Is innovation key to thriving in the property sector?

Published on 16th May 2019 by Laura West

It is currently a testing time for the private rented sector, amid the looming ban on tenant fees, a slowing market and continued Brexit uncertainty.

Letting agents will naturally be searching for innovative and inventive methods for increasing revenue and cutting costs, for example by installing free property management software.

A recent report by IBM focused on the ways in which well-established businesses worldwide are adapting and thriving in this digital age. These businesses were divided into three categories; aspirationals, practitioners and reinventors.

Aspirationals are businesses which have a long way to go both in their ability to take advantage of new opportunities and their digital journey. Their major challenge is to define their strategy and vision and to secure the right resources.

Practitioners are organisations which have not yet developed the capacity to meet their ambitions. However, practitioners are also businesses which are actively working to develop new business models in order to solve this issue.

Reinventors are organisations which encourage experimentation and place increased focus on people skills. These organisations collaborate with partners and customers, and utilise data in order to create interesting customer experiences.

From the report, reinventors accounted for 27 per cent of the total respondents, and outperformed their peers in profitability and revenue growth during the last three years. These organisations claim that their business strategy is matched with their IT strategy, and have confidence in their capability to adapt to changes.

The study also indicates that reviewing business systems and aligning practices to the goals of your business is vital. However, property professionals could be concerned that technology will replace people. These innovative new technologies in the property sector aim to enhance the relationships between agents and clients, rather than replace individuals.

Research provided by Deloitte focused on the attitude of senior leaders to new technology across different sectors, and found that just 8 per cent of executives believe that artificial intelligence will take over human interaction within their sector. This shows that the vast majority of business leaders believe that technology will complement their business, and by choosing the right technology, organisations can be enhanced and supported.

If you are considering the implementation of new technology systems into your workflow, how should you determine whether it will add enough value? Firstly, you must work out the amount of time it will save you, and then add financial savings which will be made as you replace old systems. You must also take into account if the technology will improve the customer experience, which should be at the centre of any decisions you make.

Some of the modern tech giants have truly thrived once they have put customer service first in their business strategy, capitalising on new technology in order to meet customer needs.

For letting agents, improving customer experience, saving money and saving time are the most important factors in the adoption of new practices and technology, and increasing revenue would also help business. This is where free property management software could help.

Although times are tough for the property sector, innovative solutions and technology can help professionals keep ahead of competitors. Now is the perfect opportunity to review your business goals, and ensure that they are fully aligned with how your business is working.

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