Property technology, or PropTech, refers to the use of information technology (IT) to help individuals and companies research, buy, sell and manage real estate.
Typically, the participants in the real estate industry are brokers, agents, developers, buyers, sellers, landlords, and lenders. This technology-based sector allows them to be more efficient by automating manual tasks such as managing inventory and communicating with clients.
The real estate sector encompasses a wide range of processes and transactions, ranging from how real estate is planned and designed to how it is bought and sold. The Proptech sector consists of start-ups and innovative products across the commercial and residential real estate markets.
The convergence of technologies, cloud, and digital transformation are forces driving the rapid growth of PropTech.
PropTech aims to minimize the cost and resources associated with real estate transactions, maximize efficiency, save time, and personalize property management.
Digital Innovation is Transforming the Property Sector
Real estate is a highly specialized industry, so these agencies require considerable flexibility when considering a digital solution.
If a solution matches their often highly customized requirements, then it will be able to support their prospect’s pipeline — which is a combination of marketing, in-person meetings, property showings, and property closings — as well as the customer journey in real estate.
The property industry is undergoing a shift from traditional to digital services, as a result of the rapid rise of online and virtual services.
Customers are increasingly being exposed to new technologies, which have affected the way they communicate with sales and lettings agents and property businesses.
To remain competitive in this rapidly changing market, businesses need to implement a customer experience strategy that will best meet the needs of their particular audience.
To learn how property industry players can leverage PropTech to create memorable customer and employee experiences, keep reading!
We’ll also share some use cases to show how a total experience platform can turn ordinary property interactions into extraordinary ones.
Customer Experience Still Evades Many Real Estate Agencies
A statistic that is widely quoted in the industry is that 1 in 3 customers will walk away from your brand after just one negative experience.
Multiple studies echo this, always with the same message that it’s cut-throat: that your business needs to act fast to retain them. The numbers are not exaggerated, but rather represent a normal part of everyday life, and most businesses miss these small details.
Not responding to a phone call or email quickly enough is an example of a small detail that can have major consequences.
If you don’t respond well to these kind of details, customers will leave your business in favour of another company that provides better service.
According to recent studies, 86% of consumers will not remain loyal to a company after a negative experience; and if they do stay, it is likely because they are unable to find what they need elsewhere in which case you got lucky.
In a highly competitive market, providing a great customer experience will help build loyalty, nurture repeat business, and create brand advocates. Agents and employees need tools to stay productive and collaborate effectively online from wherever they are.
4 Customer and Employee Experience Strategies to Boost Business
Here are some examples of how you can harness Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX) in your business to create a competitive advantage.
Great customer service can differentiate real estate products and services from competitors, while time-saving tools and hacks for employees can turbocharge their productivity and keep them from burning out.
- How Communication Builds Trust between a Tenant and an Agent
Georg and Berta, who are relocating from Germany to Hong Kong for an expatriate posting, browse your property agency website and shortlist a few rental apartments.
Wanting to know more, Berta clicks on the smart widget on your website and watches a branded video featuring an agent while being connected with him directly.
The call routing system detected the customer’s browser language and routed them to an agent who speaks German. The customer is delighted to be talking to someone in their native language.
Your agent then suggests they switch to a video call for a more interactive conversation, taking just one click to seamlessly make that change while still on the same call.
By chance, your agent is currently showing a property in the Mid-Levels area with rents of around HKD 40,000 a month. Using the mobile app, she checks Georg and Berta’s browsing history and sees they are coincidentally looking at the Mid-Levels area with rents of the same price range.
Qualifying the lead further, she gets their expected move-in date which helps to narrow down the listings more.
While a real estate agency website can contain virtual reality walkthroughs and videos, nothing beats a personal live video tour from the agent. Sensing the prospect’s eagerness, she conducts an impromptu walkthrough and adds her commentary on the apartment’s condition.
