‘Fit for purpose?’
Like a vast sea washing out at low tide, Covid-19 has revealed a new shoreline where everything looks odd and different and is up for scrutiny. From Philip Green’s Arcadia group retail model, to Countrywide PLC and their 500M losses over the last three years. Or the bottleneck of hundreds of thousands of sales that hang in the SDLT holiday balance, squeezing their way to exchange against a deadline that looms large.
WFH – working from home, will agents abandon the high street agency model? is the hub model smoke and mirrors or the new reality? Proptech described by industry genius Gary Barker to be worth close to 6BN annually, now almost equals the annual value of the traditional real estate property industry itself in the UK, what does that tell us?
For me, the bigger questions are, and I would love some thoughts from those reading this, why in 1988 when the world was grey and analogue and pen and paper ruled the world of estate agency, could we get nearly 2 million sales exchanged in one year? I was there in the thick of it, and now three decades later with technology doubling its power annually it seems according to statistics from Twenty EA, over 500,000 sales languish un-exchanged?
Is it time to re-imagine the paper led conveyancing and mortgage lending systems? no one doubts the human hours of toil and effort that people in the property industry tirelessly put in – but is the lack of ‘traction’ and inefficiencies telling us that maybe like Countrywide’s fate which may be decided this week, some things are fit for purpose others are not.
How can the PRS deal with the ravages of the pandemic, both due to unfortunate tenants unable to pay their rent and implications for all, and what moving forward is the most effective way to run a modern lettings practice?
‘Everyone and their Mum would like to launch a ‘better’ property portal. Many are trying. Even more have failed.’ This is not my take on the present property portal wars but a direct quote from a 2014 article on this site. What in 2021 will and should portals or platforms be doing for all stakeholders, are they just digital property billboards or do they serve a higher purpose?
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.