with an outdated and inflexible operating model designed decades ago, and endure ever-diminishing fees and conditions, or work for yourself.
For emotionally intelligent real estate professionals, one of the most effective ways to future proof their career in these times of rapid change is to transition into a new model based on consultative services: property advocacy.
To be clear, a property advocate is a buyer and/or vendor advocate, so there is no direct selling involved, so for some, particularly selling agents, this transition would require a massive mindset and behavioral shift. The role is to advocate for your client whether they are buying or selling, and to advise them with their best interests at heart.
Property Advocacy is about protecting, looking after, guiding and supporting your clients. It’s a model that’s already hugely popular in the US and UK, and one that’s gaining traction in the Australian property industry. The buyer advocacy market is steadily increasing with 300 plus advocates in Victoria alone since 2015. Similarly, vendor advocacy is already entrenched overseas in countries like the US and the UK, with enormous scope to increase here in Australia.
I believe this is what consumers are crying out for. I live by my philosophy of being valued for the positive difference I make in my clients’ lives, not just the volume of property I have transacted. Taking this approach has resulted in more word-of-mouth referrals, more goodwill, incredible job satisfaction, repeat business and greater income.
Do you have what it takes to become a skilled Property Advocate?
Miriam Sandkuhler, CEO Property Mavens and Property Mavens Franchising, Industry Thought Leader
*(Core Logic 2015/2016 Buyers and Vendor Reports).
*(Core Logic 2015/2016 Buyers and Vendor Reports).