Shifting focus from services to outcomes
From peer to peer insurance and robo advice to virtual real estate agents, there’s no doubt customer models are evolving in almost every service sector.
But what is really driving this change? New technology certainly makes it possible, but successful new business models have one thing in common: they solve a previously unmet customer need.
That doesn’t necessarily mean changing the product or service. Uber, for example, still gets you from A to B. But how you experience that journey – from connecting directly with the driver to paying automatically through your app – is very different to a traditional taxi trip.
“Uber didn’t change what happens. It changed how it happens,” explains Tim Molloy, CEO of property software provider Console Group.
“I think that’s the model real estate needs to think about. There are many opportunities to make transactions more efficient.” So how do you identify that opportunity in your sector?
Where established players fear to tread
New models will thrive when they meet a need that established players have failed to address. That’s something Campbell King of accounting and advisory firm mi-fi knows from personal experience.
mi-fi’s services go beyond compliance to include support with building a digital business (such as ecommerce platforms and cloud integration) and educating clients about business.
“When we first started, we built our client base from within our network,” says King. “They were all young and entrepreneurial – taking over the family business or building their own start-ups.”
Millennials are increasingly turning away from traditional career paths to create opportunities to work for themselves – with one recent study finding 66% want to start their own business.1
“Younger business owners have high expectations about what’s possible, and as an adviser you need to show value because they often think technology can solve it all,” explains King.
Console Group is already an established player, with 43% of the real estate agent market using its software. But it also recognised a need to create an ecosystem of apps to support a more efficient property management platform.
Remove more friction from the experience
Molloy says today’s property manager sits at the centre of an antiquated system. “Rental notices are sent by post, it takes dozens of interactions for a tenant to get a repair sorted, it’s very dependent on paper and phone calls.”
With Console Group’s new platform, currently in beta testing, all that will change.
“The tenant could use an app to notify a problem with their oven door, for example. They send a photo of the problem and the serial number. The tradie is notified and can supply a quote through the app for approval by the property manager or landlord.”
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