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Let’s not go to war over proptech

The digital and traditional halves of the property industry should be working together, not talking about a tech war, says Adam Blaxter of Rentr.

Adam Blaxter, Rentr

adam blaxter rentr

Too often our industry is framed as proptech against agents, Zoopla against Rightmove and how agents will soon by replaced by robots.

Instead, we should be working together to focus on the consumer to make them happy users of the services we supply. So I feel it’s time to speak out.

We should be working together to focus on the consumer to make them happy users of the services we supply. So I feel it’s time to speak out.”

Rentr is an example of how a more collaborative future could be played out.  Yes, we are a proptech company and landlords and tenants use our digital services. But when the expertise of the traditional agent is crucial, we connect our users to them – for example to provide tenant referencing, insurance and more recently agency services, too.

Our business is about making it easy for landlords and their tenants to connect to each other, and to access professional services.

The trouble is that there are some tech companies out there trying to make a splash by going after the agencies. We view that as a cheap, populist shot that fails to understand the realities of this industry and the role that technology plays.

There is no ‘battleground’ between the big online portals, or between portals and agents, or between proptech firms, agents and shifting public expectations. To think so is to mistake the armies for the war.

The battle, such as it is in property, is between outdated business models and the desires and motivations of the modern user.

Forward thinking

Forward thinking technology companies and professional services in the letting space can be and will continue to be allies in developing new service models and creating new markets.

In the service economy, companies like Rentr have an important role, one that has been lost whilst everyone scampers for a scrap of funding here or an “anti-agent headline” there.

We should work hard, together, to provide a modern, end user focused ecosystem.

The team that goes out and supplies the tenants and landlords with the best services, at competitive prices, will be the one that come out on top – and that is what we have been striving for since founding Rentr back in 2014.

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