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Software and Technology Use in the Real Estate Sector

14 January 2014


Scott Knight

Do investors really appreciate your investments in technology that are designed to deliver better service, or do they see them as a cost item that can be reduced?

In general within the property industry people do look upon technology as a cost rather than as an asset, but I'm starting to see those signs slowly change. With information available through high-speed connectivity through tablets and smart phones I think the agent can utilise this to their advantage.

At Vicinitee we have designed a suite of property management tools that are securely delivered via the "cloud", and our customers are looking at this as an asset rather than a cost to their business.

Agents seem to be looking at investing in new technology - with four out of five respondents saying they expect to invest in new technology within the next five years. What is driving this?

Technology has changed fundamentally over the last couple of years, and will continue to evolve exponentially. Agents should have access to all necessary information and the tools to interrogate and analyse that data at their fingertips. This gives the tech-savvy agent a competitive edge over their tech-shy counterparts.

In what way could software of technology better facilitate working relationships with investors?

Real time and mobility - they're the key factors in influencing investors of the value to be gained from effective utilisation of technology. Investors don't want to know every detail of one's business, but they do need to know how their asset is performing.

We can provide them with analytical tools to allow them to slice and dice our information in the way that suits their requirements. Openness, transparency and quality of information are the key differentiators to keeping one's client permanently engaged. It's hard work, but the best do it.

Lack of communication and transfer of information between firms was highlighted as a key issue. Do you agree?

It is a key issue, and one I hear time and time again. We really are at a tipping point in the real estate industry, where what has been seen as an acceptable level of service is no longer going to be good enough.

Technological developments will not only change the way we all work, rest and play, but enable a transformation in the quality of service that the best companies can deliver. And that can only be a good thing.

John Cuppello

It is clear that cost cutting from investors and occupiers is a major challenge. What difference can software play in the agent-investor-occupier relationship?

Our research shows that service providers see cost cutting in the industry as a major challenge, and there's no doubt that technology can play a major part in meeting that challenge.

Scott Knight makes a very important point here. He talks about investing in technology rather than the cost of technology. I think in today' s climate, high levels of customer service will be a key differentiator for all service providers. And there's no doubt that the smart use of technology in, for example, business intelligence and mobile applications can play a major part in improving those levels of service. If technology is seen in that way, it can actually create revenue opportunities rather than to be seen as a cost

Source:Property Week