With news of real estate markets slowing down all across the country, knowing exactly what a tightening pool of buyers is after is more important than ever. And that’s exactly what property technology company AVESDO is tracking.
The software company is all about harnessing the power of data when it comes to pre-construction real estate sales, which not only provides invaluable insights for professionals looking to market their inventory, but ultimately helps them to save money — a vital necessity, as operational costs continue to rise across the board.
AVESDO’s Transaction Management Software (TMS) digitizes every step of the pre-con sales process while simultaneously tracking, analyzing, and updating in real-time hundreds of data points. From a worksheet submission to the final closing on a unit, each deal is completed digitally and leveraged to produce valuable data that can be used to build insights for future projects, ensuring sales and maximizing profits.
“In a hot market, people used to use worksheets more for taking an enormous amount of demand and figuring out how to send it out than it was to understand if anyone was even interested and where, and so now we can use that same functionality to start to understand where their interest lies, and how deep that interest is,” said AVESDO President Ben Smith.
The platform has made it easy to pull up buyer interest analytics on everything from what types of units are most popular, to preferred color schemes. But what’s even more advantageous, Smith notes, is that AVESDO’s clients can use their accessible-from-anywhere platform to seek out — and easily sell in — new markets.
“Let’s say you are selling a project in Ottawa and you are seeing that many people are moving there from Toronto. If you want to try to run your Ottawa sales program and go sell some homes in Toronto, and you don’t have a cloud-based inventory system, you would have to take units off the market in one office to give to the other office to ensure the two didn’t double sell a unit. Salespeople would constantly be calling back and forth to determine what inventory is available and it’s very clumsy to execute,” Smith explains.
“Now imagine sales teams in Ottawa, Toronto, overseas, or at head office can log on and all access the same information in real-time. You can now run multiple sales programs simultaneously and take advantage of demand wherever you can find it… without worrying about overlap, or who’s sold what, or what’s available. In our current market with lots of interprovincial movement to affordability, this is a very real scenario now.”
Having to set up a new office in another city, or even another country, is no longer a concern when trying to sell there. And best of all, Smith says, unlike older sales models and processes, having all available inventory centrally listed and accessible to an entire team in real time means units no longer have to be allocated to each selling agent — all inventory is viewable, and sellable, to everyone.
Limiting Expenses In An Increasingly Expensive Industry
As much as needing to capitalize on demand is at the forefront of industry professionals’ minds, what’s even more thought-consuming is the rapidly rising cost of doing business in the development industry.
“Everything’s more expensive today, and that’s probably the biggest issue in real estate right now,” Smith said. “Prices are down, but still up from a year ago, so the bigger issue for projects is cost. “
With AVESDO, he says, clients can cut down on the cost of everything from printing and courier expenses — because worksheets, contracts, and payments are all done digitally — to labor costs.
“To do a big project launch, there are dozens of people there whose role is just to write contracts,” Smith said. “By automating that system and making it super simple, you can write way more contracts with way [fewer] people. In fact, we’ve had people sell out entire buildings in a day with one contract writer.”
One big (and often incredibly expensive) issue that AVESDO is looking to cut down on — or simply eliminate altogether — is human error. When contract fields are left to be manually filled rather than automated with consistency, it sets the stage for extremely costly mistakes to take place.
“It could be as simple as people [inputting] the wrong color scheme,” Smith said. “I’ve seen that happen on a unit-to-unit level and nobody catches it until the end and now you have a very expensive fix. In the worst-case scenario, I’ve seen an entire building flipped, where everyone who bought light color schemes got dark and vice versa. Those are massive problems [that are] really easily solved with technology.”
With AVESDO, thanks to all of the data points collected from interested buyers prior to drafting the contract, developers can avoid manually reentering necessary information, saving them time and avoiding human error. The software tracks and stores data from tagged fields that can be pulled at a later date, including a buyer’s sale price, upgrades, deposit due dates, and closing dates.
Putting Some Skin in the Game
It’s not uncommon for companies to tell their client that they’re “all in this together.” But AVESDO puts their money where their mouth is. Under the company’s revenue model, they don’t get paid until their clients make sales, so they work their hardest to make sure that happens.
“One of the biggest value ads we offer as a business is we changed our business model to fit better with how real estate works,” Smith said. “Real estate is a very high cost, very risky endeavor. If you look at how a realtor gets paid, they’re paid a commission based on their success. If they sell it, they get a huge amount. If they don’t sell it, they get nothing… so we changed our pricing to where we charge you when you sell. We’re the only software company in the space that does that.”
With the current real estate market bringing uncertainty on all fronts — for developers, sellers, buyers, and everyone in between — Smith says they’re continuing to look for creative solutions to today’s problems.
“This is a scary time,” Smith said. “It’s really uncertain. But we’re clear on what the problems are, and if we look at how [we can] solve them, there are answers. The market is going to do what it’s going to do, and all we can do is do our best to solve the problems in front of us.”