In spite of it being a multi-billion euro industry, the property sector is still dominated by antiquated processes. From dealing with agents, developers, lawyers and banks, communication and transactions can be incredibly confusing, slow and expensive, especially for those not too familiar. However, there is hope on the horizon. Our American and British counterparts are blazing a trail in the digital property sector employing more cost-effective, time-efficient and painless strategies. The graph below, shows the growth on Google of the expression “PropTech” over the last 5 years – in Ireland.
What exactly is Proptech?
PropTech, or Property Technology is exactly what it says on the tin, referring to any technology within the property sector that makes life easier. Bringing with it efficiency, trust and value, proptech is breathing new life into an industry that was very much stagnant for the last two decades. In Ireland, it is still a relatively new term and is often misused. Many estate agents offering VR tours of a property are all of a sudden calling themselves Proptech companies. However, unless they developed the VR tools themselves, they remain a regular agent utilizing a proptech company. A Proptech company is a technology company as much as it is a property company.
When was it born?
Daft.ie is a true pioneer in the Proptech industry. Having developed software for the property industry in the late 90’s, it was one of the first of its kind globally. Connecting agents to a unique audience of buyers, Daft focuses on empowering users to make informed decisions through a mixture of innovative product features. Since the inception of property portals like Daft, nothing substantial has happened in the process of buying and selling of property to benefit consumers – surprising, given the advancement of technology and smartphones over the last 10 years. Bid X1 is probably the only standout consumer facing PropTech company to emerge in that time period; they are changing the game of auctions through their own proprietary platform, hat tip to the Space Property Group. The estate agent market collectively in Ireland has been very slow to advance. While some agents have stepped up, many have failed to create and maintain an engaging online presence – an absolute must in today’s digital era.
Catalyst of Mobile in our Lives?
Today, mobile technology is clearly at the forefront of our lives. It’s interesting to look at the progression of other industries who provide their employees and customers with the necessary tools to make their lives a breeze. Want to book a holiday, doctor’s appointment or test drive a car? It’s just a click away. The polar opposite rings true for some traditional estate agencies where to book a viewing requires navigating a veritable human merry-go-round of intervention. Things look a lot different across the water.
What’s happening in America?
The American real estate market operates slightly differently to the Irish one. Typically, an agent represents both the buyer and the seller and charges a hefty commission fee too – circa 3% on both sides. In 2004, a company called Redfin saw an opportunity for change and emerged offering a fairer fee structure for sellers. Since then, Redfin has grown into a billion dollar company saving each customer thousands in commission fees along the way. Technology is a key player in its success.
And in the UK…
You have probably seen the “commisery” ads for Purplebricks on TV here in Ireland. Commisery refers to that sinking feeling you have when you realise how much you have to pay your agent when they sell your property. Purplebricks was founded in 2014 by the Bruce brothers, who ran a large traditional estate agent in the UK. They recognised the inadequacies within the industry and looked to rebuild a more convenient, cost-effective and transparent model to help buyers and sellers. Purplebricks now has close to a thousand agents and saves sellers thousands in commission fees too. Traditional agents are learning from the PropTech giants. Case in point – Savills recent multi million pound investment in YOPA, one of Purplebricks’ competitors. This new and advanced model led by Purplebricks, is referred to as a Hybrid offering, whereby customers get the best of both worlds – the efficiency, trust and value of technology along with the experience and expertise of a dedicated agent throughout every sale. Win-win.
Where does Moovingo fit into this?
Taking a cue from our esteemed neighbours, Moovingo is Ireland’s first hybrid agent offering the full estate agency experience for a fraction of the cost. Tailored to meet the demand of today’s customer, we aim to operate the ultimate buying and selling experience.
Moovingo understands the importance of an agent in a property sale and also the benefits of technology in a sale process. Our model is specifically designed with the agent, buyer and seller in mind. The result? Increased efficiencies, a higher level of customer service and better value for you, the customer.
Here’s an example. Most buyers predominantly search properties online outside of office hours – with Moovingo, they can book a viewing instantly, without having to wait for the agent to revert back. Less hassle, more time.
What does the future of PropTech hold?
Change is afoot: With the exponential growth of social media, mobile, cloud, connected devices, artificial intelligence and dare we say Crypto Currencies, our expectations have risen dramatically. In the way we work, the type of buildings we design, build and live in, we expect the best experience. Companies that embrace big data and technology and are taking steps in the right direction to meet the demand of today’s on-demand consumer will prosper. To embrace means to innovate and to innovate means to improve. Long may it last.
As such, it’s paramount that businesses leverage technology to create better experiences for their customers.
If you are dreaming of selling and want the ultimate experience, contact Moovingo today.