Technology is disrupting every industry and real estate isn’t immune. So it’s no surprise that several tech-centric businesses have emerged in Australia over the past few years. They all hope to change the way we buy, rent, sell and manage property.

Here are some of the ways real estate disrupters are fighting for your business.

Self-service property sales

In Australia, it’s perfectly legal to sell your property without a real estate agent. While this means you could save tens of thousands in agent’s fees depending on your final selling price – you have to do all the work.

Enter the ‘self-service’ disrupters such as:

  • Agent in a Box
  • buyMyplace
  • For Sale By Owner
  • Minus the Agent
  • No Agent Property
  • PropertyNow
  • Sale By Home Owner
  • Sell My Own Place
  • Sell My Property Now

For a low fee, these companies promise to make DIY property sales easier for vendors. They offer a range of services such as providing ‘For Sale’ signs, advice from property experts, brochures, help with staging and photography, and listing on major property websites.

While this might sound appealing, remember there are potential disadvantages of selling your home without an agent. The biggest of these is that you may get a lower selling price than if you’d used a professional agent’s services.

Online property auctions

Online auctions are a mix between live-stream and a traditional on-site auction. Generally, buyers register before the auction and then place bids as they watch the action unfold on their screens. Another method, used by both the Openn Negotiation and SoldOnline apps, is a bidding system that’s more akin to eBay.

The main advantage of online auctions is that it can widen the pool of potential buyers. As bidders don’t need to be physically present they can ‘attend’ multiple auctions at the same time.

Some of the online auction apps or platforms include:

  • Anywhere Auctions
  • Gavl
  • Openn Negotiation
  • Sale Ezy
  • SoldOnline

Off-market properties

Disrupters such as Listing Loop and Property Whispers are helping buyers find off-market properties. These are properties that are listed for sale, but not advertised widely.

Some vendors prefer off-market sales as it’s more private and cheaper as they require no marketing budget. For buyers, off-market sales can mean less competition from other potential buyers, which may result in a lower purchase price.

Both Listing Loop and Property Whispers match buyers with vendors.

If you're looking for our favourite on-market properties, then look no futher than

Disclaimer: Please note that if you sign up for ListingLoop using the links above, ListingLoop may pay us (Well Home Loans) a referral fee if you choose to purchase a property with their services.

Smart property-management

Several disruptive companies have launched platforms to help property investors rent out their homes.

In most instances, these are full-service platforms that cut out traditional property managers – and their fees – from the process. Investors sign up and are guided through the process of marketing and leasing the property, from finding and screening tenants to managing rent.

Some of the companies offering this include:

  • Cubbi
  • Different
  • Eezirent
  • Instarent
  • Lodge
  • Propper
  • Yabonza

If self-management isn’t your thing, there’s Rent360 – an online property management marketplace. Investors are ‘matched’ with local property managers, bypassing traditional real estate agencies.

Fractional property investment

Fractional property investment is a bit like property crowdfunding. People buy small ‘units’ or ‘bricks’ of a property, which are held in a trust. They then receive monthly rent payments proportional to their investment size. If the property is sold at a later date, the same principle applies to the final profit.

The biggest advantage of fractional property investment is that it lowers the cost barrier of entry. Anyone with $50 or more can own a slice, however minuscule, of a property. However, this brings about its main disadvantage: your eventual return from the property will be smaller than traditional investment.

Currently, there are three fractional property investment platforms in Australia: BrickX, CoVesta and DomaCom.

Do your homework

Whether you want to choose a traditional provider or one of the new disrupters is really up to you. What’s more important is that you do your homework and compare options before signing on the dotted line.

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