How AI And Automation Is Changing How We Use Customer Relationship Management

There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence is improving in every aspect. Whether it be in everyday technology or in business, the changes in AI are clear to see if you know what you are looking for. When it comes to the real estate industry, Artificial Intelligence is changing the way we do things. More and more of our daily business becomes automated, and it is changing the way we use customer relationship management or CRM.

How AI will drive real estate’s evolution in 2018

In the very near future, machine learning and artificial intelligence will play a much larger role in the industry, and there are no signs of AI growth slowing down anytime soon. Global AI revenue is constantly growing, and roughly 75% of all developers currently use some form of AI technology in one form or another. This means the creation of the digital end of your business will soon be majority reliant on AI technology for your daily business operations.

In real estate especially, the time-saving benefits of AI technologies are priceless. What was once a tedious process of manually sorting through data to try and identify opportunities, leads, prospects, and trends is now all performed by automated artificial technological beasts. Most of which are very easy to come by, as well as being affordable enough to factor into your everyday running costs.

AI Focus

Having technology available, that knows who is ready to buy, when they are ready, what neighbourhoods are booming and how to connect the dots between these elements is invaluable in the real estate industry. The most time-consuming tasks have been automated, allowing any seller to do their job of selling. Gone are the days of paper trails and endless researching and data crunching, to match buyers with sellers. AI has simplified your job. It has changed the way we do business to the extent that we are far more productive, and far more efficient.

Artificial Intelligence brings all the available resources together, allows you to focus on direct customer focus, and achieve far better sales targets. AI saves time. It’s plain and simple. An agent’s role requires balance, and AI helps to achieve this balance by allowing you to focus on the things that cannot rely on Artificial Intelligence.

Lead Generation

AI helps to generate a higher quality of leads through the data that is compiled and sorted. AI data crunching happens in a matter of seconds, where it can take days for a human to do the job, especially when you have face to face meetings with existing prospects and leads. AI can pinpoint the people who are ready to buy or ready to sell. Every year more and more people buy and sell homes using the internet, and this is where AI truly shines through. Artificial Intelligence gathers buyer and seller data from the internet and knows who is ready to buy or sell. Everywhere from social media to property databases offer a plethora of information that AI uses to make your job simpler.

What Lies Beyond?

Beyond the generation of leads, AI helps to also enrich and validate them with data, provide insight into lead preferences and behaviours to allow you, the agent to approach with a considerate and strategic manner. AI has also opened new possibilities for targeting and behaviour analysis and will scan social media to find the people most likely to respond to a specific type of marketing campaign. From there it can create ads for the specific person based on their search data.

There are hundreds of ways AI and automation can help your real estate business boom, and this just scratches the surface.

Arosoftware named as a finalist in the Sunshine Coast Business Awards

Arosoftware named as a finalist in the Sunshine Coast Business Awards

Arosoftware is proud to announce that they are a finalist in the 2018 Sunshine Coast Business Awards

“Being recognised for an achievement like this is truly a reflection of the great work our team does every day. We proudly work with agencies all around the country, but it is an honour to recognised and nominated for an award in the birthplace of Arosoftware, over 14 years ago” – Aron Rubulis – Arosoftware CTO

The Sunshine Coast’s longest established business awards have been celebrating business success since 1995. The Sunshine Coast Business Awards recognises the many, impressive business success stories throughout the region, and provides exceptional networking events for the local business community throughout the year.

The awards program culminates in the major gala event held in November and attended by 600 people from all corners of our business community.

Why You Need A Professional Looking Website & Top Tips To Get One

As a real estate agent presentation is the most important thing that sets you apart from your competitors. Real estate is a tough, competitive business so you need to do what you can to be the leader in your local area when it comes to getting the sales, and the first place to start is with a professional website.

The last thing you need as a real estate agent is for prospects to hear how great you are through word of mouth or advertising, get through the phase where you chat on the phone, and then they visit your website to see an unprofessional mess. However, this is one of the most common mistakes that professional agents seem to make. Having a professional website is vital for turning prospects into clients, and if they see a website that is anything short of amazing they may be turned away in an instant.

So, what does a great real estate agent website entail?

