How has the role of a real estate agent transformed with the advent of proptech?
As someone who has been part of the real estate industry long before laptops, mobile phones, or social media, I have personally witnessed a significant transformation in the role and responsibilities of real estate agents over the past 20 years. With the emergence of proptech and the integration of digital tools and platforms, real estate agents now have easy access to a wealth of resources, from data and information to enhanced operational efficiency and improved marketing capabilities. Collaboration and networking opportunities have expanded, and continuous learning has become more accessible than ever before.
However, amidst these empowering advancements, the real estate agent’s main challenge remains the ever-increasing competition from other agents and brokerages. This has also led to a shift in priorities; figuring out how to stand out from the crowd and provide more value to clients beyond traditional property listings and showings.
With technological advancements rapidly transforming various industries, how do you envision the future of the proptech industry?
Proptech pioneers have a critical role to play in the evolution of the industry. Their success, however, hinges substantially not just on the brilliance of their innovation, but on their ability to educate and collaborate effectively with an indispensable ally - the real estate agents.
It is my opinion, that if proptech be thy medicine, then real estate agents are unequivocally akin to doctors in this context. Without their involvement, understanding and adoption, the potential breakthroughs of proptech will simply remain a well-funded but unused solution on the shelf.
This is not just about integrating digital tools into the operations of real estate agents. It is a matter of transforming their mindset, their approach to their work, and their interactions with clients. This fusion of technological innovation and conventional real estate wisdom is key to enhancing the future of the industry and its stakeholders.
As a mentor to many, what's the most common mistake you see new property professionals make, and how can it be avoided?
The problem for newcomers to the industry is they don’t know what they don't know. Relying solely on company resources for training and development can be limiting, and newcomers typically learn through trial and error, often resulting in costly mistakes. While company resources are valuable, taking ownership of personal development throughout our careers is the key to staying competitive and credible in this ever-changing industry.
So the biggest mistake new property professionals can make is to rely solely on their employer’s training appetite and budget instead of seeking out a mentor and investing in their own continuous learning. This should be considered a priority throughout their career to stay competitive and credible.
Could you explain how you and your startup, PROPOLOGI, aims to future-proof property professionals and real estate agency brands?
As Chief Propologist, I consider myself somewhat of an ‘agent whisperer’. My real estate journey started in 2002 as an agent in London, and within 2 years I went from mentee to mentor. For the following two decades, I maintained top leadership roles that positioned me to handpick and train over 750 property professionals across the UK, UAE and KSA. I successfully navigated people and businesses through the lows of global economic crises and the pandemic along with the highs of boom markets, social media and the proptech evolution.
Coupling my professional experience with my personal journey of becoming a tenant, a buyer, an investor, a landlord, a seller, and a proptech startup founder, I have amassed the knowledge (and awards cabinet) to educate and share expertise along with other industry veterans and titans through PROPOLOGI; a series of programs, platforms and podcasts curated to upskill and support ambitious and aspiring property professionals.
PROPOLOGI is positioned to be the #1 edutainment platform facilitating continuous learning and fostering a sense of community within the industry. The platform aims to accelerate skills training and knowledge sharing within the real estate sector, especially considering 1 in 3 licensed agents has less than a year of experience and 87% are predicted to fail within 3 years. Seeing as these stats are not too dissimilar to the success rate of tech startups, PROPOLOGI will also provide a pivotal two-way bridge for proptech innovators to not only get feedback and insights from those on the ground, but to also educate and encourage adoption en masse.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the real estate industry today?
My advice to aspiring real estate professionals starting their careers today is this: take immediate control and ownership of your personal growth and development. This industry is a long-term commitment and can be extremely rewarding. Investing in continuous learning and mentorship will be your key to sustained success. By doing so, you can navigate challenges, adapt to industry changes, and position yourself as a specialist, ultimately attracting more clients and fostering a prosperous career in the dynamic world of real estate and proptech innovation.
As the Founder & Chief Propologist of PROPOLOGI, I stand as a mentor, educator, and advocate, empowering property professionals to thrive in this ever-evolving industry. Together, we can shape the future of the sector and embrace the potential of proptech to create a brighter and more successful tomorrow.