Speaking to PropertyGuru, Ken Low addresses the enduring need for a human touch and how to effectively leverage on digital technology
“Technology will not replace real estate agents, but technology will replace those who have not embraced it.” This is the ethos behind Ken Low’s enthusiastic adoption of disruptive technology in the real estate industry.
As the founder of Ken Low Group, Low recently joined Singapore Realtors Inc. (SRI) from his previous agency to be its newest managing partner, bringing close to 400 associates along with his extensive marketing expertise to the agency.
At the start of his new chapter at SRI, Low shared with PropertyGuru the top three tips on how property agents can engage digitally savvy customers and at the same time keeping up with the industry’s relentless transformation.
Step One: Embrace automation and move quickly
Before digital marketing even became a buzzword, Low was already looking into new technologies and their possibilities. At that point of time, he was looking to rely on automating some of his business processes in order to expand his outreach as well as saving time and cost.
“I remember when Google AdWords was a trendy tool before social media came along. Through a lot of trial and error, we built a website and set up an AdWords campaign on our own, and it was a few months before we saw good results,” he said.
Since then, technology has become an indispensable tool in Low’s marketing efforts.
“In this industry, there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to sales,” he explained. “But by putting up content on digital platforms like social media and PropertyGuru to engage with a mass audience, it takes the edge off our constant stress to reach out to more buyers. Instead of cold-calling or handing out flyers on the streets, I can simply leverage these platforms.”
From Ken’s perspective, “posting on property platforms beats having to run a website ourselves. With PropertyGuru having millions of visitors every month it is a good platform to ride on.”
That scale matters – it has access to more people searching for property equals greater potential to find clients.
According to Ken, “PropertyGuru is a fast game for us because of the traffic that PropertyGuru attracts. It ranks a lot higher for keywords that are being searched in Google.”
Step Two: Understand your customer and gauge effectiveness
But for automation to be effective, agents will need a keen sense of understanding on how to use the platforms to their best advantage, Low said.
He explained, “I always put myself in the shoes of a customer first, thoroughly examining the requirements I might have and then spending time to see what’s out there – what the competition is like, what attracts me and what doesn’t.”
“By doing this, I discovered how resale listings on PropertyGuru work better when professionally taken photos of the home are included without the agents’ faces. That worked for us. We got quite a good response from that.”
A well-researched plan lays the groundwork for a positive outcome.
Step Three: Keep the human touch
Low was confident that these tools only serve as an enabler. According to him, the fear of or resistance towards these technological changes are unfounded.
“At the end of the day, this business is still about people,” he said. “For example, a tech-savvy millennial can easily put up ads for selling their properties, but engaging an agent still saves them the time and the hassle of negotiation.”
Most importantly, agents can add the human touch to such a major and complex transaction – an element that can never be supplanted by technology.
“How you make a difference is about how you connect with this buyer and personally engage them.”
Ken’s success comes from his willingness to adopt new technology and his ability to apply good old fashioned people skills. He looks to the future to attract tech savvy buyers and tests new ideas and technology to see what works. In the end, success for Ken comes down to providing good service and ease of access to information.
Thanks Ken, for being a part of PropertyGuru!