Is most PropTech just the Emperor’s new Clothes?

Written by Christopher Watkin on - Proptech News -

Time stands still for nobody in this new fast 21st century 24-7 internet, mobile technology, Google Glasses focused Driverless cars age, and in our  estate /letting industry, there isn’t a day that goes by where another PropTech firm says its going to disrupt the industry and save the world

…and you have to admit .. the PropTech industry, with its incessant $exy new bright lights stream of new technologies for estate and letting agents to get excited about awe-inspiring awesomeness

It’s alluring for agents to drop everything in favour of the shiny new PropTech thing that will save hours of time and shed loads of cash as they can replace expensive staff with apps and computer programs

..and don’t get me wrong, lots of PropTech is awesome .. but on the other side of the coin ..lots of PropTech is utter rubbish … created by techy people with no idea of our property industry … creating solutions to problems us agents simply don’t have.

It’s like some PropTech is like emperor’s new clothes as some of us get caught up with our own eagerness and enthusiasm on PropTech. Are some of us jeopardising being caught without our clothes. … or imagining we see the clothes, when in fact ..we don’t.

Despite the fact that many letting/estate agents can’t see the value of PropTech, and even more unconvinced of its effectiveness, I suspect many agents to spend even more of their budgets in PropTech in the coming years.

The question I ask of any PropTech CEO is this … is your PropTech the saviour of agency or the Emperor’s Clothes … and I hope all you MD’s of all the 18,000+ estate and letting agents up and down the UK go in with open eyes, so you can decide for yourself if you are being sold the ‘elixir of life’ or ‘snakeoil’

So, what is good PropTech?

My current favourite PropTech (and they haven’t paid me one penny to say this)

  • FixFlo
  • Goodlord
  • ValPal
  • Nimbusmaps
  • PayProp
  • RoboVal

I must stress .. they aren’t suitable for every agent .. but they need serious consideration depending where your focus is



Author: Christopher Watkin

I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business.

Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat.

So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them

Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it.

Christopher Watkin
07950 147 572
[email protected]

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