Proptech

News focusing on new technological solutions which create efficiencies and cost-savings for estate and letting agents and the wider residential property industry.

  • Matterport and Google image
    Latest property news

    Is this the end of physical property viewings?

    Immersive media technology company Matterport, has announced a partnership with Google, enabling the publication of Matterport content to Google Street View.

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    New proptech consultancy launches, with familiar names

    PropTech specialists, James Dearsley and Eddie Holmes, have launched www.proptechconsult.com to help property companies overcome the challenges brought by digital transformation.

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    Former Foxtons agent launches rental app for sharers

    A proptech company has launched in London offering a rental app for house hunting couples and sharers and an assisted property finder service. Called The Urban Collective, its unusual service is focussed initially on the London rental market but says it will soon expand beyond the capital to other cities and areas of the UK. The company’s founders, who include a couple with a background in Fintech and a former Foxtons lettings agent, say research suggests a third of house hunters who look for property as a group or a couple find the process much more painful than when doing it alone. The Urban Collective decided to create the UrbanCo app for the Apple’s IOS platform. It enables couples or groups to chat, comment and share links, images, videos and viewings feedback – based on the app’s own listings. Unlike traditional portal-style listings, the company says, its properties will be searchable by lifestyle options as well as price and location – such as proximity to gyms or tube stations. Sherpa service And for the wealthier end of the lettings market who are cash rich but time poor, The Urban Collective has launched a ‘Sherpa’ service. For a fee, wannabe tenants are put…

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    The chat bot that thinks it can do property management

    An app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to deal with the property management queries that can drain an agent’s resources is going through its paces with 20 property firms including Savills and JLL, The Negotiator can reveal. Called AskPorter, the mobile-phone based app answers the day-to-day questions that property managers get asked using a chat bot. It also uses a digital ticketing system to assign maintenance and emergency queries directly to the relevant professionals such as electricians or plumbers without the need for human intervention. The chat bot is connected to an AI brain that has been taught to understand the different queries and syntax that tenants use, and then use this to work out if they need just information or physical help. For example, if a tenant asks “when is my rent due?” or “can I have pets?”, then AskPorter can answer these questions on the spot. But if a tenant reports a leaking tap or broken lock then they are put in touch with an approved plumber or locksmith immediately via the messaging service, with whom tenants can share pictures of the problem. Co-founded by Tom Shrive and Sam Tassell, AskPorter is being funded by venture capital firm…

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    Hundreds of agents sign up to be easyProperty licensees, says Jon Cooke

    EasyProperty has come out fighting following criticism of its merger with The Guild of Property Professionals last week, revealing that there has been “strong” take-up among the industry for its new territorial licensing system. Jon Cooke (pictured, below), the CEO of both easyProperty and the merged company’s parent group e-Prop Services, also says that he is receiving enquiries from non-members of the Guild but, while it currently only available to Guild menbers, it not a “compulsory” add-on and instead an “option” for members. Following criticism by leading proptech expert James Dearsley and industry veteran Ed Mead last week in which they questioned the merger’s likely success and highlighted its weaknesses, Jon says easyProperty has received 500 territory requests from Guild members including many from a sales roadshow that has been under way since June 14th. He says letters of intent were sent to all the agents who attended the three-hour roadshows and that a third of them signed and returned them. The roadshows have been conducted across the including in Coventry, London, Tunbridge Wells, Southampton, Exeter, Bristol, Manchester, Yorkshire, Newcastle and East Anglia. “There has been a lot of industry speculation from naysayers who seem to have a louder voice…

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    Agents don’t get proptech

    Just five per cent of property businesses consider themselves technologically advanced, according to research by Qube Global Software.

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  • 360 degree tours
    Latest property news

    Virtual viewings app for smartphones launched

    A 360-degree tour tech firm is to launch a real-time service that will enable agents to offer virtual viewings. The system, it says, will be the first in the world to offer real-time, two-way viewings on mobile phones and laptops. Eyespy360, which is based in London, says this this will help agents cut down the number of physical viewings agents have to complete by eliminating tyre-kickers, and enable agents to concentrate on qualified leads. “Why wouldn’t a potential buyer look at a virtual tour first instead of turning up blind and then having to walk away when they realise it’s not for them,” says CEO Andrew Nichols (pictured, right). EyeSpy360, which launched in May last year and already counts Countrywide, Arun Estates, JLL and developer Octagon among its clients says it will launch the product in “a few months”. Started up in May 2016 but in development for six month before that, EyeSpy360 began by creating an affordable way for agents to offer high quality 360-degree property tours. Samsung Gear Whereas some companies charge up to £4,000 for their proprietary kit, the EyeSpy360 system can be used with any of the 360-degree cameras on the market, which start at around £200 for…

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    Gary Lineker joins Zoopla to back home insurance disruptor Neos

    Neos, the home insurance digital disruptor backed by ZPG that believes it is the “‘future of insurance” has raised a further £5 million in a round of funding lead by insurance giant Aviva but also including TV presenter Gary Lineker (pictured, right). The company was set up by Matt Poll, a former MoreThan executive with automation expert Krystian Zajac. It offers home owners real-time updates about their property on their smartphone as well as access to a 24-7 emergency assistance team. “In a fantastic move for Neos that will guarantee our major growth over the next year,” says Matt (pictured, left). “The new investment will let us not only develop our connected home systems but also grow our underwriting capacity, through an MGA agreement with Munich Re.” Lineker was also part of an initial round of angel investors in the company in October 2016 and has made several successful previous investments in other insurance-based start-ups. Strategic investment In November last year Neos announced that ZPG had made a ‘strategic investment’ in the company, which offers an app-based home insurance service coupled to home monitoring and fire and water leak prevention hardware, including home sensors and HD cameras. ZPG, which made its investment…

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  • Houseviz Virtual Reality image
    Latest property news

    UKPA launch will support PropTech businesses

    The UK PropTech Association (UKPA) will support businesses and individuals working within the PropTech industry.

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    Website that enables tenants to rate landlords and agents goes live

    A Bristol-based website that claims to be a TripAdvisor for tenants by enabling them to rate landlords, letting agents and property has gone live with ambitions to launch in the US, Australia and New Zealand. The site, MarksOutOfTenancy.com, asks tenants to rate their landlord, property and area and also leave brief details about their experiences. It asks tenants to rate the heating, décor and furniture, utilities, structural qualities, soundproofing and heating system, each out of ten. Marks out of Tenancy then publishes summary pages for each property and names both the tenant and how long they have rented the property, and the landlord. Rate letting agents The site also enables tenants to separately rate letting agents, marking them out of ten for communication, speed, quality of repairs, value for money, attitude and check in/check out abilities. Both landlords and agents will be able to respond to their reviews, whether good or bad, the site says. Marks Out Of Tenancy has been under development for two years and was founded by Bristol-based Ben Yarrow (picture right, top) and Tom Dickinson (below), who say the idea came to them after a “negative experience” with a local landlord. The pair found that while they…

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