By Brendan Whipps.

Not too long ago the Real Estate industry was still mostly undisturbed by technology. Buying and selling property operated on relatively outdated systems and processes which evidently made our industry the prime target for large scale innovation and tech interference. From the resulting revolution, a term called “proptech” was introduced referring to the application of information technology and platform economics to real estate markets.

The American business magazine, Forbes, has since announced that investment in “proptech” has skyrocketed from 186 million USD globally in 2011, to 2.67 billion USD in 2016. This data showed a whopping 450% further growth in Venture Capital investments in the following year of 2017 topping 12 BILLION USD.

And there are no signs of slowing down with up to 96% of “proptech investors” said to invest the same amount of cash, if not more into 2019.

This rapid technological change in the Real Estate world has altered the homebuying landscape indefinitely and the (further) interference or disruptors we are expecting in the not-too-distant future include:

–    an increase in online transactions,

–    improvements in search platforms,

–    and we’re also expecting, if not, hoping for – faster closing processes.

While we’re definitely waiting in anticipation for these technological advancements to our trade, there are a few current tech-tools the Real Estate industry can employ to make life faster, easier and more efficient.

For now, I would like to share some inside info on a few of our favourite easy-to-use “tech tools” used on a daily basis that helps us stay at the forefront:

  1. Cloud sharing – For storing and sharing large files and data

Whether our agents opt for Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive – our file sharing and storing is much simpler and secure with all of the above offering free, paid and business options.

  1. Workplace – For staying connected and up to date with colleagues

Developed by Facebook Inc., Workplace works much in the same way by instantly connecting our large team of colleagues with company notices. Some of Workplace’s other fabulous features we’ve incorporated in our business logistics include Groups, Live Chat, Live Video and Multi-Company Collaboration.

  1. Virtual Home Staging – For creating artificial virtual images that enhance property features

First impressions are important, therefore presenting a home portraying its best potential is often a great way to catch the interest of potential buyers – especially when working with a vacant listing. This handy tool has been one of the contributing factors in creating and maintaining our polished brand.

  1. Floorplanner applications – for creating an accurate 3D blueprint of a home’s layout

Marketing a listing online, it is almost impossible to portray the home in its entirety through photos and videos alone. Adding a floorplan has definitely been a game changer in giving potential buyers a better idea of a home’s potential.

  1. Canva – For graphic design and visual content

This design platform, with the help of our marketing team, provides fantastic templates that enable our team to edit and create designer content to upload onto all their digital platforms. From Facebook and Instagram posts to blog banners and e-newsletters. A very user-friendly, versatile tool indeed!

  1. Hootsuite – For planning, managing and publishing all social media activity in one place

The Hootsuite application has a free version that allows our team members to schedule up to 30 content items in advance. With this tool, their professional content planning across all social platforms becomes a breeze.
In the world of technology and applications, there are many more software solutions that make our professional lives easier. At Harcourts Solutions we aim to stay at the top of our game and will continue to utilise, test and develop ways to help our agents thrive.