With the effects of Covid-19 still present, a PropTech intervention is needed to futureproof the sector. When it comes to the property lifecycle, the use of tech solutions will continue to drastically improve every transaction, from renting to buying to selling a property.
The process will be sped up considerably, with customers able to register for a property and immediately have the ability to book a viewing or sign a contract.
For estate agents, integrating automated systems into their businesses is creating huge efficiencies as well as greater transparency for consumers. Booking a viewing is a task that traditionally would take a few days to arrange, with the agent to-ing and fro-ing with their customer to organise a date and time.
With the help of technology such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the process becomes more straightforward for all parties and deals can be pushed forward in just a fraction of the time. This automation can also extend to other aspects of the business, including tenancy renewals, maintenance, tenant off-boarding and deposit returns.
Equally, looking to the next few years, these are only a few processes across the whole lifecycle that will continue to be streamlined rapidly.
By 2025, consumers will be able to view properties 24/7, any day of the week. Technology will be the enabler for agencies to generate a higher turnover of clients and grow their business faster. This is timely too, as the rental sector is predicted to boom.
‘Generation Rent’ is here to stay
There’s no doubt that ‘Generation Rent’ is here for the long haul. In fact, an additional 1.8 million households are estimated to become private renters by 2025. Because of this, estate agents will be faced with a greater number of day-to-day transactions, as consumers won’t look to settle in one property until later in life.
With this increase set to saturate the market further, and make it more competitive, technology will be crucial in helping property businesses operate more efficiently. It will ultimately provide tools and insights to examine their businesses through a wider lens.
For example, we all know that property companies targeting high-end central London clientele will need a different line of approach to student-focused businesses – PropTech will give companies greater flexibility in their approach
Leveraging performance data
Having a big picture view of businesses is something we expect to see more of over the coming years as companies will be armed with facts to make better informed decisions based on information that PropTech provides them with.
Agents will be able to improve their areas of expertise, and with consumers knowing that they have great insight under their belt, they will become trusted advisors.
The knock-on effect of this is that companies will also scale at a much greater rate. Having the ability to see which team members are performing well (or not) in specific tasks empowers businesses to make decisions fast.
Informed by performance data, business owners can fairly assess areas for improvement within their teams. Team members can be assigned to roles where the business knows that they excel in, thus improving the overall performance of the business.
Looking ahead to the next few years, many roles in large property businesses will become specifically related to PropTech, too. The next generation in the property sector will be completely tech-focused.
The future of PropTech
This year alone, we are set to face the end of the furlough scheme and, no doubt, more fluctuations in the real estate market. This will call for property businesses to become even more dependent on automated technology solutions, such as RPA and AI, in order to keep up and stay afloat.
Property businesses had to act quickly when Covid-19 first hit, and they will now continue to do so in preparation for what is to come post-pandemic. The integration of PropTech in business practices will be the new industry standard by 2025.
*Christopher Cole is Head of Business Development at Roby AI