If you are a regular reader, you will know, as well as offering an online sales platform for real estate, our company also has a marketing consultancy arm.

On the marketing front, this last week has been an interesting one, with almost all of our content clients asking us for articles about real estate technology. They want to prepare their readers for what is coming and how it will change the game for agents, buyers and sellers.

When we asked them why, all of a sudden, they wanted not to just dip their toes into this topic, but dive straight in, a lot of the answers revolved around 'the year 2020'.

It seems agents have seen and felt the rate of new technology in our field increase over the last 12 months, and as this year draws to a close, many are looking forward (either with excitement or trepidation) for a new year that promises some interesting steps forward in real estate.

What exactly is an online property sale?

Well, if you don't feel like combing through the pages of our site in an 'online learning spree' (and who can blame you, there is Christmas shopping to be done!), the simple answer is, online sales are exactly as they sound.

In the case of our system, agents list properties online, buyers go and check them out in person as always (if they can), they register online, have their ID checked, and then submit offers online -- sometimes against a count-down clock and a reserve, other times, with less pressure.

The thing is, online sales are so much more than just the simplification of what can be quite a cumbersome process -- selling a property.

They draw in various tools and technology to improve the buying experience and the selling experience, by ensuring all parties are informed up-to-the-minute, everyone understands where they stand and their obligations, and they take care of annoying admin tasks for you.

Really, they are just all about making the whole buying and selling process easier, less daunting and more transparent.

So, why will online property sales dominate real estate's future in Australia?

1. Australians are connected

Have you ever looked at that app on your phone that tells you your average screen time for the week, and compares it to other weeks? If you're anything like us, the first time you see it you will be 110% shocked that you spend so much time on your phone!

But you are not alone -- apparently we all do it.

According to Deloitte, almost 90% of Australians now have an internet-enabled (smart) mobile device. On average, we spend more than seven hours watching a mobile, tablet or computer screen each day and perform more than 50% of our online searches on mobile.

We love our mobiles because we can stay connected with friends easier, keep up-to-date with what's happening with family, order the groceries, have dinner delivered -- all while on the bus!

2. Australians are online shoppers

Australians are no strangers to online purchasing, and real estate is just the next step. In fact, research from Statistics indicates Australia sits within the top ten largest e-commerce countries by revenue — despite its relatively small population.

NAB reports Australians spent more than $28b shopping online in 2018. In 2019, AusPost tells us online shopping comprises just under 10% of Australia’s total retail sales, with the number of online shoppers predicted to increase by 5% year-on-year (over 20 million) and the e-commerce market projected to reach $35b by the end of next year.

Those comfortable with online shopping are not just restricted to youth, with AusPost research identifying 8 out of 10 Australians shop online, most often purchasing in the evening.

AusPost also indicates more than half of the top 10 online shopping locations by volume in Australia, are in regional areas.

Year-on-year growth of online shopping in inner regional areas is reported at more than 20%, while major cities and outer regional areas are only a few percentage points behind.

We enjoy the opportunity for immediate gratification -- we think of it, we can do it or get it online (mostly) -- and now that applies to houses too!

3. Australians are busy

Another great reason we will open our arms to online property sales is time. We are a busy people. We have a lot of obligations, a lot of driving between obligations, and when we're not driving... we love ourselves a little bit of sport. Especially on Saturday. When most auctions take place.

Don't make us choose between our sport and buying a house!

Online sales enable buyers to make bids and offers from any location, meaning they can watch their sport and buy a property at the same time!

4. Australians are spread out

We live on a big continent -- so big, in fact, that our fellow Aussies in Perth are further away from us, in Sydney, than some of our neighbours from surrounding countries.

Partly for this reason, but also due to commuting, congestion, work-life balance and half a dozen other reasons, futurists predict that working from home will really take off over the next decade.

In Australia, that means our lives become potentially even more geographically distributed. We might own our place in Orange, work remotely for a Telco in Sydney, have a rental in Albury and a holiday house in Wollongong.

The opportunity to go take a look at a place you want to purchase once, then not have to run back and forward to attend auctions is a huge time and energy saver -- online sales connect us with property right around the country!

5. Australians are travellers and travellers want to be Australian

There's no denying many Aussies have a serious case of the travel bug! We are fortunate to have some of the best working conditions in the world, which affords us plenty of paid annual leave -- and don't we just love to take advantage of that!

Interestingly, travellers from other countries also like to come to Australia -- they love everything from our sand and surf, to our scrub and cities. In fact, often, they love it so much, they want to stay!

Online sales enable Aussies who are travelling to keep an eye on the market at home, and participate, making bids on a property in Melbourne while lying on a beach in Santorini!

Likewise, online sales empower overseas residents to scope out the local living options and purchase a property before they even jump on a plane!

BONUS: Aussies aren't scared!

A big part of the Aussie spirit is our ability to tackle potentially daunting situations head on. And while buying a property online for the first time is absolutely not the same as looking down in the water hole and seeing a giant croc under you, it can be a little daunting.

But we Aussies aren't the types to shy away if we believe 'giving something a crack' could lead to a better outcome for us (or in the case of the croc, a heck of a good story)!

To date, we have had buyers ranging from their early twenties to their late 70s use Sale Ezy. And while some of them have been a little worried at first, once they dived in, they soon not only realised that our platform is called 'Ezy' because it is easy to use, but also, it offers them a range of benefits they haven't previously experienced in traditional property sales.

Here's to 2020 and catching up with the rest of the world!