Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tough markets, intense competition, record fee discountingŠis this an industry imploding?


This is a changing of the guard. This is an industry in full scale crisis, where traditional real estate agents are clinging on for dear life with the only lever they know: by discounting fees, while innovation, technology and changing consumer needs are forcing the modernization of a profession that is living in a time warp.

It has already happened to Travel, Insurance, Finance and Share Brokers...the Car industry have also reinvented themselves and now it is our time...the Real Estate Industry. No doubt about it.

This week, my wife Sylvia and I signed off on another massive investment in our future. Since returning to the business as CEO on the first of July last year, after a period out of the business, we have essentially created Toop&Toop 2. The break was what was needed to get perspective, to view the business from the outside in, and provided both Sylvia and I with an invaluable viewpoint.

Over the coming May, June and July months, prior to the mad Spring period, months of preparation, planning and hard work will come to fruition. We will have 1) totally changed our Customer Service Platform (CRM), 2) consolidated four data bases into one, 3) re-launched  our all new rebuilt 2012 website, 4) created an entirely new online facility for clients (which is top secret for the moment), and 5) will have launched an entirely new product for our Landlords. 6)We will have harvested Tenant enquiries for greater letting speed, 7) re-engineered our communications flows using just released technology, and 8) launched our 2012 iPad based sales system, that is our all new VirtualAgent selling system.

These eight initiatives are all to leverage the latest low cost global marketing on a scale never contemplated, creating an online place where customers come together to sell and rent properties; ideal platforms tailor made for agents never dreamt of a decade ago.

The launch of new generation Smart TVs this week is certain to unleash another round of innovation, which will no doubt have an equally profound impact on our industry as the launch of the iPad and Smart Phones had. Toop&Toop are Global pioneers of online video. We passionately believe that the power of video in real estate has only just scratched the surface of what is to come.

Back in October 2009, we launched Toop.TV. Questions have been unrelenting as to why a real estate agency would have a virtual TV station, a studio and production facility. Those questions are being answered now as the iPad and Smart Phones/TVs emerge and video takes over from photos as the totally new hot communication vehicle.

So, if you are after what worked in the 1900s, then stick to the traditional operators. But can you believe some are still reliant almost exclusively on black and white press ads and old fashioned online Internet mediums?? All the best…but be aware, times have changed. Even their discounting won't make up for the potential loss of market penetration in finding your best buyers where your final marketing costs and extended time on market will kill you. Toop&Toop days on market are statistically proven to be up to 40% LESS than industry average - that's a fact
Consumer needs are moving at lightening speed, and Smart Phones, Smart Televisions and the explosion of the iPad have caught agents with their pants down. The pace of changing consumer needs is so intense. In my 35 years in the business I have never been so is VERY EXCITING TIMES FOR REAL ESTATE AGENT

Our Autumn marketing mix is dramatically different to 2011, our Spring marketing mix will be changed again to move where the customer is going...this is exhilarating stuff.


The world is no longer flat. Bring it on.

Anthony Toop Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop or call 0418 824 188

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