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Navigating the PropTech minefield in a current and post COVID-19 World

If PropTech wasn’t on your radar before, the impact of COVID-19 has definitely steered our industry to look to technology for client engagement and to ensure the industry can continue to operate through this unprecedented time.

But we often hear clients saying: “This company and that company do similar functions,” or “but this company integrates with that program but not the one I’m using,” and “our existing system does this as well but not quite as good as that.” 

With some 300 PropTech agencies in Australia, how do you negotiate the minefield of what’s right for you and your business?

At Agentbox, we see a thriving marketplace of tech solutions for the real estate industry. There is an entrepreneurial flair with products being created to fill niche areas and unique problems. As an example, we have seen a significant increase in client requests to set up integrations between online auction platforms like AuctionNow, Bidtracker by Real Time Agent and Gavl off the back of COVID-19. 

The graphic above showcases a sample of the many PropTech companies Agentbox integrates with, and we encourage any provider who doesn’t yet integrate with us to reach out to talk further to discuss what we can offer not only now, but for the future.

Maximum efficiency through one platform
No single system can do everything, but at Agentbox we want you to have your cake and eat it to maximise the return on your tech investments.

So, although Agentbox doesn’t build all these tools, we can integrate with them to ensure you get maximum efficiency for your business and opportunity within your marketplace.

Like the tools of any professional trade, the tools or tech you choose to use in your office have a direct impact on the day-to-day performance and bottom line of your business.

Who has been at an open for inspection and an applicant has commented that “they should be in your database,” followed with sense of frustration as they must repeat their details?  Or think back to when you had to manage a sales trust on a written ledger – If a competitor in your current marketplace is adopting digital proposals, online auctions, 3D tours or AI for prospecting, you can be sure your clients will notice. 

But there’s a huge amount of tech to choose from. So here is a guide to help you navigate the PropTech world and the criteria that can help you assess them:

  1. A single point of truth
    Identify the point of truth that these systems connect to, this could be a centralised solution and database such as your Property Management system or CRM. Having a single point of truth allows you to maintain a constant as information goes in and out of those connected solutions.
  2. Clean data
    Integrations don’t work if the connected system doesn’t maintain clean data. An Electronic Form Signing integration isn’t going to work well if you have five ‘John Smith’s’ in your system and it doesn’t know which to use, or if the capture system you’re using is pushing dirty data to your CRM.
  3. Integrations
    Of course this only works should these systems talk; double data entry and therefore duplication is not only a waste of time but hugely inefficient and should be prevented at all cost. However, don’t get caught by the word integration, it can be a very broad term ranging from very basic to highly detailed processes. 
  4. Understand the problem you are trying to solve
    As there are a lot of competing products which can overlap in their offering, it is important to get to the core of the problem you are trying to solve or the opportunity you are trying to seize. This approach will ensure you don’t get distracted by the bells and whistles and end up with the wrong tool for the job.
  5. Seek input from market-leaders you respect
    You are likely to have similar challenges as others. This current market upheaval is impacting the vast majority of property markets nationwide, so reach out and get opinions from other agents who are considered innovative and ahead of the curve. This will help you select your shortlist. 
  6. Choosing the right products
    Technology should fill a specific role and operate harmoniously with other parts of your team. When considering a new PropTech solution, consider its place in the business and how it will work with other solutions. As a solution it may have great credentials but if it doesn’t work well with your current tech stack there may be a better option for your business.
  7. Training
    A common comment with tech is that “we only use 20 per cent of its functionality”. So before investing in another system, it might be prudent to investigate if your current tech can solve the problems or fulfil the opportunities you have identified.
  8. BE CURIOUS!
    Introducing the right tech can dramatically change your business, whether that be winning business, improving client service or valuable timesaving. It’s easy to overlook new solutions but you don’t have to become a tech-head to identify the value in good tech. Just keep an ear to the ground and you never know what you may find.

Become an adopter of innovative services
Technology has become one of the great adapters during the COVID-19 crisis, and it has brought to our attention the way tech can help to transform a business in a rapidly changing world.

Where once you would go to a conference and walk away with the next best script or prospecting idea, now agents and property managers are coming back wanting to use a new tool or system they’ve demoed.

Whether it be external factors like a virus, or just because the world is becoming more tech-oriented, PropTech is now an integral part of the industry.

It can be a minefield, but it can also be a gift which saves time and boosts your efficiencies, improves client experiences and ultimately brings you new and recurring business.

Be curious, because in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity, and for every opportunity there is a PropTech solution. 

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