Digital transformation projects have been fast-tracked for estate agents, due to the effects of social distancing and remote working. These changes look to be on the radar for the remainder of this year and potentially further into 2021.
In this article, we discuss what the new ‘normal’ could look like and how estate agents can continue to deliver value to their customers when it comes to digital onboarding and remote verification.
New government rules have been announced to ease lockdown restrictions for the property market as renters, buyers and sellers look to move home and view properties; as long as they observe physical distancing measures. This is long-awaited news for estate agents who can now get back to work and help reinvigorate the economy.
However, estate agents have to take extra precautions, including keeping their branches closed to the general public and ensuring they keep a two-metre distance from their clients and prospects during house visits.
It is clear that estate agents will have to evolve to a ‘new normal’ of social distancing measures and provide greater access to online solutions.”
Despite the ease of restrictions, it is clear that estate agents will have to evolve to a ‘new normal’ of social distancing measures and provide greater access to online solutions, right from the outset of the customer journey.
Deliver better customer experience with digital solutions
In today’s competitive property landscape, the firms that place customer experience and digital solutions at the forefront will succeed. As digital offerings from a variety of organisations become increasingly sophisticated, user demands have risen exponentially. Customers now expect user-friendly services and streamlined efficiency from their property agents from the moment they onboard. And, if they don’t receive this, they can easily turn to a competitor to find what they are looking for.
While many property firms have been in the survival mode during the last seven weeks of lockdown (and some being forced to close), it is now business-critical that estate agents adopt a more digital approach to client onboarding and remote services, that place customer experience high on their agenda.
There is now pent up demand to move house; downsize or change rental property as we ease the lockdown measures. Agents will need to be able to process these transactions both quickly and cost-effectively to relieve the pressure on their business. Simply to deploy a digital verification solution will support firms in riding these inevitable new waves of erratic peaks and troughs.
Agents will need to be able to process these transactions both quickly and cost-effectively to relieve the pressure on their business.”
Branches will still have their uses, certainly in the mid-term (post-COVID-19), but, as the new wave of transacting has shown, the populace is looking for new ways of managing their property affairs and are increasingly confident in adopting remote tools and apps as their concerns over social distancing continue.
Remote onboarding and verification
What has become apparent is that businesses that rely on face-to-face meetings to verify their client’s identity before allowing them to use a product or service is a massive barrier to onboarding.
In these unusual times, asking your customers to come into an office or branch is no longer viable. Not only do today’s customers desire the convenience of signing up to a product or service in minutes from a mobile phone, but with ‘social distancing’ imperatives, it has become key that regulated firms need to respond to this increasingly preferred and socially-acceptable demand for remote onboarding.