As the largest technology supplier to both the residential and commercial property sectors in the UK, we have a natural interest in how real estate is developing more of an appetite for tech.
Our 2016 industry-wide research indicated that only five per cent of companies see themselves as pacesetters in technology – but this seems to be changing rapidly. In the past, the deal-orientated nature of property has often led to tech being an afterthought; now it is seen as the differentiator in terms of customer service. Additionally, users are expecting better applications based on what they use themselves as consumers.
Joining up processes and best-of-breed proptech
There are hundreds of providers in the sector; no two are the same and some only go so far.
In recognition of this, we are working with other proptech and service companies to combine solutions – creating an industry-wide ecosystem that customers can combine, if required. Indeed, this is not new, this has been a unique part of our approach for a number of years now, and as a result we have over 50 integrations with other applications. For example, our recent integrations with Fixflo PLUS, Callwell, Acaboom and Goodlord were the first in the market.
Importantly, every system needs a source of information. Having built up solid sets of data in our core sales, lettings, property management and accounting platforms, we are more often than not seen as the ‘hub’ of the ecosystem.
Our joining up process is enabled by the Qube Connect Partner Programme, and we are always looking to work with other companies in the sector that can add value to property processes and continue to build this best-of-breed network.
We are investing in more proptech
This in itself takes two strands. Firstly we are investing in other proptech organisations –a recent example being our investment in Engage Property Technology. This enhances our offer in Build-to-Rent, a sector that is very much driving some of this technological change through increased service level expectations.
Secondly, we are continuing to invest in our core solutions, improving processes and making the user experience better. We have always invested at least 25 per cent of our annual revenue into R&D, and will continue to do this. Watch out for more of these new developments being released in coming months.
Ultimately, we are always on the lookout for new ideas to support the industry: open to discussing ideas with prospects, customers, proptech developers and industry players. We are excited by the proptech spirit and are looking forward to seeing this develop in coming years.
Trevor Youens is Managing Director of Qube SLM Software.