Technology and how is it impacting the property industry?
Published 15 February 2019
Proptech has revolutionised our industry and enables our clients to receive a far better and more efficient service. However it does not make a great estate agent. As an industry of natural entrepreneurs, for many years now enhanced digital imagery, 3D floor plans and virtual tours have been used by estate agents to promote properties. Over recent years walk through tours with tools such as gimbles have come to the fore, TV style adverts are common place and the development of digital advertising has given us the opportunity to put the right type of property in front of the right person.
However marketing is just one part of the process. Estate agents have now adopted online strategies that make it easy to book viewings from your living room at any time of the day. You can get a ballpark valuation of your home (albeit generated by an algorithm) at the touch of a button. Whilst this will not be anywhere near as accurate as getting a local expert to give you precise advice, it does provide some information. Once you have your property on the market you can track activity and see viewing feedback at your leisure and during the legal process you can access vital information 24 hours a day.
We are still only at the tip of the iceberg. It won’t be too long before virtual reality will transform the way we view properties. The house buying and selling process will use web portals to speed up the legal process, dramatically reducing the time taken after an offer is agreed. I predict we will be looking at a completion date of one month rather than the average three month process of today. ID and contract signing will be done remotely.
All these measures will create further efficiencies and will no doubt be welcome by the consumer, however I finish with a word of warning…achieving the best price for your property, progressing the sale, bringing the whole chain together, keeping the dialogue going right through to completion – these are the hidden but major parts of the property selling process, and they all work best when they are driven by a human being with local knowledge and a lot of expertise.
As in every walk of life, technology should be a useful servant to us all in the property business. When we become slaves to it, we are all the poorer for it.
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