How to meet consumer demands in a developing property…

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But all good things must come to an end as recent data released by Propertymark suggests the property market is cooling off. There are fewer buyers and the average number of viewings per property has fallen to 4.4 in June from 6.2 in April. Additionally, more stores (27%) are reporting that most sales were completed below asking price, compared to a low of just 15% in March.


All of this essentially means that real estate agents must offer a service that meets the needs of modern customers. But what do today’s buyers and sellers look like?


The new customer


Consumption habits are changing. Driven by the on-demand economy, people have become accustomed to buying products whenever they want and having them delivered within 24 hours. Bank balances can be transferred in seconds from anywhere in the world at any time. And catching our favorite show on a streaming service while ordering food to your door is now the norm, regardless of the time of day.


These changes have allowed people to work at their own time and when it suits them. They’ve taken a similar approach to finding a property – Rightmove notes that the busiest minute of the week is Wednesday at 8:48 p.m., while the busiest day of the year is Boxing Day. Here at Offfr, almost half of the property listings submitted through our platform take place outside of traditional working hours.


That means consumers are no longer sticking to rigid shopping patterns, whether they’re buying batteries from Amazon or looking for their next home. And so many industries have evolved their services to meet these demands, but the real estate market has some catching up to do.


The property problem


Real estate is the largest asset class in the world. Yet the process is still a slow and cumbersome experience with many paper-based processes often leading to more confusion than satisfaction. It’s also ingrained in office hours, although many work outside of the traditional 9-5 hours.


Let us make you an offer. Buyers usually have to submit an offer (during working hours) by email or phone, which the agent then forwards to the seller, who gets back to the agent so they can provide the buyer with a response.


Time consuming for everyone involved. After final acceptance of the offer, the average time until completion is around 11 weeks (just under three months). Buying a home shouldn’t take that long, and an offer doesn’t have to be so complex.


A technology-driven solution


The way people buy and sell homes will change fundamentally because the consumer demands it. By 2025 most property sales in the UK and Ireland will be negotiated digitally on the estate agent’s website.


What’s happening in the real estate world now is simply a continuation of the momentum seen in other sectors, and the use of technology is helping to address many of the vulnerabilities.


Important aspects of buying a house have to be digitized, such as the bidding process. Wouldn’t it just be easier if, instead of a triple conversion via an offer, the buyer could bid directly from the listing on the broker’s website whenever it suits them?


The real estate agent still retains full control, but the offers are made via a platform. Not only does this make the process more transparent for buyers and sellers, but it frees agents back up to focus on more important tasks, such as B. to drive sales or even get new instructions.


Even after the listing process, the terms of sale are managed and negotiated by the real estate agent through their website rather than the current disjointed method of using phone, email and text messages.


The consumer will demand that sales be made much more efficiently and seamlessly, digitally. The digitization of processes offers buyers and sellers a fluid experience where they can manage their offers and speed up the buying process.


Back to the Future


Banking took years to evolve into a fully digital process, while the way we consume content was a slow drip and technology had to evolve to meet the growing demands. The real estate market is no different and it has now been recognized that technology is key to driving it forward and keeping pace with buyer and seller behavior.


It’s the beginning of the end of paper-based processes. Don’t be surprised if over the next few years most real estate agents will be listing, scheduling viewings, and driving real estate sales on their website.


Those who embrace change will not only be ahead of the curve, but will also be well positioned to adapt to and meet consumer needs head-on.


*Philip Farrell is Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer at offer

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