Real estate is a fast moving and highly competitive industry, with deals finalised all over the world from offices, cafes and living rooms. This means that agents are under the pump to issue contracts, information, and liaise with clients away from their desk and outside office hours.
In order to progress into the future the real estate industry in Australia has been one of the first sectors to take advantage of VR technology. This technology assists agents to showcase properties and help consumers envisage what their ideal home or office would look like. In Australia there are quite a few startups wanting to help the industry move into the next stage and become more of a global platform.
Melbourne app iCommercial is setting itself up to make waves on the international scale by enabling agents to run their day-to-day business via their smartphones from anywhere in the world. iCommercial combines Apple 3D maps, Google StreetView, virtual inspections and car parking reports to deliver a complete property package to agents everywhere, helping them do business on the go.
“Whether it be in Melbourne, the other side of the country in Perth or even internationally…we’ve seem inspections done in Hong Kong offices through the virtual inspection software and deals done in 24 hours for a property in Bronte; it’s really transforming the speed in which transactions can take place,” said Kegan Harry, director of iCommercial.
The virtual inspection feature has been responsible for transforming the way sales are executed and the way consumers respond and view property. Harry said this feature can change a buyer’s mind and move them towards saying yes to a property they may have not been initially interested in.
Through the app agents are able to conduct virtual inspections and Section 32s, a document provided by a vendor to an intending purchaser. By providing this information the sales process for agents is streamlined for faster response rates to keep vendors and landlords up to date with the latest activities. At any point in time agents have access to all their property listings and also all listings from companies on a national basis.
iCommercial displays full property details within seconds and pulls a full database of property listings automatically from the CRM.
To date the app has over 27,000 listings with almost 3,000 agents who use the app Australia-wide.
Harry said an app like this was missing from the commercial real estate realm. From working in the property space he found agents busy schedules and response rates could be improved dramatically with clever technology.
“Admittedly, real estate agents are pretty busy individuals on the run most of the day and flying interstate and overseas more and more so, alas it would often take a few days for documents to be sent across or we would need to liaise with their personal assistants to get the contracts and associated materials needed to assess the properties,” he explained.
Harry admitted that at times crucial information was getting lost or it was slow to come through, when really this type of information should be readily available through a few clicks of a button. This is where iCommercial was born and is well on its way to transform the way real estate teams work.
We are in an era where fast and effective communication can either make or break a business. Apps like iCommercial harness the power of technology to help deliver and execute sales in real-time. But these apps are competing with a range of other startups that look to do the same thing and make traditional client meetings more or less redundant.
There is another app on the market called Followit, which further assists communication between consumers and real estate agents. With the aim of delivering real-time information to the public from the real estate industry Followit is tapping into the tech savvy market who want immediate access to information.
Fast tracked conversations are happening between agents and clients around the world, who are making deals and signing contracts via their smartphones. No longer is it viable for an agent to simply work in office. Apps like Followit and iCommercial help evolve and streamline the real estate industry.
Since launching two years ago iCommercial states it has acquired almost 70 percent of the commercial real estate market and is now looking towards global expansion. Currently the app is looking to establish itself as the leading sales and productivity tool for commercial real estate agents.
The business received an initial evaluation of $10 million three and a half years ago, and since then has been cashflow positive.
“Having already acquired almost 70 percent of the Australian commercial real estate market, expanding internationally is just a natural progression for the app and we’re currently in talks with these groups in New Zealand, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US as of last week, with a major customer facing portal,” said Harry.
Harry said the team has been in discussions with the commercial real estate sector around the world, but for the next 12 months iCommercial will be working on a residential projects platform to sell off the plan projects.
Harry said, “I think we’re going to be very shortly tapping our existing clients on the shoulder to expand into that space. And we’re also currently in discussions in regards to Asia and how we can partner up with that sector.”
Image: Lachie Gibson, Kegan Harry and Mike Phillips. Source: Supplied.