How Can You Leverage PropTech in 2018 to Survive? EyeSpy360™'s Five Top Tips

PropTech, as the name suggests, is an amalgamation of the words Property and Technology, and if you find yourself even slightly involved with the Property Industry and you haven’t yet come across this term, then I must say I'm surprised, as PropTech continues to establish itself as a very rapidly expanding industry.

And as we creep steadily towards 2020, many industries and business models are shifting massively. Technology is becoming the focal point more than ever before.

Blockbuster seemed to morph into Netflix; LP Records became digital downloads; Amazon has monopolised the retail marketplace; Black Cabs are somewhat overrun by Uber, and physical bookshops are being replaced by Kindle downloads. No industry can afford to ignore the impact that technology is having, and neither would they want to, when “more than half of marketers who've been using social media for at least two years report it helped them improve sales” (Social Media Examiner, 2015) and “60% of over 1000 survey respondents expect their corporate earnings to increase in the coming year” due to an increase in technology (The Annual Report on IT, 2018).

And in the property industry, the same shift has been transforming the market for years now. Though newspapers still have their property sections and estate agents’ windows remain lined with house displays, people seem to frequent the estate agents’ websites as a first port of call and read the online property sections of newspapers instead. In fact, buyers spend more than two thirds of their time online when searching for property.

So Property Technology is essentially nothing new, but as mentioned above, the term PropTech is an emerging sector and more funding is going into its development. For example, in 2015 PropTech startups raised a record high of $1.7B according to CB Insights (CB Insights Research, 2016).

What Does PropTech Actually Mean?

One really coherent definition I have come across, explains PropTech as “a buzzword gaining currency in media, tech and property circles. It refers to the wave of companies using technology to refine, improve or reinvent the services we rely on in the property industry to buy, rent, sell, build, heat or manage residential and commercial property” (Reader, 2017).

More specifically, for an estate agent it’s all about making the purchase or lease of properties faster, easier, cheaper and more convenient for consumers through the use of technology.

So What Should A Property Agent Be Doing to Really Maximise Their Usage of PropTech in 2018?

1. As Technology Evolves, So Must You

If you don’t know much about tech, then it’s really important that you make it your mission to learn. Dismissing it as a fad, or reminiscing on traditional real estate is all well and good, but when your current market is, or is soon to be, scattered with Millennials and Generation X, it isn’t just advantageous to be ahead of the technology game, it is necessary. These home buyers will be presuming that everything is digital, and thus agents will be expected to keep up with them.

2. Increase Your Hardware and Software Budget

Equip your team with the required technology. Use software that will make you more productive and profitable, and that will give you that all-important competitive edge.

3. Utilise Property Portals and Post Your Viewings to Your Website

Online listings will be your client’s first port of call in today’s market. By promoting your properties online, you can peak their interest and ensure that buyers are more likely to contact you for more details.

4. But More Importantly, Put Your Viewings on Social Media

Interestingly, Facebook and Twitter for example, are great tools to sell or lease property, and I will discuss this more in my next blog post. So keep your eyes peeled for that one! In the meantime, have a look at our FAQ on How To Promote Your 360 Virtual Tours On The Web.

5. Start to Use Virtual Tours!

Okay, yes, we are a virtual tour company, and so obviously we are going to promote the importance of a virtual property viewing. But honestly, it is 2018 and therefore 360 virtual tours really are an expected component of any listing. What’s more, with the introduction of live virtual tours (essentially like Skyping your buyer from inside a virtual tour) and pre-recorded, narrated virtual tours, many agents are using such methods as an alternative to a first viewing. This ensures that their second, in-person viewing is with a qualified lead, and therefore enables them more time to perform other tasks, saving both agent and buyer precious time and money.

In short, times are changing and you simply cannot afford to be stagnant in this industry. The best thing you can do right now, in order to give your agency an edge over the competition, is to fully immerse yourself in the latest tech. Make this year the one where you really consider the service you are providing, rather than the product you are selling.

If you do have any comments, then we would absolutely welcome them, and we hope you have a very successful 2018!

Reference List

Jenkins, L., Jenkins, L., Dykstra, M. and Hines, K. (2015). Social Media Examiner: Social media marketing how to, research, case studies, news and more!. [online] Socialmediaexaminer.com. Available at: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics [Accessed 06 Jan. 2018].

The Annual Report on IT. (2018). 2018 State of IT: Trends, Budgets & Purchase Drivers. [online] Available at: https://www.spiceworks.com/marketing/state-of-it/report [Accessed 06 Jan. 2018].

CB Insights Research. (2016). Global Funding To Real Estate Tech Explodes, With Startups Raising $1.7B In 2015. [online] Available at: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/real-estate-tech-funding-2015 [Accessed 06 Jan. 2018].

Reader, M. (2018). What is PropTech? (this post includes a video) (via Passle). [online] Passle. Available at: http://insights.pickeverard.co.uk/post/102dxes/what-is-proptech-this-post-includes-a-video [Accessed 06 Jan. 2018].