2020 was an eventful year, there is no doubt about it. The property industry saw huge growth in terms of the technological advances that came off the back of Covid-19 which in turn made 2020 a real game changer in the property industry.
Think about how your office operated this time last year. I am sure you can think of at least one piece of technology or property software you have either implemented or are now using more often.
New working models drive demand for proptech
Here we are in January 2021 and the demand for fast, streamlined tech solutions for property agents has never been higher. We have seen innovation in the prop-tech industry fast tracked. Increasing restrictions have resulted in an increased demand for solutions to problems we as an industry never had before. For example, I would hazard a guess that at least 90% of agents worked out of an office and not from home before the pandemic. It would be fair to say that some agents now may never revert to their office environment choosing their new remote working model over the traditional office front. Demonstrating how a lot of these new innovations will be here to stay.
When things changed in March 2020 there was a huge upheaval, not only with our routines but also with our processes. If you were using a server based system this would not serve you very well while working from home therefore cloud based solutions became an essential item for your day-to-day running. You may have considered yourself a “paperless office” before the pandemic but 2020 may have forced you to move from 50% paper to no paper at all and completely to being completely digital, a move that would have been difficult pre-Covid but has now become essential.
We have all seen those memes bouncing around with the “You’re still on mute” quote being the most widely used phrase of the year. It’s funny how quickly things can change in a matter of months.
Software for in-office and home-working
Despite experts forecasting a downturn in the market as a result of Covid-19 it actually held strong during 2020, propped up by government incentives and grants and of course the stamp duty holiday. However, these will only last for so long and it begs the question, what is on the horizon when these schemes come to an end? The simple answer is, we don’t know. Experts predicted it wrong last time and in these unprecedented times it is hardly surprising. They have no historic data to work from and could easily predict it wrong again.
What we can be sure of, is more tech solutions coming your way and perhaps a more streamlined approach to property transactions in the future that are here to stay. Some agents may have worked with a front office for over 20 years and may now be considering the work from home model for their business as a permanent feature post Covid-19. Others may have implemented software and technology into their business that have led to new processes and procedures and a more efficient approach that they weren’t aware of before.
While the skills an agent develops will always be at the forefront and key to their success there are certainly some changes that have occurred in 2020 that will impact how we approach property transactions in 2021 and beyond. Time will tell, but one thing’s certain, we are looking forward to some even more exciting developments within the industry yet to come and can’t wait to see where this year brings us!