PropTech specialists, James Dearsley and Eddie Holmes, have launched www.proptechconsult.com to help property companies overcome the challenges brought by digital transformation. Previous clients include Zoopla, Fixflo, Savills and Foxtons and services cover issues faced during digital transformation including market and competitor intelligence, fundraising, innovation and investment management.
Eddie says, “James and I have spent years working to give the PropTech sector a voice. The real challenge will be faced by property companies who do not have the right people, culture or strategies to take advantage of the opportunities presented by digital transformation.”
James added, “2017 marks the tipping point in the property industry’s acceptance that technology is here to stay and the start of a process of enmeshing PropTech with property, businesses that move swiftly, and with appropriate advice, have an enormous opportunity to capitalise on technology that can make them more efficient and open up new markets and revenue streams.
Gazeal is PropTech company of the year
Gazeal has been awarded Property Technology Company of the Year at the Property Wire Awards.
Duncan Samuel, Managing Director said, “I am delighted that Gazeal has been awarded Property Technology Company of the Year 2017. Bringing anything truly new to the market is always a challenge, which is why it is so great for the Gazeal team that this award is made by our peers in the property sector, who can truly see the value that the Gazeal proposition has the potential to bring for all participants and for their clients.
“Our mission is to dramatically simplify buying and selling a property – working with agents, developers, mortgage brokers and conveyancers to eliminate gazumping, and agreed house deals falling through.”
Glide’s broadband revolution
Student utilities and service provider, Glide, has launched an exclusive new broadband product, fully loaded with Browzer, providing an innovative solution to engage with tenants via a customisable homepage, giving letting agents unrivalled visibility within their properties.
Browzer already operates in many Halls of Residence helping them communicate with their students, now it is available for off-campus private housing.
Glide’s broadband product gives property businesses the ability to suspend individual student broadband access, across all their devices should an one fall behind on their rent, safeguarding against rent arrears. No other tenants are affected, so students that pay their rent aren’t penalised by other tenants’ actions. Traditionally agents have been forced to block broadband access for the entire house.
“Our study, What Students Seek, found the proportion of students living in privately rented homes reporting communication problems was double those in student halls. Keeping in touch with tenants is an increasing challenge for agents, so it was a key driver for Glide in developing our product and taking Browzer to the private rental market,” said Richard Price, Sales Director.
Bill Free Homes was first to sign up. Director, Peter Smith said, “We are always looking at ways to improve service and keep at the forefront of technology and this means we can improve customer experience by offering useful, readable content that we can pepper with our own messages.”
Ultimate open house with Helmores
Helmores in Crediton, claims leadership in modern property marketing with their introduction of immersive 3D showcase tours – the first estate agency in Devon to use drones to produce stunning aerial photography and video footage of homes for sale in 2014. Now, a new 3D camera has joined their fleet of drones and the agency is now rolling out immersive virtual 3D showcase tours as part of its marketing package for homes.
The footage is so real, says Rob Stoyles, Partner, it’s like actually being at the property, creating the ultimate in open house events by being permanently available to view online at www.helmores.com and on Helmore’s YouTube Channel, on Rightmove and OnTheMarket listings.
Rob says, “Drones aside, after 27 years as a property agent, it’s not often that technology comes along that really excites me –until our new 3D camera arrived in the office! These immersive 3D tours carry a load of benefits for both buyers and sellers and we’re very excited.”
Rentr adds new web interface
Rentr has launched a website login for its property management solution allowing landlords and tenants to handle their residential lets on desktop as well as on the Rentr app.
Rentr carries out all processes required for a legal letting agreement at a fraction of the current time and financial cost.
3,000 users now handle every aspect of their privately managed rental properties through the pioneering Rentr app now, following feedback from existing and potential users, Rentr has launched a web portal providing all the services on the app from desktop browsers.
Vik Tara, Director, said, “We are technology people, so we built an industry defining mobile app, that is what we do. After working alongside our userbase of 3,000 people however, we found that one in five prefer to handle business matters for their properties on a computer – so we have rolled out the fully compatible web portal.”
