Last year, the lettings industry endured a two-month shutdown during the first wave of Covid-19.
Whilst this was mild in comparison to the restrictions suffered by hospitality, travel and retail, during this time the needs of both tenants and landlords changed, forcing the market to adapt and evolve.
I founded Vouch with my wife Jaime in 2017 to remove the obstacles faced by property specialists.
Demand for our services spiked during lockdown, in part due to the government-enforced social distancing measures designed to contain coronavirus.
We’ve seen a 78% increase in digital reference volumes compared to last year, on top of a 62% increase in customers overall as demand for effective proptech solutions skyrocketed.
Digital referencing tools and streamlined move assistant platforms have allowed for the previously mundane and time consuming due diligence to become effort free.
Gone are the days of tenants spending hours sorting out home services when moving, being kept on hold by call centres and rarely getting a decent deal.
And landlords and agents no longer need to do the infamous ‘call around’ to referees to double check their tenants are reliable citizens.
And movers no longer have to visit their new digs prior to signing a contract, thanks to the spread of virtual viewings.
It’s clear to see that the pandemic, as difficult as it was and remains to be for all of us, has helped to initiate this much needed injection of innovation within our industry.
But embracing digital doesn’t need to involve an all-or-nothing approach.
Taking small steps to incorporate digital services could provide traditional businesses with the boost needed to operate at greater capacity; all without losing their core values, and the features that make their business unique.
For everyone involved in the process of moving property, it’s rarely considered enjoyable or stress-free.
But through difficult times and unforeseen challenges come solutions that improve the way things are done.
Property technology has been embraced this year and is making life easier and more cost effective for agents: a welcome consequence of the pandemic for a sector that was ripe for innovation and a fresh approach.