  1. You need a unique design that is tailored to suit your brand as much as it is for your clientele. Customised websites have many benefits, and can be tailor-made to suit your branding colours, as well as the area you work from and a layout that includes high-quality photo galleries, videos and constantly evolving information about properties you have listed.
  2. Your website must be able to track leads, send emails, schedule follow-ups, and receive instant analytics that will enable you to be in front of your competition.
  3. Your website must encourage a great user experience. If your website looks great when you arrive at it, but it is difficult to navigate, has broken links or none at all, then it is useless. A great website is simple to use, works well on mobile devices and features everything your business offers that sets you up as the best agent to hire for the sale or purchase of their next property.
  4. All great websites rely on great content that will engage your users. Staff profiles are important, as is branding logos, galleries, and a mobile-friendly design.

If your website doesn’t already do all of the above things and more, it might be time to take your business to the next level and introduce your clients to your agency in a professional manner.

Aro has built more over 2000 websites for real estate clients across Australia. Our experienced team of web developers offers a range of features that will enhance your business activity, and our website software is simple to use and easy to maintain.

We have added 8 new website integrations

Arosoftware are happy to announce that customers can now automatically upload their listings directly to 8 new websites.

“We are always looking to support our customers by making it easy to upload to the websites they need”. Ben Milligan, Head of Support, Arosoftware.

The new additions are the latest to join a growing list of over 50 websites that Arosoftware have a dedicated feed to.

If you would like to start automatically posting your listings to these websites, just contact the website portal directly to get started. As always, our support team are here to help you.

Are you already listing properties on these portals and would like to know how Arosoftware can automate your business? Contact us to learn more.

Why You Need To Keep Track of KPIs And Commissions

Keeping track of KPI’s in any business is a difficult task, and when you are in big business it becomes such a huge task that you require either a dedicated team to keep track or amazing software that will do the job for you. Of course, the first option is expensive, but it is usually the way most large teams go until they learn that software is the better option.

If your team of agents is large, it’s imperative that you keep track of KPI’s if you want your business to run smoothly into the future. If you don’t know exactly what you agents are doing it can present a large number of problems. It makes it very difficult to tell whether they are putting in the requirements required to meet KPI’s, and it makes it very difficult to manage the data that will gradually build your business. It’s important to know what conversion rates your agents have, and if they are bringing in enough sales leads to make it worthwhile having them onboard.

Keeping track of KPI’s is equally as important as keeping track of agency commissions. Keeping track of commissions and cash flow is another very time-consuming task, but simply must be done. It takes valuable time for your accounting or admin staff and it can be frustrating, to say the least. The time your employees spend on these types of tasks can be very costly at the end of the day. The time it takes to compile commission statements, the time it takes your agents to work out when they will be paid commissions, and the time you spend waiting for cash flow forecasts is wasting time and money that should be spent on more important things.

Without lead generation, your agency doesn’t have sales. This is a simple concept to grasp but getting through the regular maintenance of those leads is hard work. Manually entering data is tedious, making sure all the information is correct, monitoring leads and ensuring they are worthy, sales strategies, and following up all take loads of time, and the best way through it is with tailor-made software that does it all for you.

With the right customised software, you can easily track KPIs, commissions, leads, sales strategies and more. Software that can measure your returns, and alert you when targets are not on track, allows you to take action when it is required.

Eliminating these jobs from the daily tasks of your employees ensures they are being utilised in the areas you need them to be used. It takes the stress off your business and forces your business to grow.

Our system offers complete transparency so you can see how your business is performing, where the issues are and how to fix them.

Importance An Easy-To-Access Real Estate Website

Having a great looking website is one thing but having a great website that you can access and update yourself with a simple process is even better. A  great website is a key to being the most successful real estate agent you can be, and having a competitive edge that an amazing website delivers will win you clients.

One of the most difficult parts of having a great website is that when you pay someone to build a great site, nine out of ten times the developers remain in full control of your website so they can rely on your ongoing requirements for income. A website where you can update your listings by yourself, or add new images to your gallery, add staff changes or add a blog post is something that can save you money and time into the future.

In the real estate business, your website needs to be updated often on a daily basis, so having to contact web developers to have simple updates performed can be an expensive cost. Being able to access your website and update it whenever you want makes sense, and if you want to lower your overheads, this is one of the best ways to do it.

