BREAKING PROPERTY NEWS – 03/08/2022
Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.
Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP to “unleash the potential” of the PropTech sector in the West Midlands
GBSLEP has unveiled a blueprint to unleash the potential of the PropTech sector in the West Midlands. It was officially launched today (Friday 29th July) at a Modern Businesses Services Showcase Day that is running alongside UK House. This central hub for trade, investment and tourism is part of the Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme.
Christine Oates, GBSLEP Board Director and Tax Partner at Deloitte, said: “Through our triple helix structure of public, private and academic partners, GBSLEP has helped to accelerate the professional services technology ecosystem in the region through programmes like SuperTech West Midlands. “This latest report is a blueprint for growing the PropTech cluster. Taking forward these recommendations could be a game-changer for our region, but it will rely on the continuation of a strong public and private partnership, as well as attracting national and international investment.”
Over the last five years, investment in PropTech – the use of technology in real estate – has increased significantly, with £8.4 billion funding in 2020*. In Europe, the highest number of PropTech companies are based in the UK but predominantly in London. The report authored by CBRE makes the case for the PropTech industry in the West Midlands focusing on how it can attract private sector investment, positively contribute to GVA, create and grow start-ups, and generate new jobs for the local economy.
When considering the findings, CBRE’s Harri John, Head of Digital Advisory, said: “We are seeing an increasing shift in the importance of PropTech for our clients, with technology for real estate now becoming a ‘must have’ as opposed to a ‘nice to have’. This demand is being driven by the need for better outcomes in the sector across sustainability, efficiency, productivity, experience, and security. “The West Midlands now has a real opportunity to think differently about how it can effectively drive innovation and bridge relationships across the public and private sector, leveraging the strengths of the area to create an ecosystem that helps these PropTech companies to grow and thrive.”
To date, the West Midlands has strengthened its FinTech (Financial Technology) and ProfTech reputation (Professional Technology) by establishing the UK’s first ProfTech supercluster. Funded by GBSLEP, SuperTech West Midlands was launched in 2021 by business leaders and technology firms to capitalise on the region’s BPFS sector – the largest centre outside of London which generates £27.8 billion gross value added annually and employs more than 360,000 people.
Mike Bristow, CEO & Co-Founder CrowdProperty, added: “The West Midlands is a very powerful place for us to be based as a disruptive, high growth stage PropTech / FinTech business, allowing us to create a stronger, more resilient business stemming from a combination of an extensive talent pool, lower fixed cost base, physical proximity to clients and an inspiring employer brand.”
Starberry: Moving to Google Analytics 4 will keep agents ahead of the curve
In today’s tech-orientated environment, it is often difficult for agents to navigate complex, multiple-platform journeys of their customers while prioritising user privacy. This is according to Ben Sellers, Co-Founder and CEO of Starberry, part of the nurtur.group, who says that the one constant within the digital climate is change.
“The digital climate is constantly evolving, along with the ways that business is measured. In order to stay ahead of the competition, it is vital that agents embrace the changes and modernise their analytics solution, moving away from Google Universal Analytics and towards Google Analytics 4 to ensure they remain ahead of the curve,” he adds.
Sellers says that if agents do not modernise their measurement solution, they are potentially leaving crucial insights on the table that could impact their business. He notes that Universal Analytics, which is the previous generation, will be done away with next year. All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on 1 July 2023, and all Universal Analytics 360 properties will stop processing new hits on 1 October 2023.
“…if an agent wants to keep their data, they will need to start thinking about how they can archive it now so that it is available when the time comes”
“On 1 January 2024, all the agent’s historical data will be deleted and no longer available. So, what does this mean for the agent? Essentially it means that if an agent wants to keep their data, they will need to start thinking about how they can archive it now so that it is available when the time comes,” advises Sellers. “Archiving data in a manner that suits the agent’s data usage will keep them organised, not to mention their staff will have quick access to critical information. Agents should consider using the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On, which works with Google Sheets and pulls through data fast.”
Will switching to Google Analytics 4 increase digital marketing efforts of estate agents? “Due to the increased potential insight, we believe that the new solution will enhance an agent’s digital marketing campaigns by providing them with a greater understanding of their customer’s behaviour. Agents need to see how clients interact with their website, what they click on and what they do not, how long they spend on certain pages and how often they return to the site. This is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Sellers. “GA 4 will function as an effective data collection and analysis platform that helps estate agents keep track of all of these things and more in real-time. It is smart enough to know when someone has visited an agent’s website before, so it will not constantly track them as if this were their first time. It even uses an event-based data model so that agents can see exactly what users do on their site in real time.”
Sellers adds that there are several ways GA 4 can help estate agents in the business, such as being able to visualise the customers’ complete journey to understand their needs, challenges, goals, and pain points. It will also provide data of where people are coming from and how agents can target them again in the future. The data will provide a view of the customer lifecycle with an event-based measurement model that is not fragmented by platform or organised into independent sessions. Agents will be able to measure how customers interact with their brand across channels and devices so marketing strategy can be optimised and customer satisfaction improved. The data will also help businesses increase their return on investment by allowing them to track how their different marketing strategies interact with each other over time.
Sellers notes that when it comes to privacy, GA 4’s suite of privacy tools with new country-level controls allows agents to manage and minimise the collection of user-level data such as cookies and metadata, while preserving key measurement functionality. These new controls will help estate agents manage data collected while still providing the insights they need to learn more about users’ behaviours and preferences.
“We are currently in a time when it is the utmost importance to find a balance between privacy and insight. The GA 4 uses machine learning, combining artificial intelligence and Google integration into the platform to fill in the data gaps to provide sophisticated insight about customer behaviours and trends. With the platform’s expanded integrations with other Google products, like Google Ads, estate agents receive the insights they need to optimise their campaigns across combined web and app data,” Sellers adds.
In conclusive, he says that Starberry has helped hundreds of estate agents generate new leads and grow their businesses. We understand that staying ahead of the curve is crucial for digital marketing and we would be delighted to support estate agents in implementing a smooth migration from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.