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Benefits of proptech on the high street and at auction

23.05.2017 Site Manager

The way we do business in the property industry is forever changing, but the emergence of proptech, in a matter of years, has shaken up the industry on a grand scale. Proptech is not only a lucrative new path for investors, but new tools are helping millions of buyers, sellers and landlords to improve property journeys here in the UK and beyond. As an estate agent that has been on the high street for more than four decades, we are excited to embrace yet another big change in what is already an industry in constant flux. If you’re new to this burgeoning industry, here’s a quick guide to what is already happening and how it’s transforming the property process at auction and on the high street.

What is proptech?

Property technology, i.e. proptech, is simply the merging of traditional practices with technology in the same vein as other industry buzz terms as fintech (Financial Technology), adtech (Advertising Technology) and medtech (Medical Technology).

Technology has changed the way many sectors interact with their customers, from finance and retail to travel and healthcare, so it’s not surprising that tech companies are making waves in the property industry, too.

What we’re seeing now is the emergence of companies looking to shake up every sector of the market, from residential property and land sales, to inside the auction room. All this has stemmed from a need to make existing processes more efficient, and early results prove that it works for both businesses and customers.

The benefits of proptech for us and you

We’ve heard a lot about the speed at which proptech is making waves in the property industry, but what are the tangible benefits that buyers and sellers should expect?

·         Greater transparency – various tools can help people in the property chain to track their property transaction as it happens at the touch of a button.

·         Maximised reach – tech such as FaceTime enables our teams to conduct viewings and negotiations with prospective buyers anywhere in the world. If you’re looking for a clean, quick sell but the local market isn’t biting, technology provides a gateway to millions of extra buyers looking to invest in the UK.

·         Improved promotion – in the same vein, the expansion of 3D virtual tools enables us to promote an existing property or upcoming development like never before, from floorplans and galleries to online tours.

·         Streamlining property management – if you’re considering becoming either a residential or commercial landlord but the thought of managing a property on top of what you do currently isn’t appealing, platforms like FlixFlo and cloud-based Re-Leased simplify reporting, boost market insights and enable landlords to manage all lease events on the go.

·         Market intelligence – unsure where to spend your savings and in which property sector? Companies like Realyse use collected property investment data to enable buyers to ‘See the market before the market.’ Services like this reduce investment risk and save substantial time and costs.

·         Better communication – companies like Propoly are setting up messaging services to heighten communications between landlords and tenants, and agents and the rest of the property chain much like chatbots on a website.

·         Global bidding – anyone that can’t attend a property auction can proxy bid by either commission or telephone from anywhere in the world. Online auction rooms, however, enable buyers to bid any day of the year with direct interaction between vendors.


Auction House Sussex online only auctions

The Austin Gray is one of the leading auctioneers in the South East, under the business arm Auction House Sussex, and is pioneering the online-only auction platform. The process works much like eBay in the way that the auction can start and end when the seller decides, and a reserve can be set like any traditional ballroom auction. An exchange of contracts takes place at the fall of the virtual gavel, with the usual 10% deposit paid.

The online auction method can also cater to more traditional buyers and sellers, as there is the option to set the bidding process on a conditional basis, meaning the successful buyer wins an exclusivity period with a smaller, non-refundable deposit paid, rather than an immediate exchange of contracts. The buyer, for example, has 28 days to exchange, with a further 28 days to complete meaning both buyer and seller have security in the knowledge knowing a deal is done, whilst allowing the all-important time needed to arrange a move. Contact the auctions team for more details. 

Austin Gray proptech case study

In 2016, Austin Gray put the benefits of proptech tools into action with a seamless Brighton sale to buyers in Hong Kong through the use of FaceTime.

The sale was to cash buyers looking for a Brighton property before winter. The FaceTime session took place inside the property. A sale was quickly secured and contracts were exchanged in less than six weeks for £25,000 over the asking price. The sale was conducted by Residential Partner Graham Farthing who has been enthused by the rise in integrated tools:

“We attribute our success to our innovative and comprehensive residential sales services. After more than 30 years in the industry, I welcome the integration of tools like FaceTime to engage with a global audience.”

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