KUALA LUMPUR: Real estate companies and agents who are able to leverage social media represent the future of the industry, according to property executives.
Speaking at a property forum today, experts in housing and technology said that while automation would never replace workers within the industry, it would be the companies which used technology, namely social media, to supplement their human talent which would succeed.
Lim Boon Ping, president of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents, asked “rather than look at IT as a disruption, why don’t we start to look at IT as an enabler to make our service better and improve our sales?”
He said companies needed to learn the value of social media as a lead creating tool, which could assist agents in closing deals.
“If you are a player and you want to boost your posts, you will have to learn how to generate organic reach, and that’s through social media to create a brand for yourself.
“Online, there are no borders, you can create an international presence easily to reach out to international buyers.”
Georg Chmiel, executive chairman at real estate conglomerate Juwai IQI Holdings, said history had proven that technology could not fully automate the real estate industry.
“Many people predicted not long ago that the traditional real estate agency would be replaced by portals, and that’s just not true.”
“Neither the portal nor the agency is the future model. The two things coming together is the future, technology solving real business problems.”
He said technology was only as good as a company’s ability to integrate it, and urged real estate companies to use social media as a way to complement agents, not replace them.
“So many of these start-ups come out and say they have the latest rental app or whatever, but often they lack any real estate knowledge.
“It’s a bit like saying you have the new Grab of the future, but you don’t actually know how to drive a car.”
Their comments were made at the 2020 National Housing and Property Summit, organised by KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific.