For those familiar with highly regulated real estate markets like Canada and the U.S., it might come as a surprise that REALTOR® associations, Multiple Listing Services (MLS’s) and a competitive technology landscape are not the norm on the international front. Companies that don’t account for these differences in their expansion plans will truly miss the mark and risk a failed launch.
Success in the international real estate world requires an adaptable tech strategy adjusted to the unique needs of each market. Below you will find insights to help transform your biggest obstacles to international expansion into opportunities. These insights are based on PropTech Solutions’ 20+ years of experience providing lead-to-close technology to leading global real estate companies to accelerate their growth.
You can find even more insights when you download the Tech Checklist for 5 technology essentials to expand and prosper internationally.
1. Lack of cooperation
In most international markets, cooperation is atypical and you simply won’t find an MLS to facilitate collaboration. Concepts like referrals, reciprocity and shared commissions — which help agents sell more quickly, promote each other’s listings and enhance the overall client experience — are virtually non-existent.
For this reason, leveraging technology that enables cooperation is essential. By doing so, you’ll make it the norm for your agents, creating numerous benefits that will give you a competitive advantage resulting in faster growth and higher revenue for your company.
2. Portal domination
In the absence of any MLS, online property portals have risen to dominance internationally. They accumulate large inventories of For Sale by Owner (FSBO) listings to attract huge audiences and monopolize consumer attention. Sellers expect their listings to be on these sites and therefore, portals can charge exorbitant fees for agents to promote their clients’ listings. This diverts dollars your agents might otherwise spend promoting their own website and services.
There are a few strategies that can help ease the pain in working with portals. The first is having a listing management tool that allows you to easily syndicate your listings to many portals while routing the leads back to the listing agent’s CRM. The ability to control your network’s syndication will give you increased leverage to negotiate better rates for your agents as your inventory grows. Remember to balance short term considerations with the long term vision of attracting more visitors to your website to generate more leads.
3. Fragmented technology
Internationally, the technology solutions used by brokers and agents are often limited and have a narrow focus. This can result in a fractured technology platform with silos that don’t work together cohesively, causing dangerous gaps in your service. The solution is to invest in a unified technology system that is built to scale with you, allowing you to layer on tools and services as your business grows.
At PropTech Solutions, our recommendation is to start with the essentials that contribute directly to your bottom line and serve as a recruitment tool for agents, i.e. a lead generating website and cooperation-based CRM tools that increase listing exposure and maximize lead generation.
As you grow, you’ll need an integrated back-office technology platform to enforce processes that your network will use to report transactions and commissions. You will also need tools for managing franchise operations and Business Intelligence (BI) that provides real-time insights into every stage of the process. By adopting solutions that connect all the pieces, you’ll create opportunities, find efficiencies and gain valuable insights into your business.
If you’re looking to either expand or enter the international market, we’d love to talk at the upcoming Inman Connect conference. Email us at email@example.com so we can get together.
In the interim, download the one-page Tech Checklist to set your brand up for success as you move into international real estate or request a demo.
PropTech Solutions is the holding company of leading global real estate technology companies, GryphTech and Phoenix Software. Together, they provide real estate businesses in over 60 countries with lead-to-close solutions to accelerate their growth. Its technology is cloud-based, multilingual, multicurrency and mobile-friendly, meeting the needs and earning the trust of the world’s largest real estate brands. PropTech Solutions is celebrated for its technology’s flexibility, ease of use, and ability to generate new business opportunities. In 2019, PropTech Solutions was recognized as a Top 10 PropTech Solution Provider by CIO Applications Europe. For more information or a live demonstration, visit www.proptech-solutions.com.