As the Private Rented Sector (PRS) continues to grow it is important for the industry to evolve alongside to keep up with burgeoning demand. One way that we expect the lettings and management sector to advance in the coming year is with the introduction of PropTech on a grand scale.
‘PropTech’ refers to technology which offers a smart solution to common property related issues. This means any way that new technology can aid the buying, selling, renting or letting a property. The development of the PropTech sector ultimately means that in the future it should be easier for landlords, tenants, letting agents and agents to negotiate the intricacies of the housing market.
But what does this really mean for UK property, and what changes might we come to expect?
Firstly, we should anticipate a more streamlined service for prospective tenants, with an emphasis put on online services. Founder and CEO of View My Chain, Sohail Rashid, believes that there will likely be an increase of online estate agents in 2018, of at least 25%. We can expect that these online estate agents will also make use of live portals and apps which can assist tenants with everything from virtual viewings to reporting maintenance issues.
In addition we can expect that things will become easier for landlords, with letting and management agents employing the use of PropTech to communicate more effectively. From providing instant valuations to informing of changes to tenancies and payments – landlords should anticipate a more instant service from property professionals.
The third area in which improvement should be expected is buying and selling. Currently the legal process to buy and sell property in the UK can be daunting, and many consumers are left feeling that they are not in control of their property transaction. A number of new start-ups are looking to tackle this – simplifying the process and empowering consumers.
The CLC (The Specialist Property Law Regulator) commented: “The Government should play a key leadership role, working alongside conveyancers, regulatory and representative bodies, lenders, HM Land Registry, HMRC, established software suppliers and lawtech, proptech and fintech start-ups to galvanise the industry to deliver the transformational change that looks to be within reach.”
With huge advances in the technology sector expected in 2018 and a keen eye on the UK’s housing market, it is likely that we can expect PopTech to really make its mark on the sector over the next 12 months.