Property technology or prop tech for short is continuing to make impressive waves in the house buying and letting arena.
Traditional ways of viewing houses to buy or rent are being swept aside. People are no longer heading to high street estate agents or property management companies. Instead, they are going online to do their property searches.
Online specialists such as Zoopla and Rightmove have thousands of homes in all parts of the country for sale or rent, complete with descriptions, photos, videos and even virtual tours.
Further online searches will show schools, public transport routes, and the nearest shops and restaurants. Drones are increasingly being used to video and photograph properties and the neighbourhood.
Within the next few years, the online marketing of property will become even more exciting with ‘digital neighbourhood’ cyber-safaris and crowdfunded mortgages, according to a report commissioned by easyProperty.
The next generation of tenants and property buyers will be looking for a convenient and efficient way in which to house hunt, which is where prop tech really comes into its own.
The report predicts that big data will be used to harness an individual’s preferences to give them a personal service. Online searching will be more personal with property portals matching houses to a tenant or buyer based upon their browser usage or through their social media activity.
By capturing far more of your personal data, a property search could show that you want a room with a view, south-facing garden, or that you simply must have a real ale gastropub on your doorstep.
It is also predicted that within four years, tenants and buyers can go on virtual tours of the neighbourhood using digital beacons embedded in every building or business. It could work in a similar fashion to online dating, with your phone beeping you when there is a house or apartment which matches your requirements.
Even if you’re looking at a building site, you should be able to point your phone at it to see how the development is going to look.
The prophecy for the future of the property market means that it is vitally important for landlords, agents and property management companies to invest in prop tech if they want to be noticed in a crowded market.
Many companies will already use software to manage listings and rentals, for example. It is now increasingly common to invest in specialist property inspection software through which you can keep records of tenants’ leases, rental payments, inspections and any correspondence.
You no longer have to draw up records when you return to the office but can carry out the paperwork via your tablet or phone while in the tenant’s property.
You can take photos to show the condition of the property and its contents.
You can also set up appointments for showing tenants around property or to arrange a suitable time for checking in or checking out.
This information reduces the need to be tied to the office filling out forms which means that you can spend more time creatively marketing and managing your property portfolio.
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