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Why selling off-the-plan is 20 years behind the times!

Welcome to the new PropConnect website. We’ve redesigned our home page to better represent our direction and position in preparation for the re-designed platform, mobile app and features that will soon be released.

To better explain what we do, I’ll be writing a series of blogs over the coming weeks. I thought I’d start at the beginning:

Why selling off-the-plan is 20 years behind the times

The simplest way to explain the problem in the off-the-plan (OTP) is to compare it to the travel industry. Back in the early ’90s, before the Internet was accessible everywhere and anywhere, we relied heavily on travel agents to book all flights, accommodation and rental cars for our overseas trips.

If you wanted to book a flight to say, London, you would walk into your local Flight Centre branch, tell them where you wanted to go and on which date. The travel agent would check a limited list of airlines and flights. They would then call an airline to check availability, place a hold on a seat and ask you for a holding deposit.

Some time later, the travel agent would receive the paper tickets in their office, give you a call and ask you to come and pick them up and pay the balance. The problems with this approach are obvious:

  1. There was no transparency. You had to trust that the travel agent was working in your best interest and offering you the cheapest ticket available at the time.
  2. The process was slow. Having the travel agent compare prices and tickets took an eternity, receiving your tickets would take weeks and prices were a lot higher than they are now.
  3. There was uncertainty. The travel agent could never tell you how many seats were still available on a flight, how quickly they we’re selling and whether there were any new flights or airlines flying that route.
  4. The process was complicated. For certain destinations,  a number of routes were available, it was impossible to quickly determine whether it was cheaper to stop over in Singapore or Bangkok.
  5. Deals were released, often too late for you to benefit from them.

Today, passengers can book flights, hotels and rental cars online with minimal fuss. Real time systems interlink booking websites with the airlines, and can find the cheapest route to a destination within seconds.

The way in which OTP property is sold today is very similar to the way in which airline tickets were sold 20 years ago.

Read more about what’s wrong with property sales processes in the next post.

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