Paragon research shows the real estate industry has embraced outsourcing both onshore and offshore. Onshore examples include outsourcing of property inspections, accounting and bookkeeping, trust accounting, smoke alarm servicing, and even lead generation with the emergence of companies like Open Agent.
There is also a significant increase in the numbers of real estate agencies that are outsourcing labour to lower-cost countries to reduce costs and often improve efficiencies.
What started as a trickle a few years ago has become a stream and looks like becoming a river. The early adopters have been using offshore labour for several years and outsourcing has now become one of the buzzwords in the Real Estate industry.
Macquarie Bank included outsourcing in the recent Real Estate Industry Benchmarking Survey. This extract from the survey confirmed that significant numbers of agencies would consider outsourcing
Technology and cloud computing trend
Paragon has researched hundreds of emerging technologies that are set to become widely used in the Real Estate industry. As more and more tasks are shifted to a technology-enhanced process the opportunity to outsource this to an offshore operator becomes greater.
Cloud-based platforms have become the norm and server-based software systems like REST and CONSOLE are endeavouring to shift to the cloud. This has opened the door for nimble startups to emerge with integration becoming the new normal. The software must integrate via API’s to be accepted into the modern real estate software ecosystem. This trend is enabling a shift to offshore labour to drive the software.
BPO operators have shifted from providing a person that you have to train and are now providing staff already trained in the popular cloud-based software providers.
So, what is motivating real estate agencies to outsource?
There are many reasons why a company may choose to outsource certain business functions. Research shows that the most common reasons include.
- Cost-cutting tool – 59%
- Enable focus on core business functions – 57%
- Solve capability issues – 47%
- Enhance service quality – 31%
- Critical to the business needs – 28%
- Access to intellectual capital – 28%
- Manage business environments – 17%
- Drive broader transformational change – 17%
While cost continues to play a leading motivation in outsourcing, better focus on core business functions, capacity, service quality, robotic and cognitive process automation, cloud, and innovation are growing in importance as well.