I know many in the industry have struggled with the term “proptech” as it currently lacks an accepted definition. In my opinion technology has been shaking up the property industry for a long time. It is accepted practice to place a listing in the digital domain via your company website or via a property portal. This is surely acceptance that the digital audience must be considered?
I feel passionately that technology should empower people and business – it should not confuse, dis-intermediate nor disrupt.
From our perspective at HARNESS Property Intelligence, we are very interested in the world of commercial property transactions. We’re using data science to understand the important supply and demand features that drive interest, enquiry, transaction and satisfaction. We’re seeing around 80% of all commercial property search traffic being for leased stock. Most (roughly two-thirds) of that audience (the consumer) wants traditional lease with the remainder interested in the various managed/serviced tiers. And, the vast majority of all these web searches are made by digital natives who are completely unfamiliar with the world of property leasing (lease “experts” tend to use more direct channels).
From sector research, data analysis and user testing, we know that commercial leasing has to cover some distance before it even satisfies today’s digital savvy audience. As a technologist, I feel passionately that technology should empower people and business – it should not confuse, dis-intermediate nor disrupt. Commercial leasing is such a large, valuable sector with an abundance of valuable data everyone can learn from.
Proptech in 2018 is going to provide faster, easier access to a more homegenised suite of property information for the consumer. Most of that information is already available, but the consumer currently has to put in a lot of effort to find it and consolidate it.
For the supply chain, they should be looking for progressive technology partnerships. We all know the modern consumer is easily distracted and fickle. At HARNESS, we very much see the role of proptech as one that strengthens relationships. This is where proptech can really help – help to bring the commercial property industry up-to-date with current consumer expectations; help to empower the agents, surveyors, landlords, owners, etc, through accessible information, comparables and tools; and, help to provide greater levels of satisfaction throughout the life of the client/consumer relationship.