Proptech is something estate agents can't ignore anymore. If they do, they are missing out on a host of opportunities to streamline their processes and generate new revenue streams for their business.
Watch Ben talk about the importance for estate agents of really considering digital transformation and its impact on their business, of engaging with the technologies they’re using, understanding their capabilities and always testing & rolling out new proptech to help increase their bottom line.
So what can estate agents do to embrace proptech?
1. Have a strategy
Know what you want to achieve with the technology you have chosen or are about to choose. What are the workflow and processes that will allow you to create better customer journeys?
Consider what you want to do right now (in terms of features you offer your users directly or services you cross-sell to your customers) but also what you want to be able to do in the future (for instance new features like mobile notifications, Whatsapp or Facebook messenger communication instead of calls or emails).
Above all, as part of the strategy, make sure the software you’re using is connecting all the different parts of the business and that it offers some sort of central data dashboard that you can get all your reporting from.
2. Start with your CRM
At the heart of any digital transformation process is a great CRM. It should be the single source of truth for your business, which means every bit of information you record as a business needs to find its way back to your CRM.
A great CRM also has an open approach to data and how estate agents can access it and share it with other proptech providers. Starberry work with a lot of them and they are at different stages of this journey - from Reapit who are launching their PaaS this November to smaller ones like Best Agent who are finding smart ways to connect estate agent data.
3. Think open API
API integrations are a better, simpler way of connecting different pieces of software seamlessly. When searching for new proptech to add to your estate agency, look out for the word “open API” and make sure it’s being implemented, especially by your CRM.
Open APIs allow all the information that is being stored by your business - CRM, website or other 3rd party platforms - to flow fluidly, and both ways preferably. This means no more disjointed data, as its the case in most estate agencies now, and a smarter, more efficient service that you can offer your customers in the long run.
4. Put data in your customers’ hands
After having access to your data and a good understanding of how it can add value to your customers, it’s time to really make the most out of it and put it in your customers’ hands.
This is where the My Account portal comes in, allowing estate agents to control the relationship with their customers, to engage with them in significant ways and to provide other valuable services and offers to them online.
5. Review proptech regularly
At Starberry, we make it a priority to always review and test new technology that could help our agency but also our customers be more efficient and provide more value to their end-users.
More and more platforms that review and collect information about proptech are developing - from the international Unissu platform and Simon Whale’s Kerfuffle marketplace to groups such as ICG and EAvolution - with the aim to help estate agents understand and choose proptech solutions.
6. Stay up to date with proptech
Having a passion for proptech (or finding someone in your company that owns it) becomes crucial for the success of any digital transformation process you might undertake.
With so much information out there, it’s really easy to keep up to date with the latest news in proptech - leverage social media channels, sign up to podcasts, dedicated Youtube channels or email series, read blogs and news articles to get under the bonnet of proptech and understand its’ potential.