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November 29, 2023
Street Blog

What was covered in this year’s biggest conferences…

Head of Implementation

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been busy travelling to some of the biggest conferences for this year’s season of awards. From EA Masters to the Negotiator, we’ve been spending time meeting suppliers, agents, and leaders in the industry, and now that conference season is over, we can reflect on some of the talks our co-founder participated in…

And led some engaging talks…

Our Co-Founder, Heather Staff, gave insights on all things AI, advice on thriving amidst a market of uncertainty, and tips for future-proofing your agency, all throughout different conferences and events over the past few weeks.

Here’s everything she spoke about…

How you can thrive in a market of uncertainty.

At EA Masters, Heather took to the stage and participated in a panel discussion all about strengthening agencies in the midst of an uncertain market and fragile economy:

“I’m lucky because I get to see what thousands of agents are doing when it comes to communication”, said Heather, after being asked about how agents are reacting in this market.

“I think there’s a large proportion of around 50% of agents who don’t communicate with their local market.”

It was explained that the other half of more successful agents seem to have a tendency for educating vendors and communicating the market to their audience. As not every homemover will understand the small shifts in the market quarter by quarter, it’s important to explain what impact it will have on them.

While there have been some extremely turbulent times in this industry (COVID19 and the Cost of Living Crisis, to name just a few), every moment can be taken as a point of education, whether that’s for your team or to be used in marketing to communicate to your local area.

The top agents who are still thriving in these tougher times are resilient and use shifts to their advantage, refreshing content as they go.

“And that’s the beauty of ChatGPT, Spectre AI, and other advanced tools”, maintained Heather - giving agents the freedom to change tact at the drop of a hat.

Another key takeaway from this panel examined the value of branding with Redbrik’s Mark Ross, stating that “everything starts with a brand”. 

Changing your communications to humanise your brand and change with the times isn’t the only thing that the panel examined, Heather also explained that now is the perfect opportunity to adapt. 

“Our industry is lagging…agents are still using emails and calls as their primary method of communication, but that’s not always what consumers want”.

Agents were urged to use this period to modernise their communication, stating the two main reasons for adapting:

  • The modern consumer wants really convenient communication, whether that’s instant replies, 24/7 service or even the ability to self-serve.
  • Although there’s still a place for it, calls and emails can sometimes be inefficient.

Is using AI really worth it?

The conversation surrounding AI continued at The Negotiator Conference & Awards last Friday, with another insightful panel led by our Co-Founder, Heather. Things kicked straight into action with a question on whether agents were actually using AI…

“We’ve seen a few technologies that have come along over the last few years that have had a similar level of hype, like crypto and blockchain, while being promising technologies, they’ve not seen rapid mainstream adoption.”, explained Heather.

“I would say that while there has definitely been a lot of hype around AI - and generative AI in particular - I can say that, this time, the adoption is happening really quickly.”.

Earlier this year, we launched Street AI and within the space of just a couple of months, almost all property descriptions and around 50% of emails are now being automated by AI, underlining the quick adoption we’ve seen by agents everywhere. 

And in Spectre, there’s a built-in AI tool that selects which properties are most likely to instruct, and this type of AI is really powerful. It’s not just a marginal gain here or there, this type of AI gives a 3 times better ROI. 

“I think the quality of the output is the thing that really surprises people and once you realise that it’s as good as, and in many cases better than, doing it manually, the efficiency benefits take over and people start to default to AI for these tasks”.

When asked about the future of AI in estate agency, Heather spoke of the likelihood of AI chatbots in replacing client communication, mainly when it comes to transactional conversations. 

AI assistance is readily available and has an unlimited capacity that operates around the clock, making it hard to ignore. However, that isn’t to say that all communication is going to be replaced by it - after all, face-to-face contact is and will remain at the heart of this industry.

It’s likely that agents who are at the forefront of using AI or other tech that incorporates AI are fundamentally going to become significantly more efficient than their competition. This will, in turn, increase their margins which could be taken home as profit or invested into providing a better service.

If this year’s conferences have taught us anything it’s that this industry is changing. The turbulence of the last few years has forced agents to modernise and streamline the way they operate, and those who take advanced technology in their stride are proving to be the most successful. 

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