7 June 2022
By Peter Matthews
Transparency is smart. Transparency is professional. And, in our ever-changing, tech-enabled world, transparency is expected. REINSW President Peter Matthews explains more.
Consumers are demanding transparency from the real estate industry. Why? Because it’s the norm across so many other industries.
Think about the last time you ordered something online. A text message advising that ‘your package will arrive soon’ no longer cuts it. You want to track its exact location. And when you book a taxi via an app, you’re not satisfied with an alert that ‘your ride is on the way’. You expect to see a tiny car on a map moving toward your location on your smartphone.
We expect this level of transparency across so many facets of our lives. Why should the real estate industry be any different?
Some innovations in real estate have certainly added transparency. For example, electronic signatures have streamlined the process of getting documents signed and virtual tours have changed the way properties are viewed. These advancements are great, because they make things better for the consumer. But there is more we can do.
Two words that should be on every agent’s lips are ‘transactional transparency’.
Currently, there is no consistency in the sales process. As a buyer, I can walk into two different agencies and ask: “How do I make an offer?” Undoubtedly, I’ll receive two different answers. And this is just one example of many.
It’s simple things like this that frustrate buyers. But, by using technology to digitise the transaction from end to end, much of this frustration can be alleviated.
Consider an offer process where a buyer enters their offer into a digital platform. Their offer, like all other offers, is recorded, and date and time stamped. The buyer knows that by entering the offer into the platform, there’s a consistent process for all potential buyers and that process is auditable. There is a level of transparency they can rely upon. Transparency brings about accountability and this, in turn, creates more trust in the process and elevates their engagement with the agent.
And this is just one example of how technology can bring transparency across the entire transaction.
Transparency should be the norm in the real estate industry, not the exception. As real estate agents, we guide people through the largest financial transactions of their lives and the process can be overwhelming – particularly for first timers.
Clarity, fuelled by transparency, benefits everyone involved in the transaction: the buyer, the seller and the agent. Clarity builds trust. And buyers and sellers deserve an agent they can trust. They deserve to know that the agent is providing honest, complete information every step of the way. They deserve to see the whole picture, not just part of it.
Technology can allow us to achieve transactional transparency. And, by doing so, we can better focus on our clients’ interests, communicate with clarity and embrace transparency. Everyone wins.
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