Thursday, September 01, 2016

The strongest foundations are built brick by brick…

'Real Estate Disruption' has hit headlines again this week, this time with news of a UK online real estate agency, Purple Bricks, entering the Australian marketplace. With a marketing budget of over $17.2 million set aside to launch their product here in Australia, it is clear they are hoping to have a serious go at trying to make it in our Australian real estate market.

Innovation has always been at the core of Toop&Toop. We are continuously pushing the boundaries in our industry, so rather than fearing what this latest disruption could mean, Team Toop are intrigued. We are interested to see how this mass transaction model could roll out and what we could learn from it.  

I worked in the UK real estate market when I lived in London and experienced just how different their marketplace is to ours and I was quite shocked at their professional standards. Agents do not need to be licensed, or hold any qualifications in the UK and as a result, the value and expertise most agents provided to clients was very low, so I was not at all surprised when this marketplace was disrupted. The qualifications, licences and skills that South Australian real estate agents must possess are some of the 
most advanced in the world. 

This week, the questions that we have been discussing within our Toop Innovation Lab are: How can we take on board what customers in the UK enjoy from this online experience? Do we believe there is a need that will transfer to Australia and specifically our Adelaide market? Will clients actually see benefits in this offering?

Most importantly we looked at the promises being made, the trade-offs that come with 
them and the potential risks they could cause 
clients. We questioned, when does online convenience start jeopardising a sale result?

Through these discussions one thing became very clear... this business model claims to be 'low cost' and 'money saving' but it is not focused on our core role - how to get our clients the best result and most money possible for the sale of their property. 

As a local family business, it has been tricky to get our heads around how such a mass platform will work in Australia where our marketplace is very different. Toop&Toop has been built on family values, and the foundations of our team and business are made up of relationships, care, empathy, passion and pride in our abilities. Global players with bold promises and huge generalisations worry me, because people may be lured by this advertising and overlook the importance of what an agent is hired for: Negotiating and Marketing. 

These are our two biggest roles and the two most significant skills that will ensure you get the best possible price for your home. These critical factors are human factors... they can't be automated or mass engineered. They require highly trained, skilled professionals who are able to empathise with any situation and understand the needs of their marketplace because they care about the outcomes. 

No one knows what the future of this space holds apart from the fact that change is inevitable. Toop&Toop has built our innovative culture into the business brick by brick. We have 31 years of solid foundations and are excited about the opportunities to learn and adapt to our ever-changing environment where we can provide an unmatchable service that even the biggest global giants are unable to offer. 

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