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It’s no secret that the real estate industry has historically been slow to embrace change. Most industries have already adopted technological solutions, such as fintech and insurtech, and are reaping the benefits of more streamlined processes. However, many traditional businesses throughout the real estate industry are struggling to keep up with technology advancements being adopted by other industries.
Innovation in the property sector peppers our day to day lives. From well-known platforms such as Zoopla and Rightmove to consumer-focused smart home technology, most of us use proptech in one way or another, whether we realise it or not.
With the rapid adoption of technology solutions across industries, many tech-savvy consumers are seeking like-minded businesses whose services are digitally enabled. Several companies are paving the way, with the use of proptech in the real estate sector, spearheading industry advancement and revolutionising the interactions between professionals and the consumer.
So, how have these companies disrupted the market? And how can other real estate professionals learn from their successes?
Streamlining processes in real estate
The integration of knowledge from a variety of roles involved within a transaction helps to streamline processes, minimise time-consuming tasks and accelerate the time it takes to get to exchange and completion. By integrating this data into one platform, all parties have visibility of the transaction and can easily see the next steps to progress.
Yourkeys does just that, offering a sales progression platform for the sale of new homes. By using a central operating hub, the developer, estate agent and buyer all benefit from transparent communication, tracking the purchase process in real-time.
By digitising and automating the administrative and communication-based tasks, stakeholders are ushered through the process, accelerating the time from reservation to completion, and avoiding unnecessary delays and those pesky chaser emails.
Zillow has shown how using integrated data can also help estate agents generate qualified leads. Using Artificial Intelligence, the system tracks the data from the client’s previously clicked advertisements, browsing activity and online searches to match the client with relevant properties and offers. All buyers have experienced the hardship of searching for properties that tick all their boxes. Zillow has streamlined this process, making the search for buyers much easier whilst generating real leads for estate agents, mitigating wasted time and assisting with property research.
Proptech solutions that can integrate multiple data sources have made searching for properties quicker and easier for all stakeholders, saving time and making the task of finding a new home much more exciting for consumers.
Proptech predicts the future
Proptech can also be used to predict consumer needs and foresee market trends. This gives real estate professionals an advantage so they can stay ahead of the consumer, remaining dynamic and competitive. Skyline AI analyses any deals made during the last 50 years and compares information from various resources to predict market trends and return on investment.
The use of technology can assist estate agents to personalise listings before the consumer approaches the agent, therefore saving hours on manual research and analysis of the market. Geophy estimates the value of properties using AI to make accurate predictions on upcoming price changes and automates the analysis of price fluctuations.
Platforms such as Zoopla have also developed an automated valuation model, providing a computed valuation estimate for UK residential properties. Since launching My Home, valuation leads are up by 42%, supporting agents to capitalise on the buyer market. Zoopla’s goal is to assist estate agents in converting the 42% interested sellers to sell.
Proptech that uses predictive technology such as AI has demonstrated the benefit of adopting technology to support investor decisions and real estate professionals in predicting and reacting to consumer needs.
Automating the mundane
Proptech has also made significant advancements in automating time-consuming, administrative tasks and existing processes which don’t add value to the company or produce revenue. Professionals are therefore able to focus on the ‘human touch’ elements of a transaction which do add value.
For example, document automation platforms such as Avvoka helps users create, e-sign and store contracts online to streamline the process of generating contracts. As a result, legal professionals in real estate can focus on contract negotiation and reviewing legal documentation, keeping their costs to a minimum and their clients happy.
Process automation not only benefits real estate professionals but it positively impacts the consumer experience, too.
Moovshak describes themselves as a modern solution to searching and viewing properties, listing properties across all portals and enabling direct communication with agents. Technology that automates tasks in real estate transactions has provided clear benefits for both professionals and consumers, demonstrating ROI in the adoption of these technologies, making it a win-win for professionals.
Although there is not an end-to-end solution for real estate transactions, from consumer search all the way through to completion, there are innovative solutions for each step along the way, as well as several proptech platforms which support multiple stages of the process.
The key principles that real estate professionals need to consider when looking to integrate technological solutions into their practices include the integration of data, process efficiency gains and task automation.
The examples above demonstrate that there are some incredible innovations in the proptech space that have brought about real value for professionals and consumers alike.
It’s time for those that are yet to embrace these technologies to reflect on their strategy and processes and consider how they can use proptech to develop smarter solutions, benefitting themselves and their customers.
Millie Carroll is an experienced real estate Paralegal with experience across both private and in-house practice. She has dealt with a variety of matters involving both residential and commercial conveyancing, as well as experience working in an estate agency. She also has a keen interest in technology and product development, in particular how proptech can disrupt the industry and the future of real estate.