Imagine There Is No Real Estate Industry It Is Easy If You Try
To paraphrase John Lennon who was singing about world peace … Imagine, go on just imagine, that it is 2021 and real estate in all its different verticals and intersections did not exist, and it was your job to build it on a digital framework.
What would it look like?
I ask the question, as daily I meet Founders of Tech companies who are re-imagining just that, and lots of them being in their twenties and early thirties have very limited knowledge about the property world, and how it ticks – and that is their big advantage, as it does not limit their imagination.
The point I make is this, if you have a limited knowledge about something but see a flaw, an issue a ‘scratch that needs scratching’ you go at it in several ways. Alternatively, if you have 30 years of solid experience you adopt a legacy approach – we always do x and we get z.
With new technology in the mix, the next generation of problem solvers are using tools that can interpret our world in a profoundly different way.
Case in point, 100,000 properties exchange in the UK each month (well 1.2M complete in 12 months and there are peaks and troughs – but for ease lets us ay the number is 100,000 a month).
Everyone is moaning about a bottleneck due to a SDLT ticking time bomb; everyone is pointing the finger of blame, but nothing changes.
If we ask a 22-year-old data scientist how would he digitally re-plumb the whole estate agency/solicitor/mortgagee ecosystem, do you think they would start with a paper led model?
Would they think option A: –
– Amazon an E-commerce platform, which digitally never sleeps, seems to read your mind, and delivers your every whim in a cardboard box the next day, is a proto-type worth consideration?
Or would they imagine that the defining model is B: –
-Have the conveyancing element done Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, with an hour for lunch and a couple of biscuits to eat whilst you put a new roll of paper inside the Fax machine.
Well my money is on the fact that the 22-year-old would probably not ‘know’ what a Fax machine is, given it was cutting edge in 1843 when it was invented. So it would be option A – the Amazon 24/7 solution.
Maybe the old guard, the gatekeepers in the legal, financial, and real estate sectors, could all do with listening to more of John Lennon and Imagine a little more. They could even use a gramophone that would be a start as that was invented in 1887, so by their standards a piece of modern tech.
Personally, I cannot wait to see their faces when radar technology enhances 5G, they are in for a treat, maybe they will break out the chocolate biscuits when that happens.
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.