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Data Insights help property practitioners become digital agents of the future

MAIN IMAGE: Terence Sewraj, The Virtual Agent CEO

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We are in the age of big data. Particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic, not only are agents intrigued by data, but consumers are too. Estate Agents don’t have time to sift through layers of detailed information, that’s why The Virtual Agent (TVA) has created a range of single-score indices and standard reports that are easy to understand and interpret.

The company draws on its immense software capabilities to generate algorithms that predict property owners’ propensity to buy or sell property, a socioeconomic status and suburb indices to name a few. Estate Agents can also generate at-a-glance visually appealing dashboards of their client base for easy reference and goal setting.

Proprietary property reports give insight into suburbs, estates, single properties and sectional schemes.

“By analysing these reports, agents can go into the sales process armed with recent, accurate information and an in-depth understanding of the context of the transaction,” says The Virtual Agent CEO, Terence Sewraj. Informed by these reports, Agents can become experts in their field, with more opportunities to build client relationships and close the deal.

Property Owner Types

“We use predictive modelling and customised algorithms to make sense of a vast amount of data,” says Sewraj. “Single data points don’t make sense on their own and agents don’t need to drown in detail. They want a quick, meaningful reference they can rely on as a guide. So that is what we’ve created.”

Several property owner types were created and are based on demographic information from the census in addition to various other public data sources. Lifestyle data, which includes characteristics of the home, are used to generate a household index. This is combined with the owner’s past property buying and selling behaviour and their current property ownership status.

“It’s a useful tool which gives agents an indication of how to most effectively interact with buyers and sellers, in anticipation of how they will behave,” he explains.

Some of the property types are:

  1. Property Wannabe
  2. First Time Buyer
  3. Property Singleton
  4. Property Trader
  5. Property Investor
  6. Property Exiter

“A simple propensity to buy and/or sell score gives agents an immediate feel for the person they’re dealing with,” says Sewraj.

The owner’s tendency to buy or sell and the intensity of this propensity is particularly useful. A six-point scale from highly unlikely to highly likely allows agents to focus their attention on the ‘hottest’ prospects first.

A Property Wannabe will be looking to buy, and a Property Exiter in the market to sell and would be likely to buy in future. The only profiles with both a buying and selling propensity are the Property Trader and Property Investor whose property ownership history indicates that they’re not buying primary homes.

“Agents are finding it an invaluable resource to get to know their client base better. It’s a shortcut. From the profile, they can use the likelihood to buy or sell as a starting point,” says Sewraj.

“It helps to prioritise and develop a segmented strategy, rather than working through their client base at random.”

Proprietary Property Reports

Users can create a range of reports for a single property, sectional scheme, estate or suburb. Transfer reports can also be generated for a suburb.

“A popular feature of our property reports is the automated valuation model,” says Sewraj. “It takes the property’s transfer history as well as recent sales and suburb information into account to provide a price valuation range for the property. It’s a solid base from which an agent can work.”

Other details on a single property report include sales in the vicinity and a transfer history of the property as well as sales and purchase prices in the street and suburb.

Reports can also give agents a full picture of Estates or Sectional Schemes, along with the Deed Record of each section of the estate or scheme.

The Virtual Agent generates a ranking for each estate and sectional scheme. “This is based on many factors to give agents a top-level understanding of the estate or scheme.”

“Generating meaningful, useful information from data is what we do best,” says Sewraj. “With these easy-to-access reports and segmentations, we provide Estate Agents with insights and tools to manage their client base and stock more efficiently and effectively, while remaining compliant.”

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