If you’re a realtor and you believe that the business will never change you’re in for a real shock. Technology is seeping into every facet of our lives and work and it’s changing the way we do things – even buy and sell property.
Beginning August, real estate agents and brokers in Toronto can collect data from sold listings databases from multiple listing service (MLS) to attract homeowners and buyers within the area.
This is big news for real estate, considering the fact they have the largest real estate board in the country. This could very well mean the rest of Canada will be on the same route and we’ll be seeing more websites like 99 Acres, One Flat Fee, and Nobul jumping into the scene for Canada’s real estate business to bring the real estate business online.
Sold Listings Are Now Considered Public Information
Homeowners and buyers are now able to make their own research online from past data such as price, location, specifications, photographs, and other relevant information about the property, as well as the real estate companies who listed them. This would help spur competition and innovation in the country’s real estate business .
Century 21 and Nobul are a few examples of online real estate marketplaces in Canada, the equivalent of Redfin and Zillow in the U.S. (Note: It’s possible to search for active listings in Canada in websites like Realtor.ca but they don’t include information on sold properties). Real estate companies can present sold data however they wish and continuously improve user experience.
Homeowners and buyers will still be in need of agents and brokers in ironing out specific details even with for-sale-by-owners (FSBO) transactions. So really, being able to search sold listings online shouldn’t worry people about downsizing or going out of job. They just have to be more creative and rethink their strategies.
How This Will Impact Real Estate in Canada
Sold listings is probably the most crucial piece of information about the real estate market because it helps us get a better picture of what’s going on in the industry. Which types of properties are mostly sold this year and at what price? How long have these properties been on sale? Which areas/provinces have the most number of properties sold? Is renting a more viable option to buying this year?
Looking at the charts, we can see why such need for transparency in the real estate business is more important than ever. It gives us some useful insight about, say, the recent decline in provinces that enjoyed spectacular gains in recent years (Greater Toronto with 2 years slump in home sales since 2017, and Greater Vancouver with home sales dropping by 31.6% last year).
It also helps address the issue of competitiveness in the real estate business by establishing a price point based on supply and demand (people will know which ones are easily sold and which ones take more time at a certain price level), eliminating a lot of guesswork and arbitrary pricing. This is key in provinces like Toronto and Vancouver where the cost of owning a home is “off the charts.” Compare that with Ontario and Greater Montreal where competition in the housing market is in full swing.
The Need for an Online Solution
Technology coupled with greater access to sold listings creates a perfect environment for competition and innovation to thrive in the real estate business. Here’s what you can do to stay in the game.
1. Maximize your online presence
According to a 2017 data from a NAR Research and Real Trends Report, 92% of buyers and sellers start online, with 70% of the buyers and 75% of the sellers finding their agent online, and it’s been going up ever since.
Much of your clients’ activity will be spent in online searches than office visits. Consider using online real estate marketplaces to fast-track your sales. More and more people are going to these sites to compare prices and find competent real estate agent or broker without physically going to the brokerage.
Alternatively, you can set up a micro-site as an independent licensed agent where you can offer listing in the MLS using a flat fee. Or you can market properties for sale by yourself through social media and have clients come to you directly. It’s easier to do using sales and marketing automation with site-building capability and social media integration such as Small Business Dream.
2. Use automation to stay in touch
The length of time it takes to convert a client from initial contact is way much longer than it used to – around 3 to 18 months. This is particularly true among millennials who are more receptive to customer education and whose number two priority is to own a house (the first and last priority according to survey is to save for retirement and getting married). Hence, you’re going to need a system to keep track of your clients even when you’ve stopped thinking about them.
We’ve had a similar experience before when we made a $30,000 sale with a client 12 years after making an initial contact with him through our Small Business Dream suite of tools. Same thing can happen in real estate. Having a system like Small Business Dream helps real estate agents and brokers stay in touch through email autoresponders, newsletters, and semi-automated messages and phone calls from the initial contact to the final sale and beyond.
3. Follow up on your clients
Creating a good impression on your clients goes a long way on your ratings as a real estate agent and will help you get more exposure over the long run. Touch base with them from time to time about their purchase and provide some useful tips on how they can keep it in pristine condition. It’s also a good way to stay top-of-mind to your clients. Watch the video to see some little-known secrets used by successful real estate agents.
Same applies for your clients investing in real estate who might be interested in getting more property within the area. You can sell more to your existing clients by simply following up on them after the initial sale using sales and marketing automation like Small Business Dream.
Learn more on how you can successfully build your real estate business at SmallBizDream.com and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.