Technology is changing the way in which people conduct business in virtually all markets. People no longer have to visit or phone a restaurant to order a takeaway. Now they tap in to an online service such as Just Eat and order their meal.
Holidaymakers no longer have to head for the travel agents to browse brochures to book their break. Now they can select their flights, accommodation and car hire online. They can even use comparison websites to get the best deals.
These online services often cut out the middleman and the costs are lower because there is no need to pay commission to the salesman or agent.
It is a quick, efficient and more economical way of conducting business.
Perhaps inevitably, the property world is fast becoming a hotbed for property technology innovation with traditional markets for selling homes having to adapt or risk being left behind.
Local newspapers used to be full of adverts covering property for sale or to rent but now the lion’s share of this lucrative market is conducted online with Rightmove and Zoopla leading the way. These are so much more convenient for property buyers or tenants as they can search for properties online.
In some cases, they can see virtual tours of the property and neighbourhood, with most properties also connected with Google maps for a street, map or satellite view. They can even compare prices with similar properties and find out the average price of a home in that particular location, together with historical sales data.
Property buyers can see the properties ‘virtually’ without setting foot in an estate agency and then arrange to view those of interest. Property owners get to sell their homes for ever-shrinking commission percentages or fixed fees as competition heats up and new low overhead estate agents such as Purple Bricks increase their market share.
The proptech market has added convenience for so many consumers who can research, browse and explore online. The experts also feel that there is far more to come and that investment in the property technology market is still in the very early stages.
Technology is also on hand to help letting agents, inventory clerks and property managers. Software such as InventoryBase assists them in carrying out inventories, checking tenants in or out of a property, drawing up contracts and taking photos of rooms or any damage that may have been caused.
This software will help the letting agent stay within the law and will provide evidence of all transactions with the tenants in the event that a dispute arises.