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By James Dearsley

Co-Founder, Unissu


PropTech Today: Five sessions from RE:Connect you need to watch

The ‘future of residential’ is a huge term to contend with but one that was addressed last week through our RE:Connect event and so I am going to talk about it today.

I will be sharing five sessions that we saw all about this topic that are hopefully useful for you to review.

I have been very cautious about talking about Unissu, the company I co-founded two years ago. It is not my style to promote when given a stage, so I hope you will forgive me this once as I genuinely believe last week's event was something to discuss as news - especially as I will share with you some resources I know you will benefit from.


Firstly, some of you will know that Unissu is a community-driven marketplace designed to connect and educate buyers and sellers of property technology all around the world.

Eddie, my co-founder, and I have long felt that the conference model is outdated (even pre-Covid) and this refers to both the physical and digital formats we now see prevalent today.

Part of the challenge being the centralised format of content generation. We sought to disrupt that by stating that actually no organiser can know what a community wants to learn about, so why don’t we let the community decide what topics are important and let anyone create content accordingly?

Last week, as part of RE:Connect, over 450 sessions were carried out by people all over the world, over 115 countries attended and more than 55 days of content were consumed just on January 7 alone.

In start-up language, a first trial is known as an ‘MVP’ - a minimum viable product - this was it for us and so we think it was a pretty good success.

Future of Residential Channel

There was one channel I know you will all be interested in. There were 16 sessions dedicated to the residential market and how it will be adapting to the future. I wanted to pick some priority sessions that I think you should review and spend some time reflecting on.

This is especially important given current circumstances and restrictions and should hopefully help you continue your learnings about the future of it all:

1. How to remotely present homes to buyers/renters using the latest interactive and webshare tech

Even before the pandemic, there was an increasing trend to share property details with potential buyers online first. A great way to qualify leads, focus on a property shortlist and save everyone time.

Recently, with potential buyers finding it difficult to physically visit or developments not having open marketing suites, it's becoming increasingly important to use new effective online solutions.

Providing agents and sales teams with the best tools to present and convert, this talk will summarise some of the latest tech solutions.

2. The tech shield - how to protect your business from constant change

Undoubtedly, Covid has had a huge impact on every area of life in 2020. In lettings, in many ways, it has exacerbated existing issues, but it has also introduced new challenges and accelerated the adoption of technology to combat them.

Mark Howlett, co-founder and commercial director of market-leading PropCo technology discusses the operational challenges and opportunities that letting agents need to consider when thinking about their next move to futureproof their business.

3. Can the agent of the future sell a property at the tap of a smartphone?

Not only is the answer yes, but now today's agent can do so, too.

Covid has forced a global rethink on how agents interact with their existing and future customers, while also increasing the efficiency of their business.

Developed prior to Covid, Offr has been successfully bringing agents and their customers closer together through the power of smartphone technology. With a simple plug-in to the agent's website, their customers can now instantly access everything they need, day or night. Book viewings, place offers, sign contracts. Bid in auctions, pay deposits, complete KYC checks. Trust, transparency and speed.

4. The outsourced real estate agent

How to supercharge the sales process from the point of view of the agent? Theoretically, can all estate agency processes be outsourced? Focusing on the UK market and specifically selling residential houses in England and Wales, this session takes a look at innovative professional service providers and PropTech companies that outsource and automate the end-to-end process of selling a house.

5. The fully-unified rental market of tomorrow

The rental market has been slow to adapt to today's demands.

Now, new services and opportunities sit just outside of our reach. We are able to see a new promise but lack the tools to change how we manage, serve or live within the rental market of today.

We're here to show you how a fully-unified rental market works, the partnerships required, new income opportunities, more flexible service offerings and greater success for our renter demographic.

BIG things ahead…

So, there you have it. Five recommendations on the Future of Residential channel that I feel you may enjoy this week but there over 400 more that you can work through at your leisure and when you are ready.

I hope they help you prepare for 2021 and I wish you the best of luck as we ride the Covid waves back to normality.

*James Dearsley is a leading PropTech influencer and commentator, and is co-founder of PropTech platform Unissu. You can follow James on Twitter here. 


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