Proptech is an industry buzzword, but it is something that will increasingly shape the way letting agents work. It is short for ‘property technology’ and refers to the way we use digital advancements to make life easier and more efficient in the lettings industry. It could refer to the way agents process data, how they market themselves to new customers or any other way in which technology benefits property firms.
Worldwide, there are proptech conferences and thousands of columns, papers and blogs written about it. But what sort of benefits does proptech bring, and how can letting agents take advantage of the latest developments? Here are four examples of property tech that already exist and that you could be using today.
Push technology is nothing new, but rather than being limited to simply updating emails on our phone, it can be a powerful marketing tool. More companies than ever are developing mobile apps because more of us make use of them in our day-to-day lives. If you encourage renters to download your app and agree to opt-in for push notifications, you can alert them to properties that meet their criteria as soon as they go on the market, rather than waiting for them to find your listing in their searches, or requiring you to sit with a list of prospects and phone every one individually.
This form of proptech is a proactive way of keeping potential tenants coming back to your website or, even better, calling you to find out more. Rather than leaving it up to them to make the first move, you can make sure that their phone will provide them with the up-to-date, relevant properties from your books. This is convenient for them and helps you move one step ahead of your rivals.
Yes, it is always nice to be able to communicate with a human, but time doesn’t always allow that. Chat bots are programs that understand human language and are primed to handle many situations relevant to your business, communicating as if they were a real person. These are usually used in chat screens on your website, but some can also understand spoken language and respond accordingly over the telephone.
A chat bot can take care of many common queries and tasks that would otherwise eat into your time or that of a staff member. In a busy letting agent's office, utilising a chat bot prevents you being interrupted from important duties to answer the same sorts of question ten times.
For example, having a chat bot feature on your website can be useful for answering tenant questions about when rent is due or when the bins need to go out. It can also accept viewing appointments and ensure there are no double bookings.
Many of us use cloud technology to store our emails, photographs and other personal files from our phones or computers. This means that you don’t lose these precious items if you damage or lose your device. The same principle applies for using the cloud as part of proptech.
Using the cloud to keep your data
You can also share access to relevant files with tenants and landlords. This allows them to easily find the details they need on payments, invoices and the like, even when your office is closed.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Technology can transform the way that letting agents market properties and both virtual reality and augmented reality are already becoming established. Augmented reality is the same technology that exists in the Harry Potter Wizards Unite smartphone game. Using the camera on your phone, you can see the real world, but with the addition of characters from the game who appear before you.
In the property world, augmented reality can be used to show prospective tenants what an empty property would look like filled with furniture. You can even show them a number of different styles to suit their personalities. Another benefit of this property tech is that the viewers can not only see the space available in an empty house but can also get a good idea for the potential of the property too.
Virtual reality means that renters can take a journey through a property, wherever they are in the world. This is perfect for those looking to relocate a long way away, either cross country or overseas, and who can’t spare the time to actually visit the physical building.
Both of these proptech options are available now, and will become more and more affordable as time goes on.
More Ways to Save Time
Proptech is great for saving you time as a letting agent. Another way to free yourself up is to outsource your property management to Executive Property Management Solutions. We can take on your tenancy administration, rent collection, tenancy renewals and more. Chat to us about your needs today by calling 0208 5757630.