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Navigating the Proptech landscape

Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, director of The Able Agent

Given our focus is centred around helping to drive long-term professionalism across the industry, one of the areas we often find ourselves covering with agents is Proptech. We regularly speak to busy small business owners about Proptech and the problems they have navigating the landscape – trying to fathom out how to make the most of their ‘tools’ and even, in some cases, which tools to choose.

One of our most popular courses is ‘Handling Buyer Enquiries’. In this course, we cover in detail areas such as making the most of your database, which in most cases includes the effective use of a CRM. In one of my previous job roles, I worked for one of the big CRM firms. I therefore know at first-hand that many agents are only using 10% of the overall capability of the CRM platforms they have in place, but they should be made aware of the fact that savings could be made where that usage is massively increased.


Proptech has become a necessity for today’s agents for myriad reasons – from helping to effectively manage and utilise data, to improving the sales progression process. At the end of the day, its job is to help increase agency manpower and to support lead generation activities.

The importance of factoring in supplier training

Proptech can help to solve problems, but what we often hear is that the training around it can be hard to access. Perhaps only a handful of people within a team have the initial debrief from the training provider and this knowledge isn’t always passed on or the rest of the team is never brought up to full speed. The next thing we hear is that the same piece of technology is taken away, due to the low staff engagement levels and the fact it was deemed to have ‘failed’.

Factoring in supplier training is vital, both from initial onboarding and on an ongoing basis. This ensures the whole team is fully versed in how best to use the technology and to help it solve the problems it was meant to in the first place.

There is only so much the Proptech supplier can do, and certainly keeping in close contact with their clients is paramount. However, I’d argue that business owners and managers need to set out a training plan; one which is straightforward and manageable. This plan should cover which staff will use the platform in question when it will be most effective and then measure how well it is being used across the business. Monitoring can be hard, but setting up a reporting system to check that training is being carried out will enable business owners to easily see whether staff understand the tool. They then need to look at the impact it is having and where any gaps in knowledge may exist.

The value of feedback and reporting

Of course, specific feedback from members of staff will also be hugely valuable and keeping in regular contact with them to gauge their thoughts will also be key. It can often be hard to measure direct benefits, for example where listings have been added or more sales have completed, but where these can be tracked and referenced it will help to justify the case for embedding a certain piece of technology.

If a team is properly trained and using Proptech, they should see results, whether that’s around time saved or business growth – both will demonstrate ROI.

Taking back control

We’ve developed our new white label platform to allow suppliers to host their training content alongside an agent’s own content. This will enable the agent to design induction programs including a wide range of course content from third parties and suppliers, which can be added to standalone training and their own in-house content.

The purpose is to bring training across all disciplines into one place. We want to keep it as simple as possible for the agent, enabling them to dip in and out according to their needs and more importantly for them to engage. We also want to see agents taking back control, because we know that if training is made easy and accessible it will be completed and the initial investment won’t be in vain.

There are millions of tools available to the industry, it is therefore important for agents to understand the soft skills around the technology in question. For example, combining good questioning skills with CRM data entry or good process knowledge with a sales progression tool will have a huge impact on results, including the fees generated. This, in turn, will help agency owners and directors to make effective choices, ensuring their team buys into them too. If you begin to see increased valuations or even increased fee levels, which you are able to directly link back to training in a given area, then you know you are back in control.

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    I completely agree with the importance of training, especially when it comes to adopting and effectively using Proptech. It's a crucial aspect that is, in most cases, neglected by suppliers and something that agents should carefully look for when considering suppliers. I think the one supplier that does this best is Iceberg Digital.


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