Technology is changing how agents sell and let properties. This might be through embracing social media in order to engage younger generations in letting property, or automating processes to give agents an opportunity to improve their service to clients.
There is innovative technology already in use which is helping letting agents move to more cost-effective and sophisticated approaches rather than blanket canvassing.
Automated management systems, digital identity and background checks, online diaries, mobile communications and digital signatures are key factors which have already changed roles within the property sector. These innovations have allowed jobs which are traditionally office-based to become more customer-focused.
Already, VR and AR technologies are being utilised for property viewings and searches, with the use of social media and video conferencing changing the experience of clients in the sector.
Some estate agents and letting agents are also using Artificial Intelligence to handle queries outside of normal working hours. When submitting the query, the client immediately receives a response from a system, which can answer questions about any particular property in the portfolio. These systems allow agents to engage with potential clients immediately, which will create more leads and business.
A wide range of automation tools is helping to remove around 75 to 80 per cent of a letting agent’s present workload, allowing teams to become more efficient, and providing them with more time to focus on customer experience and services which produce the most revenue.
Current examples of this include the inventory base login, which produces professional inventories in a fraction of the time, as well as DocuSign and GoodLord, which have been widely adopted by letting agents across the sector. Other software can enhance the marketing efforts of agents, and there are tools which allow data capture and the generation of reports. Visual technology can also be implemented to successful effect in the use of interim tenancy inspections.
There is a wide range of technology now available on the market which enables lettings agents in the sector to market themselves far more effectively. This is in addition to software which allows agents to achieve higher rates of completion, and aims to reduce the quantity of fall-throughs drastically. Adoption of such technology is providing agents with increased resources and time to focus on the quality of the service they provide, and to add far more personal and professional assistance.
Proptech innovations, if used and adopted correctly, can remove almost all repetitive and zero value tasks for jobs within the property sector. This allows agents to do more with less time, which increases profitability in the longer term. Many proptech products are also offered with low cost monthly licenses, allowing business to increase profit at relatively low prices. For example, workloads can be automated which would usually cost thousands in additional salaries for more employees.
Proptech, when deployed well, can be excellent for ensuring that high service standards are maintained across the sector. Achieving consistent and high-end experiences for clients by using scalable technology allows property businesses to grow, while employees focus on what is profitable and doing the job to the best of their ability. Cost and time savings in one operation leads to increased productivity in another operation. For example, the integration of digital signatures can reduce postage and stationery costs significantly, while reducing the turnaround time for deals to minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks.
Efficient and effective multi channel communication enables you to reach clients in any location, and in real-time. This could be to market new property listings, confirm deals, arrange inspections or provide updates in real-time for ongoing transactions, which all have the potential to increase the quality of the customer experience.
Technology will increase the levels of service that a letting or estate agent can provide, while also simplifying various roles within the sector by eliminating menial and admin-heavy jobs with the automation of processes.
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