Technological advances are bringing big changes to the world of estate agency. As big high street retailers start to scale back their business in favour of online shopping, the traditional town center structure is changing, inevitably affecting other businesses trying to sell property. The PropTech revolution has been quietly gathering pace over the past few years as more estate agencies realise the benefits that come from the technology.
As times change, the property industry must evolve with them in order to remain current and accessible. It is impossible to ignore the big world wide web and the impact it has had on modern culture. Smart phones have overtaken the old-fashioned cordless home phone, with an estimated 95% of the population owning one, according to www.statista.com, and the endless list of apps being created every day means that almost the entire population is glued to their mobile.
Therefore, it is important to implement PropTech into your business, in order to have any kind of competitive advantage as you sell property and rent homes. Estate agents without an online presence are no longer considered to be big players in the industry, with www.estateagenttoday.co.uk suggesting that over 70% of properties will be sold by online agents by 2020.
Property search apps, such as Zoopla, are already widely used by those searching to buy and rent homes, showing the importance of technology to the buyer/renter. These allow equal priority to all agents, so that even freelance estate agents can claim a part of the market share. With no need for an office or a high investment to start a business, there is definitely a place for budding entrepreneurs to rent and sell property.
In fact, it might well be the best way to work, since it allows self-employed agents to work more flexible hours, allowing them to build a business around family commitments, or just be available to their clients at times to suit them. Estate agents can respond to enquires at all hours, giving them the freedom and control over their work-life balance that we all crave.
It is obviously something that suits the next generation of agents; since the popularization of PropTech, more and more estate agents have been taking their business freelance. The percentage of online estate agents is on the rise, capturing around 7% of the market share in the past three years according to www.independent.co.uk, a sure sign that it is possible to earn a respectable salary by going solo.
In the long term, building a successful online estate agency seems more sustainable than trying to compete with the few remaining high street businesses. According to www.independent.co.uk, many of these companies are likely to merge in order to stay relevant, making them very difficult competitors when it comes to attracting the few clients who prefer to sit in an office to buy or rent a home.
Using PropTech tools to your advantage will help you build your business in new and innovative ways that will interest customers. Companies that have already done this well include Property Partner and British Pearl, who have found new ways for even those on a low income to invest in property. It seems that nothing is impossible with PropTech innovations.