Learning Curve – digital technology or ‘PropTech’ as it is known within the property sector, has made considerable progress, but what are the tangible benefits…. Asks Frank Webster in his latest property sector Blog.
A rapidly evolving industry
Until recently, technology has been focused on how to market and improve the image of real estate, but much has happened with a wave of improvements (pre and post pandemic) to accelerate and improve the overall experience of ‘moving home’.
In a global PropTech industry survey by KPMG ‘Bridging The Gap’ it was universally accepted that digital/technological innovation is an opportunity and will make a difference and lower costs.
By putting property at the centre of its operations, the latest changes in ‘PropTech’ have managed to enhance the process that helps and inspires people when moving house, on all sides of residential property; landlords, tenants, buyers, and sellers.
Software that adds transparency and efficiency to the rental process is the most effective way to help more people. Not only because of the number of transactions that are carried out, but also because of the number of actions or ‘touch points’ that are inextricably linked monthly or annually around renting.
Renting, occurs much more frequently throughout a persons life, and the relationships between people in a rental process are much greater, with many more ‘stakeholders’ involved, including owners, tenants, real estate agents and all kinds of professionals, from those who carry out important safety certification, repairs and refurbishment, to the provision of important due diligence.
“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years
and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten”
Bill Gates, The Road Ahead
The digital revolution
The impact of new technology has a huge role with these rental ‘operations’. Luckily, these critical ‘touch points’ are beginning to be covered with the improvement (the first versions have been out for some time) of software assisting the letting agency to provide a more seamless service for its customers, who extend beyond the client principal to the occupier and the vital supplier chain.
These technologies are helping in:
- Communication essential between stakeholders – speed and accuracy are paramount – to confirm and arrange a letting
- automation property search sites are moving from reliance on simple preferences like location and size to display properties ‘to let’, to the prospect of these sites ‘recommending’ properties based on preferences, personality traits, and values – as well as reducing errors or misunderstandings as the tasks of each process are streamlined
- instantaneous creation of information about everything that surrounds the rented property, so that all the parties are able to receive ‘real-time’ information. The software capability is fast moving towards translating it into proactive maintenance, as well as almost instantaneous referencing, credit checks, digital tenancy agreement completion, secure payment facilities, to ‘chatbot’ requests for repairs, and progress-tracking of deposit refunds
- data gathering in ‘real-time’ and historic information that can help to improve the conditions in which properties are offered, indexing their type, price, location, down to the type and manufacture of appliances or boilers even analysing which are unreliable and to be avoided. Smart technology to improve security or to measure and warn about abnormal moisture levels, will boom once 5G is properly rolled out across the country to further boost the role our smart phones play in our daily lives
So what will be the next big thing?
Huge funding is going into improving the overall process of buying or renting a home to make the ‘experience’ faster and easier.
So-called ‘startups’ are already creating ways to digitise the entire home buying/renting experience — no more bumps in the road that cause deals to collapse wasting vast sums and precious time, or reams of paper to read and sign at closing.
More efficiency, more time to focus on the ROI
Our letting and property management teams have been testing and gradually integrating a range of new software and associated ‘platforms’.
We will be shortly be announcing some exciting additions to enhance our overall service, ultimately making the key data associated with your property more transparent and meaningful.
The benefits are clear but overall it will allow us to spend more time to work with you to discuss, plan, budget and ultimately improve the overall ‘return’ on your property investment. Key decisions require quality time to focus and improve the experience for all stakeholders from the landlord, to the tenant, to the suppliers and of course our Property Managers and the Letting/Tenancy Renewal teams.
Ultimately, technology is putting everything necessary in so that anyone in the rental market has greater user satisfaction, something absolutely essential in these times.
‘PropTech’ is booming and changing the way we buy, sell, rent or let property – providing solutions allowing online communication of property information in a transparent, trustworthy and seamless way. Ultimately reducing the cost of managing buildings, changing the way property agencies operate and profoundly effecting the way we all work, live, invest and play.