The real estate sector is enormous, competition is intense and there has been downward pressure on charges for many years. Indeed a number of articles over the last few weeks have likened the sector to that of the taxi industry which has been, for want of a better word, decimated by the introduction of Uber. While there is scope to reduce costs further, and make efficiencies with online operations, could you and would you depend wholly upon selling your property online?
The benefits of online advertising
The benefits of online advertising are there for all to see, the significantly larger audience, the ability to pick and choose who will see your advert not to mention significant cost reductions over traditional advertising forums. However, it is all good and well having an extensive audience looking at your advert but how many of this audience are actually potential buyers of your property?
It is possible to focus your advertising up on local areas and local postcodes because if you are in the US for example and somebody from the UK wants to buy your property, we can only begin to imagine the timescale and the increased costs. Indeed, you could get the majority of the way down the line to selling your property and then they pull-out and you need to start all over again. Perhaps the best way to think of online advertising is as a means of opening doors to potential buyers in your area?
Pressure on charges
There is no area of business which has not experienced pressure on charges due to the introduction of the Internet. The fact is that the vast majority of businesses around the world are able to transfer a portion of their business to the online arena saving significant costs themselves with much of this passed on to customers. There is pressure on charges, that is correct, but there are also greater efficiencies for realtors to strive towards in their own business.
Quote from PropertyForum.com: “When you look at the major real estate markets around the world we have seen some massive increases in the cost of property over the years.”
We will, as we have seen in many other industries, see pressure on charges begin to impact the quality of work delivered in the real estate industry. The fact is that there is no point in racing to the bottom and offering the cheapest service if you are not able to back this up with quality. We will at some point move towards a situation where sellers and buyers will look for quality of service first as opposed price. Those who are blinded by price and nothing else need to be aware that you only get what you pay for.
Mixing online and off-line services
While some experts would have you believe the whole real estate sector will eventually move online the fact is this is never going to happen. We will see the emergence of online and off-line services, specialists in specific areas and bringing these together will create the leading lights of the real estate sector in years to come.
It would also be detrimental to the long-term value for customers if everything was focused online and people shied away from actually talking face-to-face with advisers and visiting properties in person. What kind of world would that be?