Monday, December 6

Property agents should adopt technology to keep up

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KUALA LUMPUR: Property agents should equip themselves with technological knowhow to keep up with changing market trends.

iProperty.com chief executive officer Haresh Khoobchandani said with the emergence of electronic gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks, more property buyers had shifted towards technology-driven methods in making their purchases.

“They (agents) need to understand how to deal with buyers online, new ways of marketing and how to use data pertaining to the market to serve their customers.

“Agents of the future will be those leveraging technologies in doing their jobs. They will not survive if they don’t leverage it,” he told reporters after introducing the new iProperty.com.my website yesterday.

Asked whether property portals will dominate the sale and rental market segments in the future, he said it was a very unlikely possibility as buyers still needed to interact with agents in terms of seeking advice on the properties they were interested in.

“Agents are still part of the buying or renting cycle of property purchasing exercise. There maybe some start-ups coming up with some business models, trying to take over the process.

“But in my opinion, as buying a property requires a huge investment, it still requires human interaction.

“To turn around and spend about half a million ringgit online, without talking to someone, is quite an impossible thing to do,” he said.

The market may see this kind of business model being tested but its success rate is quite low at the moment, he said, adding that geographically, Malaysia is still a large market and interaction between property buyers and agents is still very much needed.

“There is still a crucial role to be played by property agents. Buying (a property) is one thing, and after buying it, a lot of things still need to be done by them. The same goes with the renting segment,” he added. — Bernama