Property Investing In The Future

Ray White Director Dan White shares his views on how technology has influenced the way agents operate.

With his father Brian White, a third-generation leader of the Ray White Group, there was always a very good chance that Dan White would find his way into the family business.

Dan joined the Ray White Group in 2000 after three years at Macquarie Bank’s Property Investment Management Division as the Deputy General Manager of Macquarie Industrial Trust.

In 2001 he and his father established White Private, an investment and advisory branch of the group.

In addition to his role at White Private, Dan is a Director of the Ray White Group and is responsible for the growth of its non-residential businesses.

With years of professional experience and memories from childhood of how he saw agents working, Dan reflects on three of the most important changes technology has made to the real estate industry.

Communication

Building and maintaining relationships with clients is essential to every agent’s working life, but how this is done has changed dramatically in the past few decades.

“Technology has played a huge role in improving the communication between agents, vendors and purchasers,” Dan said.

“I can remember as a kid, going around with my father on a Saturday and all the agents used CB radios in their car. It was always buzzing with chatter to and from the office.

“It was a pretty crude way to communicate, but revolutionary at the time. Now, with mobile phones, SMS and video, communication is so much easier for agents out in the field.

“Communication technology has improved so much; just in my lifetime there has been a major shift in how agents work because they can communicate much more effectively with clients.”

More informed market

With the development of technology, an increased volume of information about the market is now available. Dan said this has required agents to rethink the role they play in the process of education clients about the market.

“The development of online portals and investment websites enables buyers to be more educated about the whole process,” he said.

“We are not the gatekeepers of information that we once were for buyers. I think it has created a more efficient industry, because buyers do a lot of the work themselves.

“It makes for a more professional market as well, because agents need to be more skilled in the process rather than just working on the emotions of clients. This is particularly important in sales where being talented can get you so far, but you still need the analytical skills to help the buyers.”

Mobile agents

Having great local knowledge and being known in the community have always been key to getting an advantage as an agent. Though it has always been important to be out in the field, it has never been easier for agents than it is now.

Dan said using cloud technology to integrate networks and giving agents more capacity when out in the field has been a key change in recent years.

“The industry has embraced technology to get agents out in the field yet still able to communicate with clients and other staff members, and we can provide information to agents through the cloud as they need it,” he said.

“It has given real value to the concept of being in a real estate network, collaborating and accessing standard documents without perpetually heading back to the office for paperwork.

“Cloud technology allows agents to report, contact, research, recall and reference information and documents from the vendor’s property, from their car or from the other side of the world.”