Can proptech ever replace people?

Proptech. It’s a whole new world reshaping the lettings industry, and the last two years have seen an explosion of supporting technologies and automated systems. It’s all sold to us as time and money saving but at what expense?

Let’s get this straight from the start. More automation can definitely streamline operations. We even harness the power of digital brilliance here at ARPM, with Fixflo, Goodlord, Qube and Adobe e-sign all complementing our processes. Proptech is a smart solution in many cases but it’s not the savior of the property management industry.

We strongly feel that proptech should always be combined with real people – especially when it comes to property management. Phasing out the human touch in a bid to reduce overheads and slash costs is a really narrow minded way of thinking.

Successful property management in today’s lettings sector is just as much about support as it is management. Phased changes (tax relief and MEES, for instance) and an increasing number of legislative measures mean landlords need someone to turn to when they’re confused or questioning their future in property investment.

Proptech can’t have a conversation with a landlord who needs to understand a deposit scheme provider’s terms and conditions. Automation can’t make a judgment call when weighing up two contractor quotes. We’re working in an industry where customer service is under intense scrutiny and online reviews are playing a bigger part in a client’s choice of service provider. Reducing the amount of expert human judgment, professional intuition and hands-on management to is detrimental to the lettings industry as a whole, and may result in chronic under servicing.

Is there a happy medium? We believe we have found the right blend at ARPM. The specialist software and proptech we invest in is designed to make processes quicker and our departments more accountable. Our staff are knowledgeable and experienced – always ready to dispense advice, have a friendly conversation and provide reassurance at the end of a telephone. Our outsource status means we offer the value-for-money that agents desire – only paying for the services they need, when they need it.

Our combination of people and proptech can help agents and managers future proof their operations. Already there’s strong evidence of the proptech sector consolidating and realigning as start-ups fail to get off the ground and over-ambitious suppliers scale back to meet the true industry demand. Using ARPM can provide immunity to the industry fluctuations, while freeing you of management and administration tasks so you can concentrate on new business.

Why not leave us to explore prop tech and disruptive technologies? We’ll research, try, test and employ only the most efficient and useful services on your behalf – a great perk if you’ve baffled by the myriad of proptech options. Those using ARPM also have the added peaceful-of-mind that there’s a real person in charge of property management seven days a week – working proactively, reactively and with that personal touch that people still crave.

Written by Simon Duce – simon.duce@arpm.co.uk

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