- Discover new ways to market a property and generate interest
Keanu, who lives in New Zealand, saw an advertisement for your company’s new beach resort in Hajodae, South Korea. To promote the launch of the property, your firm took out a full-page advertisement in his local newspaper with a QR code.
Wanting to know more, he instantly connected via web call to an English-speaking property agent in South Korea.
The property is still in the pre-launch stage, so the only way to get a sense of the completed unit is to visit a show flat. Your agent switches easily to a video call, slowly panning his phone to show Keanu what he can expect from the resort property once it has been completed.
Currently, you only have a basic landing page for visitors to register their interest. However, your property agent screen shares from the video call and plays him a promotional video of the property.
As Keanu is an enthusiastic surfer, he inquired about the facilities. Your agent provides you with a link to a VR walkthrough of the resort.
Your property agent mentions that the firm has a tie-up with a financial institution that can offer loans denominated in South Korean Won, and Keanu seems excited by the possibility of such financing.
As he discusses his plans for the property, your agent invites the expert to the ongoing call.
- Transform the way of closing a new residential lease
Taiwan real estate agent Annya has just ended a virtual tour of four apartments with a couple from France, who are now considering the properties. Although she feels they are good prospects, she knows that they may change their minds at any time, or another agent they’ve contacted might win the deal.
Annya received a message on her phone. The couple had used the web link on the agency’s website to send a message; they liked the last viewed apartment in Taipei and wanted to offer a two-year lease at TW$80,000 per month. Thrilled by this news, she called the landlord through the smart app, and he happily agreed.
Annya prepares a provisional tenancy agreement and attaches it to a live chat session with the French couple.
She reminds them to wire the initial deposit to the landlord once they have digitally signed the contract. Receiving signed copies of both the contract and a screenshot of the telegraphic transfer, she calls the tenants.
She walks the tenants through the landlord’s leasing process during a video call. The landlord’s solicitors will prepare a draft tenancy agreement for them to review. In the meantime, Annya suggests that she recommend a lawyer who can represent them. They agree, and she invites the lawyer to join the conference call.
- Increased communication and collaboration by overseeing commercial tenants
As the property manager of a large-scale commercial complex consisting of a shopping mall and offices above it, Shoba is responsible for hundreds of retail and office tenants. A member of a dedicated team of accountants, technicians, and procurement and contracts specialists working in the onsite management office, she leads her team in providing an exceptional level of service to all clients.
The use of a lightweight CRM offers tenants a chat room environment, centralizing every interaction and communication.
Through the use of interaction history, she is able to chart the correspondence over time, enabling to resolve issues quickly.
In addition, Shoba uses CINNOX as a cloud communications tool, enabling her to manage chats, calls, video calls, and emails from one place, thereby avoiding the cost of installing a more complicated PABX system!
When a new tenant moves into an apartment community, he or she is given a laminated card with QR codes printed on it.
When scanned, the codes direct callers to the appropriate team for help with payments and statements—saving tenants time from searching for a number. The same teams are also shared via web links in an email, giving tenants an option to chat instead.
CINNOX helps teams collaborate. For example, if a new tenant wants to move in after hours, Shoba can create a chatroom to notify operations about the loading bay, advise facilities to keep the lights on, inform security about the removalists, and add the external moving company as a contact so everyone is kept updated.
An Experience-Driven Approach To PropTech
From the examples above, it’s clear when you address your immediate CX and EX needs with a total experience platform. You are also laying the groundwork for future success.
By putting all your interaction data in one place, you are creating a treasure trove of data that can be analyzed with powerful machine learning and AI tools to discover valuable insights in the future.
PropTech is a new industry that combines property with technology, allowing developers, landlords, property agents, and property managers to leverage technology to keep in step with digital-savvy customers.
When choosing the right partner to develop your customer experience, look for a business that puts the customer (your customer) first and foremost, and who demonstrates that they too take that approach from their business.
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