PropTech: Failure to integrate is harming consumers and estate agents

A lack of integration between PropTech firms, software providers and estate and letting agents is stalling the PropTech movement, according to agentOS.

The agency operating system says that failure to collaborate is making agents less efficient, which has an ultimate impact on the end consumer.

A more open approach to integration industry-wide could save agents a significant amount of time and money each year while raising the bar for customer service.

What is the cost of a lack of collaboration?

agentOS estimates that the failure to link up between software firms and PropTech solutions could cost agents an hour a week in lost time.

Over a year this could equate to the approximate value of the average employee wasting a whole week, costing the agency a significant amount in inefficient wages.

“A few years ago, the average agency had around three tech solutions, they’re now likely to be using an average of 12-15 products on a weekly basis,” says Glyn Trott, managing director of agentOS.

“These services provide agents with growth opportunities, additional income and the chance to improve their bottom line.

“However, if the necessary integration is not in place, this can lead to issues such as double-keying, duplication and a failure to sync data. These problems waste unnecessary time and end up costing agents more money over the course of a year,” he says.

Why is there a lack of integration in the property industry?

The average agent and property consumer have now come to expect seamless integration between all services, but not all traditional software suppliers are delivering.

“Some traditional software firms claim they will build new tech, before taking a long time to implement development which is detrimental to the progression of the industry,” Trott explains.

“Some of these firms charge high monthly premiums to integrate which discourages smaller PropTech firms from connecting and in effect monopolises the agents’ data, making them pay in money and labour.”

He says it’s interesting to make a comparison with the US real estate industry where there is no real dominance of CRMs.

“US agents use lots of integrated tech from a range of different providers, including things like Evernote, DocuSign and Salesforce.”

“In the UK, it seems some traditional CRMs are keen to hold on to information, although there are a growing number of tech firms who are allowing open integration,” adds Trott.

“Collaboration means you’re essentially promoting the competition and other people’s products, but everyone benefits from this approach – if your clients are happy and the end consumer is satisfied, everyone wins.”

Agents need a choice of great technology solutions

A few years ago, agents’ main consideration about CRM software was how much it costs, but now they are more interested in what systems it connects with, according to agentOS.

“For this reason, we’ve accelerated our connections with an open API, fostering a ‘sandbox environment’,” explains Trott.

“We’re looking to create a joint venture atmosphere, where everyone can benefit from income growth and extended features.”

“We would love to code everything, but that’s just not possible – so it’s better to give agents, and ultimately consumers, a choice of great PropTech,” he concludes.