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Is Proptech Catching Up?

15 November 2023 | Insights Team

Leadhome CEO Grant Smee weighs in on the state of property technology in South Africa

As technology continues to disrupt traditional industries, from fintech revolutionising the financial sector to legal tech streamlining legal processes, one can’t help but wonder: Is property technology lagging? Leadhome, a leading online property sales company in South Africa, sheds light on this question. CEO Grant Smee discusses how Proptech is not only catching up but also transforming the property market in significant ways.

The changing landscape of property management

While the integration of Proptech solutions has not yet significantly impacted consumers directly, it has revolutionised the role of agents in the property market. Most Proptech tools are designed to enhance the internal operations of agents, making them more efficient and accurate in property evaluations and improving their communication skills with clients. These tools also offer agents advanced capabilities for property marketing. Companies who are at the forefront of this technological adoption, are offering comprehensive services at reduced costs. Competitive pricing is made possible by agents’ reliance on technology to streamline various aspects of property management and sales.

The rise of data-driven decision making

The role of data in property management is becoming increasingly pivotal, likened to “the new oil” for its transformative impact. Proptech tools are revolutionising how property managers conduct research and market properties. Businesses like Lightstone and CMA are leveraging data to refine their comparative market analyses and provide agents with valuable market insights. Beyond these, a range of industry providers such as WeConnectU, TPN, Propdata, E4, and Payprop are also capitalising on the data they accumulate.

These platforms offer a variety of services, from effective rental portfolio and community scheme management to tenant profiling and bond registration data. Their entry into the data market is set to improve the quality of information available not just to industry professionals, but also to the general public.

Enhancing efficiency and client engagement

Proptech has significantly elevated the management of property portfolios. Tools such as the already mentioned, WeConnectU have transformed property management from a mere transactional service to a comprehensive management solution. One of its standout features is the enhanced transparency it offers, allowing both owners and tenants to access their information and statements. Additionally, the platform integrates with the Red Rabbit system to document property conditions and ongoing maintenance issues effectively. This ensures that property management teams can meet and exceed client expectations through a well-thought-out and continuously evolving system.

Looking ahead: The future of Proptech

The future of property management is poised for transformation, particularly in the realm of automation. While there’s still progress to be made, the increasing automation of tasks is freeing up time for property managers to focus on value creation and client insights. The industry is gradually recognising that effective property management is also about people, a factor often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of daily operations.

Navigating the challenges

Adopting new technology in property management is not without its challenges, primarily stemming from the initial fear of change, slowing down the adoption rate. Despite months of implementation, some systems fail to meet expectations, resulting in lost time and resources. However, these setbacks are considered the cost of being early adopters in a rapidly evolving landscape. To mitigate these issues, there should be a focus on heavy investment in training and continuous upskilling. Active engagement with technology providers has also been crucial in refining products to improve the client experience.

Insights Team

We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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