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Lockdown proptech to onboard

by ARPM

Many letting agents will have kept proptech at bay before the pandemic, for fear it may remove the ‘human touch’ element that so many High Street agents make a pillar of their customer service.

But since being sent scurrying to our homes to work, agents have had to quickly adopt new technology in order to make a go of remote operations. Thankfully, the industry is quickly learning that the stalwarts and start-ups of protech – those who have been hovering on the periphery for some time – actually offer beneficial services.

While there are a myriad of proptech choices that may feel overwhelming, there are some stand-out winners. Here ARPM chooses its top three proptech assets to keep faith with after lockdown is lifted:

Virtual viewings: the way properties are presented has been edging closer to virtual viewings for some time. While 360˚ tours proved clunky and hard to operate, virtual tours have been catapulted to fame during lockdown, with a smooth and engaging experience offering the next best thing to physical viewings. 

Virtual viewings will survive the pandemic and they have a place in our ‘new normal’. As well as giving online listings an edge and boosting Google performance, agents can use virtual tours as a qualification tool moving forwards – a low-effort way of filtering out time wasters so they only pursue the most genuine, interested leads and eliminate needless at-property viewings.

Video calling: it didn’t take long for everyone to get in the Zoom zone. From what used to be a rare event with reluctance among people to turn on their cameras to a part of everyday life, video calls have proved themselves perfect for team updates, board meetings and client relationships. 

Although lockdown looks set to be eased, the process will be gradual and many people may remain cautious about meeting in person. Agents will be expected to offer video calls as a halfway house between meeting in person and telephoning – especially useful for those who may be asked to shield for a number of weeks to come.

Cloud computing: having instant access to files, software and data from any location has never been more important, as agents working from desktop PCs with a hulking server whirring away in the background quickly discovered. There is no excuse for struggling to join up IT systems as there are hundreds of property software, app and plugin tools that run off ‘the cloud’ (storage and processing capability over the internet). 

Cloud computing means agents can access everything they need from their home, at a property or in an office – using a laptop, mobile phone, tablet or PC. Take a look at a private ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) cloud computing resource, which is used exclusively by a single business or organisation, with minimal maintenance by the user. 

If you’re looking to further streamline your lettings or property management business and would like the flexibility to work in a more agile way, talk to ARPM about outsourcing part or all of your property management. 

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