2019 marks the third year in a row that the Rawson Property Group has been recognised for outstanding innovation in real estate at the annual Global Brands Awards. Their title as Most Innovative Real Estate Brand (South Africa) joins two additional wins in the categories of Best Real Estate Brand Marketing (South Africa) and the overall Best Real Estate Brand (South Africa).
According to Tony Clarke, the Rawson Property Group’s Managing Director, being recognised for innovation, in particular, is an important achievement and valuable reminder of the power of thinking outside the box in an industry undergoing significant disruption.
“The real estate industry as it was ten or fifteen years ago no longer exists,” says Clarke. “Modern buyers and sellers have different needs and different expectations, and brands that can’t or won’t adapt are fast becoming obsolete.”
While Clarke acknowledges the significant impact digital-only real estate platforms have had on the property market, he says replacing service-driven models with technology alone is not the kind of innovation the market needs. Rather, he believes it’s the combination of agent-based real estate services and cutting-edge technology that will guide the industry into the future.
“As much as we try to take the emotion out of investment decisions, I have yet to come across a property transaction completely devoid of human sentiment,” he says. “Whether it’s weighing up buyer or seller attitudes, assessing a property’s ‘x-factor’, considering a renovation, or negotiating a favourable deal, there is always a human element to property decisions. Technology can do a lot of things, but it simply can’t replace the real-world knowledge, experience and skill of a talented and well-trained agent, particularly when it comes to these less-tangible aspects of real estate.”
As a result, Clarke says the Rawson Property Group has intentionally focussed their innovations on tools and techniques that empower their agents (and clients), instead of attempting to replace their irreplaceable skills. This has led to the development of unique platforms like Rawson Engage – a comprehensive suite of digital tools designed to enable agents to be faster and more efficient, while facilitating a number of additional services that add huge value to Rawson clients.
“Rawson Engage is particularly powerful in that it allows our agents to support and inform buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and property owners throughout their property journey,” says Clarke. “This kind of ongoing service, starting before and extending beyond the conclusion of a purchase or sale, is an important differentiator for today’s customers. People don’t need a once-off service-provider – they need a trusted partner who has their back through a lifetime of property decisions.”
Rawson Engage is far from the only innovation the Rawson Property Group has developed to help them fulfil this role. Their industry-leading website offers freely available property calculators, regularly updated news and advice articles, and a series of free eBooks covering everything from finance, to purchases and sales, to landlord and tenant responsibilities.
Perhaps even more powerful, however, is their revolutionary valuation tool that combines data-driven insights with agents’ hands-on knowledge to provide unrivalled clarity on the market conditions and influences affecting the value of a property.
“It’s this kind of marriage of personalised service and professionalism, powered by modern technology, that is needed to bring traditional real estate into the 21st century,” says Clarke. “We’re very proud of our awards in this space because they mean we’re making progress in our efforts to do traditional real estate differently, raise the bar for our industry and stay relevant in our ever-evolving property landscape.”