Property technology has quickly emerged as an essential asset in the commercial real estate industry. It’s not enough for these solutions to just work well, however. They must also provide agents, landlords and tenants alike with a fast, accessible and convenient experience, PayProp UK Managing Director Neil Cobbold recently wrote for Estate Agent Today.
“Today’s consumers judge a business not just on the quality of its products, but also their experience using them,” Cobbold wrote.
Proptech’s endless possibilities
Proptech has helped make the CRE industry’s dream of a connected future a reality. With open standards integrations, a tenant can use their smartphone to set up monthly rental payments, take and submit photos for an inventory report and submit a maintenance request. All of these tasks can be done on the same platform, from the same device within minutes.
Meanwhile on the landlord’s side of the equation, they can see a rent payment has been made and that inventory photos have been submitted in real time. The landlord can use the building app to schedule a repair appointment based on the tenant’s maintenance request. They can also contact the tenant through the app or landlord portal to attempt to troubleshoot the issue prior to making the repair appointment.
Creating a streamlined landlord-tenant experience is a win for proptech providers, too, according to Cobbold. The Build to Rent concept’s increased popularity shows that tenants will pay more for convenient, integrated services.
Proptech—a time-saver for agents
Landlords, tenants and the tech industry all can gain from proptech integration, but so can agents, according to Cobbold. Agents often work six days a week, creating an opportunity for proptech companies to deliver solutions that let agents better their service to landlords and tenants without adding more hours to their workweek. Such solutions could decrease an agent’s workload as well as open up more time to focus on other aspects of their business. A proptech company that could offer that would likely gain popularity among real estate agents.
As for future benefits, proptech platforms that can integrate from day one can help agents implement new proptech innovations seamlessly and “future-proof” their choice of tech, Cobbold said. For example, virtual and 3D property tours existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they became more common after lockdowns were put in place and in-person showings were harder to manage.
“As proptech providers, we need to understand that our role is to enable agents to do what they do best, but quicker, easier and more efficiently,” Cobbold wrote. “Instead of expecting them to use our services on our terms, we should ensure that our technology can fit seamlessly into the proven processes that they already use and enhance their existing experiences.”