What is the true cost of a PropTech service?
The explosion of PropTech in recent years has in some cases led to a blurring of the lines when it comes to the true cost of a service. This is due to a large number of suppliers competing for agents' business in a crowded market.
There has been lots of advice aimed at helping agents on choosing the best PropTech for their needs, but not much focus on properly managing the implementation stage after that with effective training and support.
Managing a seamless transition
New systems can seem complicated and involve significant change, which if not managed properly can distract staff from day-to-day operations.
That's why effectively managing the training aspect of implementing a new service is vital, as well as working with a supplier that facilitates a smooth transition process. A key element of this is making sure that any ongoing training and support is costed correctly. Ideally, it will be an inclusive and unlimited offering in case you take on new staff.
Proper onboarding improves utilisation
For a PropTech product or service to become an invaluable asset to your business, your staff need to understand it and be able to use it to its full potential. We often only use a fraction of the capability of technology available to us, which in business terms could prove costly and fruitless.
Making sure your team gets to grips with tech early on could stop bad habits developing and increase the utilisation level of a service, thus maximising value for money.
So when considering new suppliers, you'll need to find out more about their track record when it comes to key post-implementation processes such as onboarding and continued customer support.
One way to monitor this is through an industry award scheme like the ESTAS, which places great importance on how PropTech suppliers support their customers post-implementation.
Focusing on the needs of your business
How long staff training for new products will take and who needs to be trained is also important when considering the daily needs of your business and time pressures on your staff.
That's why it can be hugely beneficial in the long term to work with a supplier that takes the specific needs of your business into account and supports your staff accordingly.
Adopting PropTech can be a long process, so you must consider implementation and staff training alongside the merits of the service itself to calculate its true cost.
Ongoing training and support can be just as valuable
Just as vital as internal training is ongoing training and support from a PropTech service provider.
Post-implementation training can help staff to understand new and additional features and to become more efficient and use tools to their maximum capability.
You will need to consider how long additional training and support is on offer for and whether there are any extra costs.
Having regular meetings and training sessions with your suppliers not only benefits your business, but could have a positive impact for the wider industry.
This is an opportunity for your staff to ask questions and provide feedback. Good suppliers can use the feedback to improve their offerings and implement new, useful features which agents want and need.
So next time you're looking at the merits of a PropTech service, make sure you consider the crucial factors of implementation, post-implementation training, and support availability and cost.
*Neil Cobbold is chief operating officer of PayProp UK