In the real estate industry, innovations are few and far in between, but as the online world continues to change the way houses are marketed and potential buyers can house-hunt, further disruption to the way people sell and buy houses is giving the industry a shake-up that may have a huge impact on the way people do business.

For an industry that hasn’t evolved a lot in decades, the time seems very right.

As proof that disruption is here to stay, investments in real estate tech start-ups reached an all-time high in the last year, and although traditional real estate agencies might not welcome the way things are shifting, the signs are that consumers are more than ready for change.

To understand what disruption to the real estate industry looks like – and what it might mean for your future property sales – it’s important to understand some background statistics.

Bye-Bye Middle Man – How To Avoid Real Estate Sales Commissions

In the US market, figures from the US Census Bureau revealed that, in 2016, around 51% of all home-buyers found the property they ended up buying online.

In the same study, though, it showed that 88% of buyers still used a real estate agent to take care of the transaction.

Today, though, as new players, such as the UK-founded Purple Bricks, enter the Australian market, property buyers and vendors have a choice to avoid the extra cost of real estate agent commissions by choosing to transact property under a flat fee model.

As far back as 2013, a study by Oxford University suggested a 98% chance that artificial intelligence would replace real estate agents in the future. With that prediction in mind and the move towards block chain technology that makes digital transactions more secure.

The truth is that, any business that sets to simplify the real estate buying and selling process and guide buyers towards handling the paperwork themselves, is on a winner. For vendors themselves, the avoidance of hefty commissions heading the way of real estate agents could mean more money in your pocket.

Real Estate Industry Work Habits Are Changing

The rise of co-working spaces across Australian suburbs is further evidence that the way we do business today has already changed. Traditional office space is an outdated concept, thanks to the convenience of modern technology that makes working remotely a breeze, and so it seems logical that, when it comes to the way real estate agents can now work without the expensive rent and office upkeep costs on maintaining a traditional office space, those reduced overheads could mean a future with more competitive commissions that can save you money.

Simply by downsizing their office space, traditional real estate agencies could save an estimated 30% of their revenue. Savvy real estate agents prepared to do business differently and find new ways to interact with their vendors and buyers, could still enjoy solid profits, as well as benefit from the potential winning clients by reducing commissions.

In an article in the Australian Financial Review earlier this year, an example of how the Purple Bricks model works was given using property developer David Fam. When he put his $3 million mansion on the market and made a decision to sell using Purple Bricks, he paid just $6780, rather than the $60,000 he would have paid if he’d chosen a traditional agent with a 2% commission deal.

Slowing Property Market Ripe For Change

Predictions of a slowing real estate market make the industry ripe for change. Other players in the game include forsalebyowner.com.au and buymyplace.com.au, and although there will always be a steady market of high-income, time-poor vendors happy to stick with the status quo of traditional real estate agents who do everything for them, the disruptors to the industry will make their mark – and that could mean great opportunities for buyers and vendors.

For more information about the finance you need to buy your dream property, talk to a member of our Lending Specialists’ team today on 03 8805 1800 or email me at barry@lendingspecialists.com.au.