Traditionally most of the property owners who want to sell a property approach the local real estate agents / agencies rather than spending on offline advertisements like newspapers due to various reasons like high advertising cost, upfront payment without any assurance of lead or sale, limited reach and visibility, etc.
On the other hand these real estate agents / agencies used to have enquiries from potential buyers through known sources and they pass on matching property details available with them to those interested buyers or try to source it for them. Most of the time the real estate agents / agencies will have a network among themselves to share the information of properties available for sale and the buyer requirements under mutual agreement of sharing the brokerage on specific ratio.
Thus the real estate agents / agencies played the vital role in the real estate industry for a long time by mediating between the property owners / sellers and the buyers. This segment of mediation in real estate industry and people involved in it started growing exponentially in the late 20th century and early 2000 during the drastic economy growth and real estate transformation in India.
Upon arrival of online property portals, the property owners started to post property Ad themselves and got connected with the property owners directly to sell their property with an intention to avoid brokerage, reach beyond boundaries and get multiple enquiries instantly or quickly. Due to which the need for real estate agents / agencies started falling down and many of them left without any business and started shifting to other professions.
This scenario brought the below question in the minds of millions of real estate agent / agencies
Is online real estate portal a threat to the real estate agents / agencies?
On an outlook it looks like a threat to them but if they explore the opportunities for them through the property portal by understanding it better and are willing to upgrade their business along with the digital transformation, then it is not so.
Let us digitally dig into it to find the truth.
- It is a fact that the property owners started posting their property Ad on online property portals to sell their property online but not all the property sellers do so due to various reasons like their digital literacy to use such platforms, etc – The real estate agents / agencies can always fill this gap by advertising such properties on behalf of those property owners with their concurrenceand authorization.
- Out of the property owners who wish to advertise online to sell their property, only a small volume of them prefer to pay and post property on ‘Paid Listing’ in which they get considerable reach, response and result. On the other hand, most of them chooses the ‘Free Listing Plan’on the online advertising platforms which provide them very limited validity, reach, response - This results in part of them to upgrade to a paid listing plan on the property portals upon expiry in the free listing and the rest do not want to spend at upfront / started losing the hope on the online real estate portals without understanding the fact that the property portals are mostly designed to give best results on the paid plans to generate revenue for them and to run their business – The real estate agents / agencies should understand this fact and they have the uniqueprospect to get special packages from the online property portals through which they can post multiple property Ads on paid listings in a most economical way than a individual property owner which is a great opportunity in front of them. This is similar to the difference between a whole sale and retail business. The real estate agents / agencies can play the role of the whole sale business role with the cost advantage.
- Most importantly, the property portals provide user dashboard which is very useful to analyze the Ad performance and fine tune it if required. Most of the property owners who directly post the property Ad online do not spend time to look into it periodically, analyze and fine tune the Ad as required to get the best results – The real estate agents / agencies get exclusive help support from the online property portals to understand about the dash board features and make use of it in a best way.
First of all, the real estate agents / agencies should realize that the online property portals are the new generation advertising platforms and not their competitors. Most importantly, the online advertising platforms provide different slots / features / plans / packages for all the stake holders of real estate spectrum like direct property owners, real estate agents / agencies / dealers, builders and promoters to accommodate all.
Secondly, the real estate agents / agencies should have the interest to get conversant with the property portals, explore the special packages / features made available for them and make use of it effectively by posting multiple property Ads in a most economical way and fill the above gap between the property owners and online property portals. This is possible at a very small investment for the real estate agents / agencies and by doing so they get the opportunity to collect brokerage from both the seller and buyers, thus their revenue is doubled – their small investment in taking a package with online property portals to sell property online is justified. In addition to it, they get enormous enquiries through which they not only sell the advertised properties but also generate fresh buyer leads and they can source property for them and continue the business seamlessly like a chain reaction.
Ultimately, this will be a boon, if they choose the right online advertising platform for this purpose – Each online real estate portal has its strong hold in terms of the real estate segment like sale or rent, geography and target audience, etc. For example, if you are dealing with hill station real estate, then the specialty property portal like hillsandwills.com is now available which will be the most appropriate choice for you to get the best result as it deals exclusively hill station real estate across India with targeted reach to hill property buyers - first of its kind in India. In case, you deal with real estate in plains you have many online property portals / advertising platforms with different working mechanism and plans – do a detail analysis about them, understand them in detail and chose an apt one for your business segment and region.
To conclude online property portals are effective, modern tools and boon to the real estate agents / agencies if they understand it both technically and commercially.