Top 10 PropTech
PropTech innovation that could revolutionise your business
The newly launched UK PropTech Association (UKPA) created a list of their top ten PropTech companies to watch for the specialist website Propertyportalwatch.com. Four members from the UKPA took part: Kristjan Byfield, the Depositary, Tom Wallace, Re-Leased, James Dearsley, PropTech Consult and James Davis, Upad – obviously they were not able to vote for their own start-up. Which ones could be useful to you?
View My Chain will help bring some much-needed transparency to the sales conveyancing process that confuses and befuddles buyers and sellers alike. Hopefully, adoption and uptake by agents, will help to alleviate many of the frustrating elements which, often, get unfairly blamed on the agent as they are the most visible person within the entire transaction. If this can lead to expedited sales and a drop in failed transactions, then all the better.
REalyse is taking great steps to revolutionise the residential property sector with a mix of technology, expertise and data, in order to improve investment decisions. It will be exciting to see what they’ll do next – possibly a move into the commercial property sector?
Klipboard is transforming the way in which companies run their businesses by digitising paperwork processes and instilling a mobilefirst attitude to help manage field-based teams more effectively. Watch them to see how they further develop their product, we anticipate that they’ll keep giving the market what it wants.
The Depositary is the UK’s first-ever letting regulation compliance platform and is exciting because it’s a company that innovates and disrupts old processes paired with usability and customer centricity. The Depositary aims to reduce the risk and burden of complex legal training for lettings agents, whilst introducing transparency and empowering tenants by removing the ‘mystique’ of rental legislation – this is an important step forward for the residential market.
Block Management, especially within the residential sector, is one of the slowest marketplaces to adopt the benefits of PropTech and Re-Leased looks set to change that. It’s targeting many of the key friction points experienced by leasehold owners across the country. These include slow and convoluted accounting, expensive and often incomplete management packs (required when selling), poor oversight of time sensitive tasks from key stage maintenance to essential accounting procedures, easily accessible inspection reports, digital maintenance reporting and poor communications throughout the relationship.
Reposit offers tenants and landlords new ways to deal with the often, thorny issue of deposits. In a world of ever-increasing regulation, their insurance-like product means tenants must spend less cash, landlords get paid faster in the event of a claim for damage, and agents earn commission for selling the product. Now backed by Seedcamp, it will be interesting to watch how the market responds to a new product like this.
EyeSpy360 is brilliantly bridging Virtual Tours (VT) with affordability, to drive faster adoption. While the rendering is by no means as beautiful as some of the higher-end products out there – with consumers still naive about VT – what is important is the widespread adoption by the sector to achieve this. The affordable kit, easy-to-use-platform and planned additions and improvements in terms of functionality and features means there are almost no hurdles to adoption for agents across the UK. www.eyespy360.com
Danish company Mindworking, is a great platform to monitor. They already work with over 90 per cent of agents in the country and are now here to work with UK agents. They have a really slick marketing automation platform, and their social media algorithm marketing tool is something I have not seen elsewhere. It would be great to potentially see this integrated with some of the agency platforms out there and, if this can be achieved, this will add some great tools for agents in these essential areas.
Disruptive Technologies have developed make sensors with a chip the size of a sim card that can be fitted into both old and new properties to collect data about a building. It will be intriguing to follow the company’s journey alongside the company’s UK Country Director Alex Storey. With smart properties increasingly on everyone’s radar, one of the biggest challenges currently is the simple implementation of this product within existing structures, to secure a sizeable uptake to deliver this to market. Disruptive Technologies are a company to watch, especially as they develop the potential of their tool set, alongside more ‘button’ functions.
At Upad, 39 per cent of tenant inquiries arrive outside of normal office hours and; in sales, most viewings occur in the evening and on weekends. This scenario creates a massive mismatch between what traditional agencies are offering, versus what the customer now demands. Viewber has developed a solution, which offers superior customer service.
Have you worked with any of these companies? We’d like to hear from you about how your business has been helped by these modern technologies – email me at