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Transform 2017 Week 5A Nigel Dalton: Best Practice Property Marketing; Time, Trust and Transparency

Here are the highlights from our Super Six session with REA Group’s Chief Inventor, Nigel Dalton.


Nigel Dalton

Key Points

  • The three success factors: Time, Trust and Transparency
  • Two things you MUST include in your listing: a floor-plan and a video


“The future is already here. It’s just really unevenly distributed.”

Video Notes/Transcript

So in the REA Labs, our invention headquarters, is three chemicals through this whole thing that we’re stirring up all the time and trying to build things to make better. They are Time, Trust, and Transparency.

Tom Panos will tell you the exactly the same story, that those three other success factors for the differentiation between a super agent and an average agent. Everything we do we ask those three questions on.

Is this creating more Time for the agent? Are we able to make them more efficient? And is it creating more time for the vendor or the buyer, or just people coming to your open for inspections. Time is a commodity that can’t be made but you can take the waste out of people’s lives. By 2020, a huge volume of the transactions are gonna be on chat of one kind or another. Now this gives the younger generation of our industry a huge competitive advantage.

Our research shows that an agent over 40 is three times less comfortable about a conversation going on on Facebook Messenger or text messaging or chat than an agent under 30.

Something has happened in that time where we’ve got a generation quite used to communicating sincerely over chat and that’s a great competitive advantage for the young’uns right now is the customers are that young.

But you have to spot your vendor, you have to spot your customer, have that conversation. You’re not letting them down by having a quick text conversation and not phoning them. Phone call is perceived by people as being extremely inefficient and in some cases, almost rude. Like you’re imposing on them. The social and psychological reaction to that really took us by surprise.

So trust just comes from doing what you say you will do. And the trick with that is your reputation is out there already. In the modern currency of trust, in the old days it was a firm handshake and a pat on the back, and now it’s digital trust. We do a lot of work around this stuff. I highly research to prove that that works for everybody.

Transparency is a mega trend in the community. People coming to see you or asking you to come and visit them, they’ve got a better idea of what’s sold in this neighbourhood and for how much money than, chances are, half your team do.

And they’ve had the time to put into researching it that you’ve got six listings you’re wrestling with. You’ve gotta respect that fact that they can get data, and it’s good data, it’s coming out from people like CoreLogic, they’re gonna know the sales history of the neighbourhood and they’re going to want to know that you know the neighbourhood better than them.

So everything I invent has to do with those things, whether it’s virtual reality, media, augmented reality, working on chat bots, those kinds of things. They’re all part of that.

The future is already here. It’s just really unevenly distributed.

Don’t ever leave the floor plan off your listing. There’s two things that are horrific secrets from our research that I’ll share with you. Number one, always put a floor plan on your listing.

You may get a conversation with some people to talk about that and probably provide a floor plan for it, what you’re missing is the conversation with the 20 people who went “That’s a shit listing, I’m not even gonna phone. They can’t be bothered putting on a floor plan and respect me for that, I’m out.”

So the second one is video. Unless it’s good video, and tells a story beyond what they can see in the photographs, and can consume at a great rate of knots, you’re turning them off. We’ve had people tell us in research that the moment they see the video is the photographs with some music and a voiceover, that’s the last time they will engage with that listing and they don’t feel good about that agency. So that’s poison absolutely. Be very careful with your video content.

So a huge number of our customers know where they want to buy. And they’re doing a really rapid job of going into their app and quickly scanning down, are there any new listings? If they’re smart, they’ve built an alert for that, so they’re getting their pushed to them. But they actually quite enjoy a glass of wine in the evening and just scanning down.

Now this is where I’m never going to replace you lot with robots, right? Is because the human computer, this thing in this three inches here, is so brilliant at image recognition. They’ll scan at a speed like I’m sure you all do with your Twitter and your Facebook, just going like this. And they spot it, “Oh, that looks interesting! Oh no I saw that one.”

Whatever you do, don’t try and interrupt them at this point either, by walking into the room or by, like in my case, some of my research trying to make them do that in virtual headset. They’re going, “No, no, it’s too slow.” I’m doing this at speed and I’m going to make my shortlist. When I’ve made my shortlist, my saved properties, you can now engage them in rich media. Now, a great set of photos is fantastic. So what’s important from that? If somebody’s scanning rapidly through your pictures, what’s the number one thing you gotta do?

You have to choose that photo so carefully. People get suspicious when your first photo doesn’t show the house.

Now, what technology’s coming that is really interesting is translation. Google have increased the quality of their Google Translate app by a factor of about 50 since October last year. They’ve applied their very, very deepest computing power in a project called Deep Mind to translate. It’s shocking how good it is.

So what’s going to happen I’d say by 2020, you’ll be able to have phone conversation with a buyer [and] Mandarin is their first language. The phone will translate in real time. That’s gonna be just crazy, that’s science fiction, but that’ll help. That really will help.

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