Joe Pepper, CEO of tmgroup recently took part in a roundtable hosted by iamproperty.
You can see an extract below or click here to read the full article:
Despite the challenges for the sector, incredible progress was made over the past year, with the rise in adoption of new technologies propelled by new necessity and a shift to a digital approach. 2021 saw a £1.6 billion of investment into the sector – up by 360% in 2020. But, if technology is the solution, what’s stopping a quicker adoption rate?
As a leading voice for Estate Agents in this discussion, Gareth Samples explains, “There are so many options out there for PropTech solutions, with most trying to solve different parts of the transaction. It’s less about Estate Agents not wanting to adopt technology, but more often them not knowing which problem to solve first or being presented with something compelling enough to solve all of their problems at once. If agents had to go out there and review every solution to pick the right one for them, they wouldn’t be able to sell any houses!”
He continued, “Most PropTech businesses get to about 2,000 branches – 10-12% of the industry – so it’s difficult to see that mass scale solution in play. For change to really happen industry-wide, there needs to be more collaboration to join the dots and all parts of the transaction, in order to present something back to agents that’s simple, impactful for their business and which solves as many parts of the problem as possible. The answers aren’t easy, but we have to believe it’s achievable.”
Echoing this industry-wide disparity is Joe; “There are so many different competing factions within the market, that actually making change happen is really difficult.”
For Joe, the dissatisfaction felt by the consumer is “symptomatic of the fact that we’ve got different processes that are all siloed, rather than proactively sharing information and data.”
“What consumers want is something that’s simple where they can see what’s going on and be kept informed throughout the process. What I don’t think the consumer wants is 12 different apps on their phone telling them all sorts of information.”
There is also the issue with technology not being adopted by reluctant industry professionals. David explains: “I don’t see agents being keen to change. I’ve been trying to get agents to migrate to online training since 2007 and I still meet resistance to this day.”
For Gareth though, the issue lies with a lack of compelling solutions, not a lack of willingness to embrace new technology; “We look at the agent and blame them for not embracing technology, but I’d throw it back to everybody else in the industry and say that the technology available has not been good enough up until now. Over the last 2 years I think we’re starting to see better solutions entering the market that join more of the pieces together than ever before, like the iamproperty movebutler platform.”