9 ways digital technology will improve the property sector

Events · OPINION / 12th October 2017

Politics, ego and fear, coupled with siloed data and out-of-date technology are just some of the stumbling blocks that are holding property businesses back from digital transformation, as cited by the attendees of our latest event. Yet, within the industry there is a desire to change. Many of the delegates at our recent proptech event expressed their ambition to adopt digital technology that will not only improve the omnichannel customer experience they offer, but also help to drive cost savings and efficiencies within their company too.

With that in mind, we’ve selected some of the key messages imparted by ORM’s expert Jason Bell and that of our guest speakers Antony Slumbers, a digital transformation specialist,  Julianne Sloane and Saumeel Pachigar from the Proptech start-up acasa, and Daniel Fulbrook from the national property consultancy Carter Jonas, about how digital will help improve the property sector. Here’s what they had to say:

Digital will help to…

Enhance productivity

“What the smarter companies have realised for some time, and many more are suddenly waking up to, is that digital technologies are enabling them to be not 10% more productive than their peers, but 10x as productive. For example, WeWork, which is just seven years old, raised its last round of funding in the summer at a valuation of $20 billion. Compare that to the average performance of UK listed property companies. There is no comparison.” Antony Slumbers, keynote speaker

Improve the way businesses work

“Digital transformation isn’t just about technology and that it’s about people too, improving how and where we work. It’s about changing the way we work, for example, enabling remote and flexible working, and making organisations easier to do business with online.” Jason Bell, ORM

Understand customers on a deeper level

“Digital technology and data enables you to deeply understand the problems your customers face, so you can find ways to solve these problems. You can check in with customers at any time and gain feedback on what is working or not.”  Julianne Sloane and Saumeel Pachigar, acasa

Introduce personalisation

“Personalisation now enables sites to adapt to a user’s behaviour. If a user is searching for a particular topic, the site must show them all the relevant videos, publications and properties under this vertical. In the past, without personalisation, many websites were hit or miss whether they struck a chord or engaged with a specific audience. Now, using personalisation, you can change the messages on your site depending on who is looking at it.” Daniel Fulbrook, Carter Jonas

Remove friction or enable discovery

“Remove friction in the sense of making anything as easy to do as is possible, or desirable; and enable discovery in the sense of providing people with exactly what they need, be it functional, social or emotional, at the exact moment in time that they need it. Property people like to say that “people buy from people” but that is an old world, analogue way of thinking; in a digital world people buy from people that make it easy to buy from them.” Antony Slumbers, keynote speaker

Improve the customer experience

Digital can offer customers more control, by allowing them to self-serve. It can offer them clarity and guidance, by tailoring and personalising content. It can improve the online-offline juxtaposition, by using data to marry up back end systems with front end behaviour. It can remove paper based forms and processes, by enabling customers to carry out key tasks, such as registering for a service online, easily.” Jason Bell, ORM

Anticipate customer problems and solve them quickly 

“We always focus on solving our customer problems, and quickly. We use our data to do this. We continually collect customer feedback and data using Hot Jar, internal testing and customer surveys. We then experiment with ways in which to solve a problem, and if our experiment is successful, we automate.”  Julianne Sloane and Saumeel Pachigar, acasa

Overcome challenges that are often overlooked

“There are two areas in which both property development and LHAs have not addressed in their strategy. The first is that digital technology, using AI can predict when a person will move in the future once someone has moved into their home. Digital can also really drive efficiencies by digitising processes and logistics such as logging, managing and executing repairs.” Jason Bell, ORM

Gather data and use it wisely

““Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion,” said William Edwards Deming. Data does not make you inhuman. It just allows you to be more productive.” Antony Slumbers, keynote speaker

Come and talk to us about how we can help to kick start your business’ digital transformation. Let us know the problems you’re facing and one of our experienced team will be in touch to discuss a possible solution.

Amy Creeden Amy Creeden Senior Marketing Manager Amy Creeden