Time kills Deals

How digital gives you your life back

COVID 19 propelled real estate into the digital world.

Steve Beattie, from McGrath Sutherland Shire, has found that selling in this new environment has bought many challenges. However one thing has stayed the same. He says, “More than ever, it’s all about the client and the buyer, what they want and what’s best to serve them and if that’s important to them.”

Having been a principal himself, and now selling real estate, Steve appreciates the effort that goes into providing a seamless digital experience. McGrath Sutherland is one of the most digitally advanced offices in the country. During the pandemic though, the investment in digital proved invaluable. It has provided a better customer experience, allowed agents to work on engagement and work differently. He says, “Since the pandemic hit, we all had to adapt pretty quickly and we’ve found ways to do it.”

Experiences and lessons learned through COVID

1. Scheduling inspections online

Steve says, “This required a lot of tech to get it streamlined and make sure everyone was coming and when they were supposed to be coming.”

2. Digital walkthroughs

Clients are now provided with a digital first inspection which creates a funnel of qualified buyers. Steve says, “The first inspection is digital now, then we’ll discuss going through the home. From the feedback so far, it’s become a very useful tool. Not only in the first instance, but it saves a second inspection if they just want to show, the parents through for example.” Steve can send a link to the walkthrough, and organise a face-to-face inspection with someone who is definitely interested in the property, rather than attend an open house.

3. Online auctions

Using AuctionNow, the team trained up and then spent a lot of time educating buyers. Steve says, “It was pretty straightforward and I can see it being used a lot in the future.” The key is to take the time to educate buyers. Many people already use online auction sites such as eBay and Gumtree so are familiar with the environment. It is just a matter of making them become comfortable with a new way of delivering a sale.

4. Working from home

The advantage of going digital is that agents can work from home. Steve says, “There are certain times of the day or the week that I work from home.” When nobody is home, he can have a clear day prospecting and booking appointments because the technology is all there on his laptop. Every application is online, so working from home is comfortable and allows him to do other things that are important in his life.

5. Signing up a client

Using Pitch from Realtair, Steve has found it was easy for the client and speeds up the signing process. A pre-list or a light version is sent before the pitch meeting. When he meets them face to face, with a hard copy of the pitch document it sets the agenda. He sits across the dining table, with all the decision makers, and they look at the pitch document, from marketing to costing and the sales strategy together. Steve says, “It keeps you focused on what you need to cover. It’s designed to look good, it’s easy to follow and has the right branding. It’s impressive. Later, if we feel little things need to be tweaked or we want to add some extra brochures I can say, “That’s great, I’m going to send you the updated version, if you guys discuss it overnight or over the next week.”

He adds, “They can share it, they can forward it to us. We can get it to them quickly, instantly and deliver on the promises. You don’t have to worry about dropping it off, or wonder if they are they home. You can leave it on the front doorstep. It’s in their inbox and your next call to action is to follow them up when they open it.”

6. Signing on glass

Agency Agreements can be signed on glass with Pitch and Steve has found that it makes the process so easy. He says, “It’s there, it’s instant, you’re happy with it, and you get notified. You get notified when the client opens it, it comes back, you do your part, it’s just so easy. I don’t know why people aren’t adapting quicker. If we can find a way to make it easy for us, you do it surely?”

What’s next?

The last pieces of the puzzle are digitising the process from listed to settled and enabling contracts to be signed on glass. McGrath Sutherland has been testing Flow – Realtair’s workflow management system which covers the process from listed to settled. Steve says, “I wish I had that five or ten years ago. Everything is in one spot. It’s awesome. As a sales agent – we’ve got a checklist. If it’s in there right from the beginning, we shouldn’t have to worry about it again.” Signing contracts on glass will also make a huge difference. Time kills deals and we all know how much time it can take gathering all the right signatures. If we’ve got to drive to Dubbo to sign a deal, the deal could very well fall apart. Not anymore.

Steve says, “Technology is changing my business. As I’m growing my team, with technology we’ve got different things we can do with our day and our time to make money. That is what we’re here for.”


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