Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have all seen a dramatic change in that way that we live and work, and this is no different for the property sector.
Once famed for its traditional and manual processes, technology has been able to give the industry a much-needed boost to weather the Covid-19 storm.
Leveraging technology has enabled companies to gain a competitive edge and the ability to adapt quickly, something which will be crucial in 2021 and beyond.
A shift in mindset
While there is a common misconception that technology will just take over a person’s job role—leaving staff redundant and changing their role dramatically—2020 was a turning point in the way in which technology is used.
The new processes in place are quick, efficient, and human-centric at their core. A letting agent is traditionally used to managing lots of different tenants at once, something which is challenging in its own right, let alone during a pandemic.
Working alongside an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool gives them the ability to automate responses to tenants, amongst other things, like nudging them to book a viewing or fill out a form which makes the process a lot easier for them to manage and more seamless for the tenant.
The beauty of this is that the agent is still present, looking after the tenant’s needs, but with the help of AI they have more time to focus on the important tasks – fewer follow up emails are required, and more tenants can be managed at once.
This has been driven by a real shift in mindset in the industry, for both agents and tenants. For tenants, priorities have changed, the market has become competitive again and everyone is keen to secure a good deal with an agent that they’re satisfied with.
For agents, they’ve had to be quick to adapt and stand out against competitors in order to keep tenants engaged. Using holistic a PropTech platform has enabled them to work from a single interface and easily analyse data.
While artificial intelligence and automation bring more efficiency to the letting agent’s role, it doesn’t mean their job is now redundant. Instead, it frees them up to focus on other tasks.
Creating seamless processes
The ability to automate tasks has showcased the best of PropTech in recent months. Rather than having multiple systems to automate processes, they can be controlled under one roof instead.
Property businesses that have adopted this method are thriving because they are not replacing anything, just making changes in those areas that automation can improve. Technology can’t deliver everything that an agent can, so why change existing stages of the process that are working well?
Another reason why seamlessness is so crucial in the current climate is that there is limited time and resources to strip out a process, replace it and train staff to use it. Giving professionals the tools to enhance what they’re already good at shouldn’t be complicated.
An agent can understand a customer’s preferences in great detail and can work with technology to make the process fast and accurate.
What does the future look like?
Letting agents of the future will continue to capitalise on the fine balance of human touch and automated processes. While this is the first step to great efficiency and a new way of working, it is also the start of how technology can change the industry for the better.
The use of AI not only automates processes but can provide insights into how staff are performing, testing processes against each other, to improve operations across a business.
In 2021 and beyond, our static industry and the traditional role of a letting agent will be vastly improved to become more fluid, efficient and adaptable, all with the help of technology.
*Elad Ben-Ami is CTO & Co-Founder of Roby AI