If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the old adage that ‘nothing is constant but change’ is true. This has been particularly evident in the world of real estate, where rising interest rates, a volatile market, and an ongoing pandemic have forced agents to adapt.
Like many of their contemporaries, the switch to digital wasn’t a choice for the agents at Stone Real Estate – it was born from necessity.
Assistant Agent Ayla Paull explains: “When I joined Stone Real Estate, we didn’t use Realtair at all. But then lockdown happened and we needed an auction platform, so I suggested Realtair.”
While the move to selling online may not have been intentional, the benefits soon became apparent: “The agents really liked it. It was much easier,” says Ayla. “After that we started implementing all the features – we use every aspect of Realtair now!”
Realtair has become an indispensable tool for Stone Real Estate, being used in every step of the sales process, from prospecting to settlement. Ayla describes how it’s now a tool they can’t live without.
For the agents at Stone Real Estate, Price Updates are the perfect addition to any prospecting strategy.
Price Updates empower agents with a way to prospect real estate digitally. It automatically pulls in information relevant to an address, making it tailored to the recipient. Price Updates take two minutes to pull together and 1 in 10 convert to an appraisal.
“We find that when you send bulk emails from your CRM you tend to get a lot of people unsubscribing,” explains Ayla. “But a Price Update is relevant to them. It has what’s selling, what’s for sale and what their property could sell for, so people are much more interested. Everybody wants to know what’s going on around their home.”
Because it’s unique, it’s more engaging than a cold call. It’s an easy way to stay in contact without being annoying – and it works.
“We get more responses,” says Ayla. “And we do get phone calls and appraisals from them!”
Realtair soon became an integral part of the selling toolkit at Stone Real Estate. The team continued to use Hybrid Auctions, which allow buyers to bid both online and in person, even after restrictions ended, increasing the number of buyers at every auction.
“We have a lot of out of area bidders,” says Ayla, who’s agency services the South Coast of Australia. “It’s easy for buyers to bid at an auction if they want to do it online.
“Even just registering people through the platform is more convenient because it’s all digital. They scan their licence on their phone and it just pulls through. Everything in Realtair is generally just so much easier to do.”
The agents at Stone Real Estate not only see success with Hybrid Auctions, but with timed auctions and sales too. Neil Webster, an agent at the Illawarra / Wollongong office that uses these methods of selling regularly, explains how this is a benefit to not only buyers and sellers, but to the industry as a whole.
“There’s a perception that real estate agents aren’t the most trustworthy of people,” says Neil. “By using these platforms, we can operate in a more transparent way. This gives the agent more credibility and provides a better experience for the buyer.”
And in an uncertain market, trust is everything. And when building trust, there’s one step that can’t be overlooked: compliance – a topic close to heart for Ayla.
As an Assistant Agent, Ayla is in charge of much of the admin and accounting at Stone Real Estate. It should come as no surprise that compliance is integral to everything Ayla does – and that Realtair has streamlined her workflow tremendously.
“Realtair doesn’t allow you to finalise an agreement until it’s compliant. It lets you know every field you need to complete. That’s handy because when you go out with a paper agreement, it’s really easy to miss fields – especially when they’re over ten pages long!”
One of the most useful features of the platform for Ayla is the ability to easily exchange contracts and collect deposits digitally.
“It’s a lot easier to confirm funds in your account instead of having to wait,” explains Ayla. “As soon as I submit their bank details, we know that money’s coming. So signing and exchanging contracts is probably my favourite feature.”
Because of the ease of compliance with Realtair, contracts are faster and easier to manage. Agents are able to complete much of the finer detail before the day, meaning when it comes to securing the sale, the buyer can sign immediately – whether they’re there in person or not.
“Our vendors are busy, so we don’t want to take up too much of their time with paperwork,” says Ayla. “They appreciate just being able to check their email then fix their signature. It’s less time consuming for them.”
The process is practical for agents as well. Ayla goes on to explain: “It can take 45 minutes to hand write an agreement in the home. That’s just not time efficient when you could be doing other things. With Realtair it takes about 10 minutes.”
The productivity gain of using digital tools is even felt by the agency itself.
“We’ve actually cut down on paper!” exclaims Ayla. “We’re not printing contracts anymore.”
While transition to using digital tools wasn’t by choice, it has proven beneficial. Ayla and her colleagues at Stone Real Estate Illawarra have found Realtair has saved them time, expanded the buyer pool at auctions and streamlined contracts and compliance.
Realtair offers these tools all in one platform, saving the hassle of multiple logins – and multiple bills. Ultimately, Realtair helps Stone Real Estate Illawarra achieve more with less, a win for all involved.
“It’s just made life a lot easier,” says Ayla. “We won’t look back!”