Recently, we have had the pleasure to work with real estate firms nationally to revolutionise their back office processes using cloud based software. The Deloitte Private Connect team and I attended the Ray White conference in August which highlighted the changing landscape of the industry, not just in back office cloud services but front office too.
As someone passionate about disruptive innovation and cloud technology the key takeaways of this conference resonated to me. There was a strong message around the need for real estate to be at the forefront of new technology and the necessity to adapt early in order to be successful.
This conference brought home to the 1500 industry professionals the rate in which technology is shaping and disrupting business.
Considering the end product, real estate may seem like a low risk industry for digital disruption, however, according to Deloitte Tech Trends 2015, the industry is ripe for disruption. This is due to the propensity of customers to use digital channels, and the significance of social media and innovations, like cloud computing.
I had an opportunity to chat recently with Josh Guest who founded b2cloud 6 years ago, who previously developed the award winning Agent Plus app, which brings the manual practice of real estate to mobile and allows property management agencies keep landlords informed about their properties in real time. The app advises whether rent has been paid, maintenance requirements, inspection reports, etc. Prior to applications like this, these processes were very cumbersome and paper based.
Josh has seen the increase in mobile technology disrupt the real estate industry in many ways. From the consumer perspective, technology has changed how they find property and from a business perspective, it changes how efficiently they communicate with the marketplace and streamline their administrative overheads and better manage data, saving time and money.
According to Josh. the mobile revolution is happening and anyone who thinks they won’t be disrupted is in big trouble. I tend to agree. No sooner were consumers shifting from circling property ads in the local paper to finding, and applying for properties online, that they then are given an app to that can do it all. B2cloud more recently developed the RealEstateView.com.au mobile apps for iPhone and Android which puts the power of searching and finding the right home right in the hands of users to simplify their property searching experience.
It’s all about creating a better experience. Agencies are becoming aware that if they do not embrace disruption now, catching up later will be that much more difficult. Traditional practice is no longer conducive to a world where everything is in the cloud, and innovation will happen, whether they agree or not.
Josh warns that we need to look globally to see what is coming, and apply those models in Australia. Globally, stakeholders have come to expect more from real estate. The rise of cloud based computing in this industry impacts every stakeholder. Buyers now rely on technology to sift through tonnes of data, the property manager relies on technology for them to keep investors informed and tenants can now digitally complete rental applications including digital sign-off. Just as we currently expect our bank to provide us an app to pay bills and check balances, so too will we expect our property to be managed in the same way.
Overall, digital disruption is happening in the real estate industry and stakeholders are embracing it. It cannot be ignored. Consumers and businesses want to engage on mobile and mobile needs the cloud. If business can’t keep up, consumers will look elsewhere. Real estate is going the way of the transport industry and will experience an Uberisation if we do not innovate and disrupt now. We can sit back, hope for the best and wait for the world to change us, or we can adapt now and be a player in changing the world.
B2Cloud is the preferred development partner of large corporate customers and innovative start-ups, known as the company to work with to build challenging mobile products. As pioneers of emerging technology like Google Glass, Virtual Reality, Drones and connected home devices, b2cloud works closely with customers like Telstra, Catch of the Day Group, Vodafone and BUPA building apps to better connect users to the world around them.