Automated processes could be the best solution to meeting increased demand in the housing industry, according to property software company Openview – Powered by VTUK.
The Covid-19 pandemic, the stamp duty holiday, and the 95 per cent mortgage scheme have contributed to the increased housing demand across the UK. The surge in activity continues to put pressure on those working within the property industry.
Working quickly to meet deadlines and avoid delays with larger volumes of clients, paperwork to complete, and transactions to process has made the landscape more challenging. On June 30 2021, the first term of the stamp duty holiday will end at a £500,000 house value threshold. After June 30 2021, the threshold will be reduced to £250,000 until September 30 2021.
Automating transactions, sales progression and tenant maintenance reporting could allow more time to speak to prospects, network with landlords or carry out viewings, Openview says. By automating these processes in a way that tailors directly to the agency, automation could act as an assistant which supports everyone in the property industry.
Automated processes increase speed and accuracy
“In house sales, quick speed and accuracy are fundamental, and if these are not achieved, they can cause backlogs,” Peter Grant, chairman and chief executive at Openview, says. “Transactions fall through if deadlines are not met and when errors are made. The current housing market continues to demonstrate that automated processes must be invested in to ensure efficiency all the time.”
According to This is Money, “four in ten sales agreed before April 1 are not expected to complete by June 30”. A reason for this could be some agents perhaps have not implemented effective enough CRM systems, that automate tasks, into their business yet.
“Automation has the potential to make these processes simpler, reduce paperwork, decrease the chances of error and avoid potential delays,” Grant adds.
“Making the process quicker can help agents manage industry demands better on a single online platform. Coadejute, a blockchain network for the UK property industry, partnered with us last year. A fundamental goal of the network is to decrease delays in the house moving process.”
A recent survey from Legal & General Mortgage Club concluded that four months is required, for people selling their home to find a new property, to complete their housing transaction. This time can be decreased with the use of automated processes, Openview claims.
Automation tailored to meet an agency’s needs
According to Grant, the estate agent market could be changed for the better with the use of the appropriate automated processes which help relationships internally and externally.
He says automation helps effectiveness across four key areas: business continuity, retaining clients, winning clients, and increasing profit with each transaction.
“By analysing the areas where speed and accuracy need improvement, you can streamline these tasks using a customisable automation system,” Grant explains. “Knowing the areas of improvement in your organisation will help select the right features that will benefit your agency and clients.”
He says there is peace of mind in knowing that the documentation and data that has been inputted is on one single, secure system.
“Also, there is an opportunity to focus on other important areas of the business that require attention,” he continues. “Time can be maximised when automation is at the forefront of the company’s structure. Maximising time means enabling growth, reliability, and stability at any chosen hour of the day.”
Recently, Deloitte conducted a survey that gave insight into the work practices of real estate companies. The 2021 Commercial Real Estate CRE outlook found 82 per cent of CRE companies agreed Covid-19 uncovered areas of improvement in digital capabilities.
With the necessary processes in place to handle enquiries at any time, demands and needs in the property industry can be fulfilled, Grant insists.
“For example, faster property transactions for estate agents can be facilitated with e-signatures and automated communication, as opposed to being completed manually.”
He concludes: “As a result of the 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme and the stamp duty holiday at a lower house value threshold, the high demand will continue. However, time-consuming processes and services can be simplified if they are automated.”