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Larry Weltman Of AccessEasyFunds Discusses Intersection Of Technology And Real Estate

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As many who work in the real estate industry or who are realtors know, the time between a realtor closing a real estate deal and actually getting the commissions for that deal can be long and can impact regular income stream.

Enter a company called AccessEasyFunds and Larry Weltman, who helps direct the company’s technology. AccessEasyFunds offers commission advances to agents and brokers in the Canadian real estate industry. Based in Ontario and developed in response to the often long wait times that agents have before they get their commissions, the company makes life easier for agents and brokers by advancing their commissions ahead of the deals closing. AccessEasyFunds has advanced real estate commissions on over $8 billion worth of real estate deals and advances on all types of deals, including residential resales or leases, commercial sales or leases, industrial sales or leases and new home or new/pre-construction condo sales.

With over 10 years of real estate customer service expertise, Larry Weltman currently serves as a Customer Service Representative at AccessEasyFunds. He is also the founder of Weltman Consulting, a company that offers advice and assistance to a variety of individuals working in the Canadian real estate industry.

Over the course of his career, Larry Weltman has been at the forefront of the intersection of technology and real estate. He recently spoke to SuperbCrew about the changes the industry has seen and where he thinks it is going.

Larry Weltman

Q: Where do you see the biggest weakness in the real estate industry when it comes to technology and technology application?

A: The biggest weaknesses in the real estate industry when it comes to technology and the application of technology is that it hasn’t advanced to the same extent that other industries have advanced. There is still a lot of old-fashioned, old-school stuff done. However, in more recent years, you are starting to see a lot more advancement. The technology is still fairly weak – transactions of purchases and sales of residential properties are still primarily physically transacted on paper. You will still see, for example, when you go to buy a house with an agent, you are physically writing up an offer and using someone’s copy and this is all done in old, standard forms. You still see the document go back and forth to get conditions waived in transactions. At the real estate brokerage end, the administration and management of sales transactions is still slow at adopting technology and going paperless. Or, if they are paperless, then they are using first school paperless storage techniques. The mechanics and the process of buying and selling real estate is still very old school technology. However, notwithstanding that, you are starting to see more and more of the technologies getting absorbed.

Q: Are there any apps that real estate agents need to implement in their strategy of continuing to gain new business and being ahead of the industry curve?

A: You are starting to see more and more apps that are coming into the marketplace but the marketplace itself is still very conservative. Very old-school. You have to look at the real estate brokerage/realtor market as a place where you have an average age of somewhere in between 45 and 60. That will dictate the way that technology is adopted.

There are more and more apps coming to the markets. There is a lot of CRM – tools that are out there and available today to help realtors manage their marketing and contact lists. There are a lot of CRM tools that are specific to realtors. These are starting to be used more. There are a lot of those tools that are being marketed to the real estate sector because it’s a really big industry. Realtors are starting to use e-signatures a lot more, the ability to electronically sign documents rather than the traditional way of bringing them to clients to sign. It’s a trend that is becoming more and more accepted as an alternative to the old fashion way doing signing. There are technology apps that allow Realtors to facilitate the documentation relating to executing a real estate transaction and these are slowly being used in the market. These are positive technology trends for Realtors.

With regard to Brokerage, the big software suppliers such as Lone Wolf Technologies have substantially upped their games to allow Brokerages to really go Cloud, paperless, and virtual for their agents and staff to process real estate deals. We are seeing more and more Brokerages slowly absorb these technologies.

In past 5 or so years there have been attempts by some players who have tried to enter the market and rewrite the way that homes get bought and sold – to do what you and I would call a ’market disruptor’ to simplify the sale and purchase of a home, and reduce Realtor commissions. To date no one has really been successful in this area, and we feel that is simply due to the fact that buying and selling a home requires a professional advisor and agent who is your Realtor. For example, I need a dentist to clean my teeth, I can’t go online and clean my own teeth. A realtor is a professional and that’s the part that differentiates it from buying everyday goods and services with apps. You need a professional to help you buy and sell a house to make the correct professional decision.

Q: Larry, you have been in the business of customer service for those in the Canadian real estate industry for over 10 years. In your role at AccessEasyFunds, how is new technology incorporated? How has technology positively impacted the overall growth of the company?

A: We use proprietary technology to process all of our commission advances and we are constantly rewriting and upgrading that technology and designing new systems to absorb changes in technology to make our service faster and easier. We always look to upgrade and absorb new technologies. For example, we recently introduced a mobile app for clients. We are also constantly reviewing bank technologies and how these can be absorbed into our process and systems to fund clients even quicker. Our systems also communicate with Real Estate Brokerages so we keep looking for better technologies to integrate into our system to better connect and comply with these Brokerages. The process and risk matrix which we advance a commission today in 2018 is very far advanced from how we did it 10 years ago, yet our underlying methodology is unchanged because we have absorbed lots of new technologies. Technology has allowed us to process a transaction very fast but our caveat is we can only work with technologies that our customers can easily adapt to and benefit from.

Q: How do you anticipate technology will change the industry in the future?

A: The technology will change in the future. I think that what we see now is that the real estate sales industry is finally going full speed onto technologies. They were very behind and there is big catch up going on. As younger agents establish themselves career wise, I expect to see the adoption of more and more technologies, as will be required by their clients. Everything will be simplified continuously. The execution of the documentation, marketing, and sales marketing are all going to change dramatically with all of the new tools that are being developed and made available. And maybe, someone one day will succeed in become a ‘market disruptor’, but in order to do that, they truly need to recognize that it’s not that someone doesn’t need a real estate agent. The one who who will be successful will recognize, value, and incorporate the value proposition and professionalism in the services that a real estate agent performs and their right to be paid accordingly. A major technology such as this may come and may change the real estate sales market and how it functions but I do not see it ‘disrupting’ the role of a Realtor. I rather see it incorporating the value proposition and role of a Realtor in its model.

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