When you need to add a new listing to your website or take one off when you make sales it needs to be a simple process, and if you have access to your website that even your junior staff can edit, your job becomes easier, and your website is as current as you need it to be to be competitive.

Even if you have a great looking website and you believe your content is competitive against other real estate agents, but if you don’t have a large amount of staff available to add new content regularly, having access to the back end of your own website is the perfect solution.

A real estate website template system that is made by real estate agents, for real estate agents is the best solution to your web design problems.

Our software allows you to update your listings with user-friendly layouts, saving you valuable resources and time for more important things. It allows you to track and develop online leads, receive instant analytics, and our drag and drop editor lets you personalise your site so you can easily add listings, pages, videos, photos and more.

There are no upfront costs and no ongoing costs for updates and edit, and you’ll receive unlimited customer support.

For homeowners: Do you need to spend money to make money?

When it comes to selling your home, you will probably ask yourself the age-old question about having to spend money to make money. In the real estate market, it is vital that you spend the money on the right things when getting your home ready for sale.

Deciding how much money to spend is also a tough one, because you don’t want to spend money that you won’t get back. However, there are things you absolutely must spend money on to ensure you do get the selling price you want.

When a person views a house at an open inspection their instinct is to find everything they possibly can that is wrong with a house. They will see a broken cupboard door or a light fitting and they will see chipped paint and, in their minds, they are adding up the costs involved to repair everything, and taking it off the minimum price they will offer you.

So, you can see the importance of spending money on the little things that in the long run will add value to your sell price, if not exactly adding “value” to your home as such.

Cosmetic renovations add value

Painting your home inside and out id the one thing that will add value no matter what. Making sure everything looks consistent with the rest of the house is very important as well. Make sure you don’t pour money into things that won’t make you money in the long run. Unless you are set to completely renovate your 1950’s home and pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into it and sell when the market suits you, don’t bother with massive spending. Simple cosmetic updates will be worth more than a massive renovation.

However, don’t just leave it as it is, unless you have a very quick sale with no added value wanted in mind.

If you can’t look after the cosmetic stuff yourself, hire someone who can. Think of it as a short-term investment that will see great returns when you sell the home for more than you wanted originally. Make sure your home looks best from the road. Potential buyers will drive by at any given time, and first impressions are seen from a car window. 

Things you need to know about advertising your property

Determining how much to spend on advertising when you are selling a property comes down to some basic philosophies – having a solid strategy, creating a solid reach and capitalising on the audience.

It is difficult to put a number on how much you should spend on advertising for your home, because every area is different to the next. Supply and demand plays a big part in how much you need to spend as well. You need to know where your target market is and know how to reach them. If there is high demand in your area, then your real estate agent will be able to point you to their big list of leads, and advertising will cost very little. If the market is flooded where you are the opposite might happen.

It’s really going to come down to the area in which you are selling, and how quickly you want to sell. The more you spend, obviously gets you a larger audience, but it must be done right to achieve that result. Greater advertising exposure means more eyes on your property, which in turn can create competition amongst buyers, driving the sale price up and the sale to a quick close.

Sellers need to deliberately target buyers through online campaigns, and when it comes to online advertising, the options are plentiful. From your standards like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au; to other players likesellable.com.au and buymyplace.com.au there are literally hundreds of ways you can spend your advertising dollars. You can even pay to advertise your home on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Should I pay for advertising or will my real estate agent pay for me?

No matter whether it is in your contract that your real estate agent will handle the advertising for your home, you should still educate yourself on different ways to advertise, and work with your agent to ensure all avenues are taken.

How will 5G affect the real estate industry?

5G is coming, and when it arrives life is going to be a little different; for everyone.

5G is the next major step which will advance the mobile and internet networks to a place we have never seen before. Our current 4G mobile capacity and networking speeds are somewhat limited, and the 5G network will have capabilities 1000 times what we have now. To put this into perspective, the maximum download speed on Australia’s somewhat dismal NBN network is 100Mbps. This means a file of 100 megabytes can currently be downloaded in a second, but these speeds are on a high tier payment price and limited to the area you live in. 5G is expected to make available a gigabyte per second, which is the size of a movie, downloadable in an instant. Although most services have adapted to streaming services to combat movie and TV show pirating, something is about to change again with 5G. We have already had a trial in Australia of 5G for the Gold Coast areas around the commonwealth games precincts, and it’s expected to be available commercially in just a year.

