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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Online agency platform to hold conference for High Street agents

love2move, the digital platform that allows High Street agents to operate parallel online agencies alongside their traditional offerings, is holding a conference next month. 

Called Transform For 2020 the event will, according to love2move, “provide insight and market knowledge to help High Street agents gain an insight into shifting market dynamics and the vital role they can continue to play in the UK homebuying sector.”

Amongst the speakers will be respected agency trainer Richard Rawlings, plus James Calderbank, the 2018 Federation of Small Business’ Young Entrepreneur of the Year. 

The half-day event, which is free to attend, is part of love2move’s strategy to - in its words - “help independent high street agents develop sustainable business operations in a marketplace that is rapidly changing as a result of technology developments and the increasing presence of online-only services.”

Mark Worrall, co-founder of love2move, says: “The landscape of our industry is evolving quickly and this event will provide an ideal platform for independent high street agents to come together to share their experiences and discover new ways in which they can ensure their businesses remains sustainable and successful in 2020 and beyond.

“The start of a new year is a natural time to consider future plans and strategies and Transform for 2020 will offer inspiration and insight that will be of real benefit to estate agents.   It will help them understand and maximise on their USPs of detailed market knowledge and providing an expert personal customer experience, which when combined with technology and digital solutions can give them the edge.”

  • Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Influencer - Analyst - CEO Proptech-PR

    I wish Mark and Richard well with their crusade to enlighten property professionals, though many will know I have some sceptical views about the 'online' sector, I do fully embrace that the digital revolution is here to stay both in agency and all parts of our life, and it needs to be demystified.

    To help those out there who need a little bit of digital guidance, all I can say is that back in the mid 1980’s when I became an estate agent I was at that time an avid reader of science fiction. My favourite book was ‘Machines that think’ a compendium of short sci-fi stories, about future worlds, with a forward by the famous author Isaac Asimov.

    Though it was published in 1984, many of the stories had been written in the 1940’s and 1950’s and described future utopian or dystopian worlds full of new technology and the role of artificial intelligence, robots and data.

    Fast forward to nearly 2020, and I am still in the estate agency or property industry, and many of the advances that the sci-fi writers had predicted 70-plus years ago are now part of this world. And within the property sector there is now Proptech – or as I call it science fiction for agents.

    Let me explain, Proptech is a vast sprawling vista of different new technologies operating within the sphere of property, it is not just digitization, it is re-imagining and interconnecting all the strands within the sector.

    It covers property, its design, planning, build, sales, renting, asset management, and the way in which humans interact with property. Where the customer or end user’s experience can be analyzed, distilled and digitized into a solution which enhances service levels and the experience of the consumer, hopefully driving a profitable outcome for the owner of the technology.

    It could be a property with sensors – a talking house or providing seamless systems to replace archaic systems within estate agency, in fact a big problem in Proptech is seeing the wood for the trees and knowing which technology will succeed and which will not.

    Proptech is many things including; - Deep Learning, Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Intelligence Augmentation, The Internet of things, Machine Learning and Blockchain. The driver is to use data to streamline processes and deliver maximum revenues. (Note that many of these terms would not look out of place in one of Isaac Asimov’s books, I Robot.)

    Online agents are Proptech, so too is Fixflo in the rental sector, or Offr a new way to buy and sell property quickly and transparently in the residential property sector, the arena is vast but it is not too important to try to define Proptech, better to see the financial advantages that it is bringing.

    Just as Fintech exploded onto the scene in the past 15-years, where massive amounts of money were invested into Financial technology, Proptech is now starting to have the same levels of investment, in both the UK and the rest of the world.

    The big problem is that many UK estate agents see Proptech or the sub-division of Proptech that applies to them as Sci-fi.

    Some agents are very conservative, I was too, and slow moving to make changes to their businesses, they fear change. They feel bamboozled by the terminology and the complexities of Proptech, with many agents say it all sounds a bit costly, and it is not too certain which bit of Proptech works and produces a profit.

    Which is a shame because many property agents, residential and lettings, would benefit from automating the dull boring administrative type parts of their businesses, their property management systems.

    In the mid-1990’s I was an advocate of early Proptech using ‘Estate-Craft’ a bespoke software package which was the forerunner of many operating systems now. I realised that a salesperson using the system was worth two ‘pen and paper’ salespeople, because a lot of the repetitive work was taken out, and databases allowed quick matching of buyers to properties, and speed in commerce is always vital.

    For me the Proptech revolution which spans much more than the annual £6.5 BN residential sales market in the UK, is on the move. Offering its hand in partnership to ‘forward thinking’ estate agency companies. Creating a way of trading akin to Amazon where the customer experience is put front and centre. Some companies have fully grasped that outstretched hand, others sit and wait.

    And I wonder why? As now estate agency can be based on captured data and analytics which provide a clear narrative of what the customer likes and wants. So, a personalised service, with connection across digital platforms and smart phones, plus the important face to face engagement with salespeople can be provided.

    Another good reason to investigate and adopt ‘Proptech – science fiction for estate agents’, is the rise of the Millennials (born in the late 1980’s and 1990’s) and the rise of Generation Z or Gen Z the generation born just after the Millennials.

    These will soon be the volume property industry clients, and they form the digital technology generation, which Wikipedia ominously states are ‘comfortable with Internet and Social media’.

    That I feel is an understatement, and whilst Gen Z may seem a great name for a sci-fi novel, it might be prudent to start connecting with proptech industry giants like James Dearsley, or Eddie Holmes co-founders of Unissu.

    Unissu is trusted by almost 100,000 users to quickly discover, research, and buy PropTech solutions from around the world, it represents the interests of over nearly 8,000 companies, it connects you with an international community of market-leading institutions and individuals, to get agents ahead of the Proptech game.

    Eddie and James are always up for a conversation, and they are both ex-property professionals so they know the property game from your viewpoint, and their advice is free - click Unissu.com - and start the conversation today.

  • Georgina  Cox

    Thank you for your encouraging words - we are definitely in changing times. I heard James speak recently and he has an incredible grasp of where we are going and would certainly be someone I would recommend agents connect with .

  • Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Influencer - Analyst - CEO Proptech-PR

    All good Georgina, and as the tech improves, and the customer journey gets less bumpy through machine learning etc, maybe online will be more in the mix, for sure tech savvy people do like to be know what is happening, dashboards gives this. Also, love2move aligning itself, rather than going up against the traditional agent is a very clever strategy, are there any figures for what % of deals an agent does using you as a white label ap? Obviously, not asking you to publish sensitive data, but if you connect on linked maybe we could chat.

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