Estate agents are becoming bored of proptech companies trying to sell them services which haven’t been road tested within branches before they are launched nationally, a leading industry figures has claimed.
Ed Mead, CEO of viewings service Viewber (pictured, below) and a former executive director at London agency Douglas & Gordon, says that 85% of the UK industry is a “longtail of pretty technologically unsavvy people” who have still got to get their heads around the wave of proptech being launched into the market.
“I saw a lot of them when I was at D&G, but I hadn’t twigged how annoying it can be,” he says,
“For the independents who are approaching retirement, it’s too much of a risk to invest heavily in tech, and they leave it to the big chains.”
Ed says like him his business partner and former Marsh & Parsons CEO Peter Rollings has also become concerned about too many clever but non-property people touring around the industry talking about great tech but who “haven’t talked to an agent before developing their ideas”.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there which would be lovely to have but at £200 a month for them or whatever they charge means paying for it [in the current economic climate] is just not on,” says Ed.
But Ed says agents will have to adopt technology-based services, eventually. “Reasonably soon many buyers, sellers and renters won’t want to transact in the way we do today,” he says.
“It will be another two to five years before this gets a grip on the industry, so they just need to work out what works for them best.
“Big chains always have an advantage but, unlike smaller agents who won’t collaborate locally, they can try tech out across their branch networks to see if it works first.”