Why is it necessary?

The key reasoning for 5G is to advance current technologies to the next level and beyond. The most important technology at this stage that will rely solely on the stability and reliability of a super internet is automation in vehicles. Automated trucks are already in use in mining, automated cars are already being tested on our streets, but the problems with current network capabilities is they are not reliable or quick enough to cope with millions of cars driving by themselves. 5G will undoubtedly change this. 5G will offer improved GPS capabilities with instantaneous traffic and map updates globally, meaning you will know exactly to the second when you will arrive to a destination.

How will it affect the everyday person?

When it comes to the average Joe, there are many ways it will be innovative, and there will be many ways it will change the way we work, rest and play. Some of the most important innovations currently being tested is the way we use energy, and the capabilities 5G will have to automate personal household energy use. The Finnish government is currently testing ways to automate lights, security cameras, windows, refrigerators, door locks, heating systems, and other electrical household items to find ways to use them only when needed. Especially when it comes to apartment blocks and large hotels, it means that lighting could be sensor based, electronic door locks will be automated by Wi-Fi and energy savings will be massive.

How will it affect the residential real estate industry?

Technology that we already use in the real estate industry will all advance beyond current recognition. There is no doubt there is undiscovered tech that will produce itself, and this industry has a lot to look forward to. Virtual reality tours are widely being used in real estate, in the way of virtual tours, and in the future, virtual reality will consume massive bandwidth with the advances currently being tested in tech companies across the globe. Mobile phone technology will be incredibly fast and reliable, and it’s almost unfathomable how much change will come in even the next five years.

One of the biggest changes in real estate, will relate to the property itself. Aerials for the 5G network will be tiny in comparison to current mobile networks and will be able to be mounted onto homes rather than up high on large plots of land. This will mean your residential property could be used as aerial space.

5th generation mobile networks will advance smart home technology and real estate agents will need to know more about how these things work. Human-machine communication will advance beyond anything we have ever seen before, with the possibility of virtually anything you can imagine becoming automated.

Data will be able to be transported immediately, and when it comes to things like contracts, and funds for the sale of homes this will change the industry for good. Current smart contracts used on blockchain technology make smart contracts very quick, and this technology will soon be available to your smartphone. This could mean big changes in the industry, including quicker settlements and immediate money transfers.

There are many reasons why businesses are excited about 5G, and of course, one of those reasons is the cost. Connecting 5G to homes and businesses will be far less expensive than standard connections.

Time will tell what other types of innovative changes will take place in real estate, and innovative thinkers will definitely come out on top in the next ten years. The world is about to change, and there is no telling what will be discovered. It is certain however that it WILL generate new revenue, it WILL generate new growth in every sector, and it will accelerate innovation to a place that no one can imagine.

Property Investment Checklist

Property is one of the best possible investments you can make if you know what you are doing, and with the market as it is right now, it’s a great time to be spending money on investment properties. So how do you know if you’re in a financial position to invest in property?

To begin your investment property journey, you need to do a number of things:

  • You need to first work out how much combined debt you have, how much you will need to borrow and how much you can budget for your new investment property.
  • You should have around 20% of the property value ready as a deposit, plus at least 5% for stamp duty and legal costs as well as a bit of a buffer on top. It’s important to allow for at least $50,000 for future cash-flow in case things turn bad with your income.
  • Property investment entails some serious research time and a solid financial commitment, so you must be completely thorough in your research and even more so in your investment preparation.
  • You need to treat a property investment like a business. Buying a home is one thing, buying investment property needs to be bought like you would buy a business, with everything in place to make you profit on your investment.  
  • Make sure you have a quality team around you for advice. This should include mortgage broker or a banker, financial planner, property valuation expert, an accountant, and a builder.

 A lot of potential investors sit around and wait for the market to be right for their terms, however if you wait too long, the market can change that dramatically that you might miss out on some really good investments while you wait. Don’t wait for the market, if you are ready, you are ready.

Always be prepared for the unexpected. This means your backup cash should be safely tucked away, and it also means you should never expect interest rates to stay low. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Budget your property with a very high interest rate in mind, and you’ll almost always come out on top.

Always prepare for the worst-case scenario, and when things go smoothly you’ll get further in front than you imagined.