Technology is having a big impact on how real estate agents work and likewise it is having impact on how consumers find and work with agents to buy or sell property. Joel Leslie from Coicio takes us through some of the developments that will shape how our property experience will change.
Listen to the interview now:
Kevin: In another show that we do, which is called Real Estate Uncut, we talk to real estate professionals around Australia. We’ve been doing it for well over a decade now. It’s been an interesting journey because technology has evolved enormously, particularly in the last couple of years. A little bit later next month, early in the new year, at the end of January, we’re going to be broadcasting live from a conference in New York, which is called the Inman Conference. One of the people who’ll be joining us there is Joel Leslie. Joel is from a company called Coicio, which we, through our new portal, Property TV, have a very close relationship with.
Kevin: Joel, I want to talk to you today in the show about technology, but not so much how agents are working with it, but how it’s going to impact consumers in the transaction, that is both selling and buying. Hello, and welcome to the show, Joel.
Joel: Thank you, Kevin, and thank you for having me.
Kevin: That’s a pleasure. Let’s talk about technology because we’ve seen it evolve in our home life. Like, as an example, we now have a Google Home Mini, I think it’s called, but we’re talking to her all the time. There’s things like Alexa, there’s Siri, as well, on the phones. So these AI, or this technology, is taking on a personality of its own, isn’t it? It’s becoming a part of the family.
Joel: It is, and that’s the whole goal of this type of technology, is to integrate it into the house, so it actually does more for you and make your life simpler. If you can imagine, at the moment, a lot of people do have these products, the Google, the Amazon Alexas, and Siris and the like, and what they do is they take control of whatever function that you need them to, so it could be controlling the lights, or it could be turning on the vacuum, or anything like that.
Joel: But what it does really help us with from a property perspective is that it’s starting to come around and help us buy and choose a home. So imagine if you could say to Alexa or Google, “Find me the best real estate agent,” or, “I’d like to sell my house next month. How do you think I should go about that?” These are all open-ended questions that aren’t necessarily going to result in a yes and no. They’re going to result in some type of smarts to come back to you and give you, as the consumer, the buyer, the seller, the best information that you need right then.
Kevin: Yeah, we’ve got to look at these devices as helping us, aiding us, giving us more information and access to it. One of the developments we’ve seen in the real estate industry, and I’m now talking about agents, I’d like you to just describe Alexa, even Google. How they can be rearranging our diary without us even being involved in it. Could you just talk me through that process?
Joel: Well, we’ll touch on it, just so we don’t talk about one product, so we can do an overarching product. We’ll just touch on the real estate agent, just for a little bit, and I’ll flip back to the consumer. So, if you could imagine a real estate agent, quite busy in the day, running from one house to the other, and they usually have a team of people behind them to help them facilitate that. Now, if you could imagine that, all in one person. So what would happen is, this technology resides in the cloud or in the internet, and then it comes through any device that you have and you need, to talk to them.
Joel: If you think about the Alexa product, well then it’s actually a little box that sits on your kitchen bench, or if you think about it in your phone. So you’re driving from one to another, and then what happens is you’ll say “Hey, I need to reschedule my tomorrow at 4:00 to 2:00. Would you mind arranging that for me?” Then that actual product, the AI product, will actually then call the owner or the seller, whoever it might be that they’re arranging that inspection with, and then rearrange, without the actual agent talking to them. That actual piece of technology will actually talk to a person and that person will talk to that piece of technology, without any hiccups or any concern.
Kevin: When you’re doing that, too, it’s quite amazing. I’ve experienced it. It’s like talking to a normal person. Some of them, you can tell that it’s a machine, but they’re so intuitive, they’re so clever, and they pick up on accents and so on, and then, if they’re not sure, they’ll actually ask for a confirmation.
Joel: That’s right. Now, if you think about it, we actually use this a little bit in our day-to-day. If you call Telstra, or if you call some of those big companies out there, they actually have this type of product, but that’s an IVR, and that’s very different to an AI. In an IVR, what they’re doing is they’re listening for specific words and phrases that have been pre-programed. If you say something that they don’t know, like, “Push one,” or something like that, they won’t do anything.
Joel: But these products, what they are, they’re actually mimicking a person’s understanding of what it is you’re trying to say. They’re actually pasting together a sentence and working out what it is you’re trying to ask for. So you could say, “Look, I don’t know how to sell my house. I’ve never done it before. I’ve owned this for four years. Can you please give me some advice?” and this AI can actually then say to you, “You need to do these things and these steps.”
Kevin: As I said earlier, we’ve got to start thinking of these things as part of the family, or part of what we do, and the more we use them, the more educated they become, Joel. Joel, we’re out of time. I want to thank you so much. Looking forward to catching up with you in New York a little bit later, at the end of next month. If you’d like to watch our live stream, too, by the way, you can do that through a product called Property TV. The website to go to is propertytv.io, and in fact, all of our programmes are now being streamed through there, and our association, of course, with Coicio, and Joel Leslie is from that organisation. Joel, thanks very much for your time.
Joel: Thank you. Thanks for having me, Kevin.
Kevin Tuner worked in radio as General Manager of various east coast radio stations. He started in real estate in 1988 and was ranked in the Top 10 Salespeople in the state until he was appointed as State CEO 1992. He also operated a number of real estate offices as business owner and was General Manager of several real estate offices in Christchurch.
To hear more podcasts by Kevin Turner, click here
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by interviewees and/or contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.