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Technology and Property – Why can’t they be friends?

From fintech and foodtech to regtech and retailtech, an increasing number of industries are becoming digitised. We no longer advertise our holiday homes in magazines or newspapers, we use digital platforms such as Airbnb. We no longer call for a taxi, we use Uber. Technology is fast becoming incorporated into many of the core processes of business and yet despite the rise of proptech, technology adoption rates within the property sector itself are still somewhat lagging behind. When we consider the audience of property businesses and property developers — particularly the first-time buyer — a failure to develop some sort of digital presence could be detrimental to success. According to the Government’s English Housing Survey report, the average first time buyer:

  • Is 33 years of age
  • Is married or in a relationship
  • Holds a good job
  • May have dependent children
  • Is currently a private renter

If we now take a look at the ONS Internet Use report, we can see that virtually all people between the ages of 16 and 35 are frequent internet users.  

Essentially, first time buyers are online. So why is property’s online presence limited and fragmented?

In research undertaken for the Proptech Europe conference held in Paris, it was found that while 85% of attendees to that event believed that technology could enhance the sector, only 25% had a digital policy in place. One of the biggest reasons for failing to adopt digital solutions is a reluctance to implement new changes.

This is something that could create issues for property professionals further down the line. For example, the number of brands creating television or print ads has dropped drastically in the last few years, while the number of online ads — those on social media, banners, websites, pop-ups, and search engines, — has risen at an almost unprecedented rate. Businesses are seeing greater success rates when they meet their prospects where they are, rather than expecting prospects to come to them.

The property sector is still very much a ‘pen and paper’ industry. We’re still seeing printed home advertisements, physical red-line drawings, spreadsheets, written correspondence and paper contracts. The process is not only unappealing to modern home buyers, particularly first-time buyers, but also lengthy and very much at risk of human error. However, the efficiency of the entire industry can be improved through technology adoption and automation.

Here at Yourkeys, we’re digitising and automating much of the administrative and communication-based tasks in the sales process, whilst still maintaining the important ‘human touch’, which cannot be replaced. Through our new central ‘operating hub’, buyers, conveyancers, agents, mortgage brokers and developers all have complete clarity and oversight of every sale.  This means they can communicate with each other more effectively, with varying deadlines and automated notifications ushering the users through the process in a timely manner.

 

For more information drop me a note at Riccardo.dawson@yourkeys.com. But in the meantime, enjoy this interview we did with Peter Preedy, a residential development consultant, on the matter.

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