Covid-19 has changed the way in which many industry sectors operate. The health restrictions and social distancing measures have forced businesses to adapt their processes so that they align with government restrictions. This has given rise to rapid adoption of the latest technology in order for businesses to stay afloat in these uncertain times. The Real Estate industry has typically been a slow adopter when it comes to technology, however this has changed significantly amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, where we have witnessed an industry shift towards adaptation. This new trend towards innovative approaches as agents connect with buyers has uncovered new and exciting methods of making sales including; 360 degree video, virtual reality, augmented reality and online contract signing.
From the latter decades of the 20th century and the birth of the information age, digitisation has been at the forefront of commercial industry. Technology continues to evolve with companies spending billions of dollars in making information readily available to their consumers. Covid-19 has brought the real-estate industry into the fold and many experts expect to start seeing a more futuristic approach as we move forward. Studies show that with over 80% of people now searching for property online and Real Estate companies need to continuously adapt to ensure that they are accommodating these buyers.
At the forefront of these innovations is Joe Zhang, an expert in the field. Joe has been in the real estate industry for the last six years and has gained significant insights and knowledge about the property market. Today will Joe share his insights and will highlight key changes in the Real Estate industry. Come with us as he uncovers the future for the property market in Brisbane post-Covid 19 and shares his calculated opinions on what people can expect moving forwards.
1. Good morning Joe! Thanks for being with us today! The Real Estate Industry has had to alter its strategies and processes in order to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. What would you say has been the most significant changes in the industry since the pandemic?
Thanks, it’s wonderful to be here! Covid-19 has indeed been the single biggest factor of uncertainty that we have experienced since the day I began my career in Real Estate 6 years ago. The most significant changes we’re seeing at this moment is that people are getting more serious about buying or owning their own homes. Renting is no longer the best option for people who have the capacity to buy, and sales have been surprisingly steady due to the reasonable prices in Queensland compared to some other major cities in the country.
2. The home builder grant has been an effective government intervention to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the industry. How do you think the industry would be affected when the Home Builder grand ends?
We’re definitely seeing motivation from buyers to apply for this New Home Builder Scheme which is probably the main reason why most of the transactions during this time went to house & land for under $750,000 threshold. When this does end, I think we’re going to see housing market diversify again where apartments, townhouses and villas are going to pick up again, and house & land will potentially drop slightly. Right now we are seeing apartments artificially undervalued and land slightly overvalued because of these incentives and popular opinion.
3. How has the consumer purchase behaviour shifted from pre-Covid times to the present where uncertainty is a main concern for many buyers?
Before Covid-19 hit, we saw a larger number of buyers who searched for properties before thoroughly researching the project or other options. Now, we’re seeing buyers becoming increasingly savvy, hunting for bargains and coming in with their finance pre-approved, with good knowledge of the project. It is evident to see that buyers are becoming more informed while considering all of their options before locking in a purchase. Conversely, we are also seeing people entering the market earlier than ever with the help of increased government assistance.
4. Since the pandemic, many Real Estate agencies have started to adopt and rely on technology and doing business online. To what extent has the process of buying and selling property been digitized and how do you think it has impacted the overall experience of the customer?
Digitisation has been a rising trend for many years but Covid-19 has really accelerated the shift to the online environment. I think that the Real Estate industry has greatly benefited from the advancements in technology and the internet’s capabilities in this time of the pandemic. We have buyers that purchase houses without having a single inspection in person but instead we use video meetings after which they are comfortable to sign the contract and eventually settle. I would say that the Real Estate industry is very lucky in the way that it is able to do business remotely and adapt very easily with the technology that is made available to us. As real estate agents, I believe that we must adopt these new advancements and use them to enhance the overall customer experience. I think the general public is becoming more open and trusting with the idea of dealing with purchases in an online environment and now is a good time to focus our energy in that direction.
6. What do you think the future holds for the Real Estate industry in a post-Covid world? Regarding customer interaction, customer relationships, property viewing and the adaptation of technology?
We very much look forward to this pandemic coming to an end. I think the changes I would expect and as we’re already experiencing now is that Australians will be much more owner-driven than tenant- driven, meaning most of Australians will seriously consider owning their homes as early as they could and prepare themselves accordingly. We will see more and more online inspections and transactions done now that people have started getting used to the shift online. We will need to keep an eye on the needs of our customers in a technology driven worlds to ensure that their needs are being met and that relationships can continue to form, even in an online space. Regarding the upcoming months with the recent election, I expect to see the interstate demand strengthen in Queensland with a surge in the next few years specifically from Melbourne and Sydney once the border restrictions are all lifted.
While Covid-19 has evidently changed the way in which the world operates, it is hopeful to see that the property market, specifically in Brisbane, is pulling through it. Economist are predicting a strong surge in value over the next two years for Brisbane as low interest rates and availability of credit pushes prices up. According to Westpac, house prices in Brisbane could lead the capital city growth predicted to jump by as much as 20 per cent by 2023. While the pandemic has caused many difficulties that we need to continue to overcome, it has also presented us with many opportunities. There is a lot of room for growth in the Brisbane property market and Brisbane’s economy is set to bounce back stronger attracting many interstate relocators in the future.