What will the real estate agency of the future look like?

Published 12 July 2018 by Mina Radhakrishnan

Last month, our co-founder Mina Radhakrishnan, spoke at the Macquarie Bank Perspective 2018 conference about the real estate agency of the future, along with speakers from OpenAgent, Barry Plant, The Agency and Pie Labs. Here are some of her thoughts.

When people think about the future of any industry, they often focus on technology, rather than people. For me, this was one of the most interesting discussion points of the panel, particularly since we all agreed that the future of real estate is not a world without agents. Given that, what role does technology actually play in our industry? And what should we expect from agents?

The businesses on the panel all took different approaches when it came to technology. At :Different, we have a 12 person technology team (including Engineering, Design and Testing), and OpenAgent has an 8 person engineering team. In contrast, The Agency and Barry Plant don’t have any engineers as part of their staff. To me, this is a crucial difference and one that plays a significant role in how the industry shapes up in the future.

"When people think about the future of any industry, they often focus on technology, rather than people"

Today, people are used to tapping a button to summon just about anything to their front door. Whether it’s a car or 3 scoops of your favourite gelato, your mobile phone has become a key access point to a world of services and apps. As customers, we don’t really care about the app, but rather the overall experience and feelings we have when it works. That’s what hooks us in and is what we remember.

For me, the real estate agency of the future is about this feeling that your life becomes better and easier, regardless of whether you’re a tenant, owner or agent. While apps may be an entry point, it’s ultimately the experience that counts.

"For me, the real estate agency of the future is about this feeling that your life becomes better and easier, regardless of whether you’re a tenant, owner or agent"

To create experiences, you can’t just use multiply off-the-shelf software products and hope they work together. Getting your customer database to know what’s happening with your accounting system, or your maintenance process, and in turn, summarise what an owner wants to know in a clear easy-to-read format from any device is an experience that needs to be built from the ground up.

From the moment Ruwin and I founded :Different, our goal has been to bring together people who want to create those great customer experiences from both a tech and real estate standpoint. And it’s that collaboration that allows the processes and products we build to be not only be delightful and memorable but ultimately, life-changing.

At :Different, we believe the best way to predict the future is to create it. That’s what our team aims to do every day.