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Should there be a free ‘open’ platform for smaller agents to access proptech?

Charlie Wright yesterday convened major tech firms to discuss the idea, which would enable independent agents to use proptech without having to pay for the big property software suites, it is claimed.

Property software guru and small agent champion Charlie Wright’s latest venture BestAgent is making a bid to disrupt its big software rivals such as DezRez, EstatesIT and Jupix by creating a free-to-use ‘open’ tech platform for independent agents to access.

Fresh from his ultimately failed attempt to set up a trade organisation for smaller agents in 2017, Charlie launched BestAgent in April this year and is now working with 13 industry suppliers.

It is a free-to-use platform that enables agents to run their business including uploading properties to the main portals, GDPR compliance and creating and running their own website.

Charlie’s venture also offers agents access to all the industry’s key tech and non-tech suppliers including boards, insurance products, marketing, legal compliance, online signatures, analytics, online chat and rental deposit protection.

Open platform

BestAgent gathered all the MDs of these suppliers yesterday at a hotel in Reading to discuss creating an ‘open platform’ to tackle the problem of tech integration within the industry.

Most tech firms such as Gazeal, ViewMyChain and BriefYourMarket don’t share an ‘open’ way of plugging into a commonly used platform to enable agents to access them all at once.

To do this, agents must sign up to one of the big paid-for software suites such as DezRez which, for example,  offers its client agents access to 10 plugged-in proptech services.

CIELA Charlie Wright“We have been surprised by the number of requests from proptech companies looking to integrate with a property marketing platform to make it easier for agents to buy their services,” says Charlie (pictured).

“Once we grasped the full extent of demand for this need to integrate, from both agents and industry suppliers, we realised that the platform we are already constructing for our existing partners to integrate their products could be expanded into a fully open platform; legally compliant, technically robust and totally secure.

“[This] would allow small agents easier access to trials of new products and allow all industry suppliers an easier route to market for their products.”

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