2 February 2018
For immediate release
REINZ research questions the ‘you’re doomed’ view of tech automation
If you believe the website willrobotstakemyjob.com there is an 86% probability of robots taking over real estate agents’ jobs (classed as ‘robots are watching’), but if you’re an appraiser or assessor of real estate then there is a 90% probability of robots taking your job (classed as ‘you’re doomed’).
However, research by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has questioned this and found that rather than replacing agents, that technology will simply change the relationship and role between agents and customers.
Agents will move from being information providers to local market experts/service provider. Technology will help agents automate the more administrative side of the sales process, freeing them up to spend even more time with clients, therefore providing an enhanced customer experience.
Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “There is sometimes a misconception that technology will take over in the real estate industry – this is not at all the case. The reality is that as long as people continue to buy, rent and sell properties they will want to deal with another human being. Technology can certainly help the process, but it can’t sell a house.
“With an estimated $3.4 billion invested in global real estate technology financing last year there are significant opportunities for the real estate industry to leverage some of the new innovations, especially those that can help improve customer experience and efficiency,” she continues.
“Internationally, studies have found that on average, agents spend 11% of their time with their clients as a lot of the time is spent on the administrative side of the real estate process. We would expect a similar pattern across New Zealand. So rather than being concerned that technology is going to take over the industry, we’re encouraging agents to embrace technological aspects allowing them to outsource some of the more administrative aspects of the role and therefore spend more time on the people side of the business,” continues Norwell.
Some examples highlighted in the research around big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) include:
· Offering real estate agents the ability to get an in-depth knowledge of what customers want, or don’t want, therefore match buyers/renters with tailor-made properties that meet their exact criteria
· Utilising augmented or virtual reality to allow buyers to look at properties from the comfort of their desks/couch rather than attending open home after open home or allowing them to see what their furniture might look like in a new setting. What’s holding this back now is the cost – once the price point comes down, this technology will be used more widely
· Advanced algorithms mean consumers will be able to view properties that are personalised exactly to their needs based on other online behaviour. Currently, it’s painful for purchasers to search only on a limited range of criteria
· That real estate searches in the future will put the consumer first, rather than the property. Sites will understand each unique consumer and make recommendations based on preferences that go beyond bedrooms, bathrooms and price range
· That real estate agents can segment clients more accurately, by locality and where they are in the buying process. This level of sophistication means that an agent could use this predictive data to target a street, understand where each person is on the property ladder, and then approach them to see how they can meet their needs
· The ability to monitor tenant information, for example, a real estate professional can assist property owners to judge demand better, and make more informed investment decisions using predictive analysis. This information is particularly useful for councils and planners at a local and central government level.
“We think there are some really exciting opportunities arising in technology and data innovations. Those that embrace new technology can stay ahead and deliver an even greater customer experience for their clients. We’re seeing some great examples across the industry whereby older or more experienced agents are teaming up with tech savvy agents or bringing tech expertise into their teams in order to provide their clients with a full-service offering. It’s all about embracing the opportunities technology affords,” points out Norwell.
“One example REINZ has recently launched is a new interactive and customisable property data tool “location profiler” which is designed to help agents provide greater insight to their vendors and potential buyers on local areas as well as compare profiles of different areas,” points out Norwell.
“A big focus of REINZ is to leverage technology, and AI data to continue to provide agents with more informed analysis through easy to use tools which have the ability to evolve as the market evolves. This is all about helping to improve the efficiency of the industry by empowering agents with the tools they need to get the best overall experience for their vendors,” concludes Norwell.
This research forms the first piece of the REINZ’s Real Estate Trends and Innovation Series.
Notes to Editors
For further information, please contact Dee Crooks, Communications/PR Manager at REINZ, on 09 356 1753 or 021 953 308.