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Thread: Tech shifts in property sector

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Tech shifts in property sector

    Tech shifts in property sector

    Rachel Au-Yong

    SEP 15, 2017

    Earlier this month, property agents who are already dwindling in number were dealt another blow when the largest property listings portal here raised its prices.

    More than 1,500 agents responded by boycotting PropertyGuru and setting up Agents United to look for alternative portals and lobby their interests. They also said they wanted to form a union over time.

    But price hikes form only part of the problems affecting the industry, which has already seen the number of agents fall from nearly 31,800 three years ago to less than 28,400 at the beginning of this year, as more buyers and sellers overlook them to carry out deals themselves.

    Market watchers estimate that the number of active agents is even smaller - less than half. And, already, four property agencies - including the well-known PropNex - have merged to become two this year.

    But more disruption is coming.

    At PropNex's convention last month, Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said that the ministry is looking at how to automate the time-consuming parts of the property transaction process, such as verifying flat details or a potential tenant.

    Overseas, tech firms have also created websites that let buyers skip having an agent, allowing them to schedule viewings directly. Other innovations include viewing floor plans in 3D or virtual reality - bypassing the need for a physical viewing in the first place.

    It is a matter of when, not if, these tools start to catch on in Singapore, said real estate academic Sing Tien Foo. In time, there could even be an all-in-one portal with features like virtual viewings. This will add even more pressure on agents, who will have to find new and better ways to bring value to clients - or consider leaving the industry, he added.

    He said: "At the end of the day, you will have the most efficient system, and customers benefit. This is the future of the real estate industry."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015


    I think we are overdue in terms of using technology to help owners and sellers connect. The role of agents will be re-defined in the very near future. Actual viewing will never be replaced but knowledge driven buyers will be zooming into their targets a lot more efficiently. The 'hot air' agents will find it harder to smoke buyers/sellers as data and information become more transparent and 'one touch'. Bring it on please, we are already late.

    2 cents,

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