The Property Industry has taken its time in its ability to work with Data. Whilst this may have initially been viewed as a negative, the Property industry now has the potential to study and act on becoming data led and most importantly customer and consumer led.
Think about Amazon, or Netflix, or Deliveroo, think about how anytime you click, anything you buy, anything you review, is stored and used to help them as a company, to get a better understanding of their consumers, creating a detailed algorithm or their target audience. They are experts in using data to their advantage. Even the largest financial institutions have a strong understanding of their customer journey. It is only in the last few years that traditional Property agencies and funds have noticed the advantages of this.
With regards to making the most of what you have, the first question you need to ask is “Do you use data in your business?” We’ll help you out here; the answer is almost certainly “Yes.”
So, you then need to ask yourself if you understand what data you have, and what data do you need?
The best PropTech companies understand the data that they have, where it is and where it came from. This could be internal data on employee satisfaction, your most successful investments for a REIT or fund or consumer feedback on your product. I’d have to say the Build to Rent and Private Rented sectors are leading the way in monitoring consumer satisfaction. The question has changed from ‘How do we make the most from this asset?’ to ‘How do we deliver the best product for our customer?’.
A company like Amazon has a competitive advantage because no one else has access to that data. If a consumer buys a book, they understand which genre, which author, which series that customer enjoys, and they use this data to recommend products that they are likely to buy, thus ensuring the customer returns. The information that they collect is available only to them.
It’s incredibly interesting to see the tech giants such as Google and Amazon looking to move in to both PropTech and CreTech sectors. This isn’t necessarily as far fetched as it seems but more of a natural progression in their business. As the Internet of Things (IoT), data and our online footprint grows, these companies work at such a gigantic and vast scale their automation allows them to improve the product for their consumer.
Perhaps your data could be collected from or created by a different source? Then it’s time to think about your business and proposition and the role data should play in it. Residential giants such as Zoopla and Rightmove have been working on online valuation tools for years and they are becoming more and more refined and becoming more accurate in their output. Your V1 of data modelling, whether that be in CreTech or other verticals within PropTech, doesn’t have to be perfect, but you can bet your customers are not going to be put off by your willingness to adapt and prepare for the future. With any luck, your future-proof product will be more suitable for their needs and customers understand that.
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