The benefits of automation for Estate Agents

The benefits of automation for Estate Agents

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In the fast-paced and highly competitive property market of today, estate agents must be more tech-enabled than ever. Managing client and vendor expectations and facilitating property transactions requires agents to be up to speed with modern technology and, more specifically, automation to stay one step ahead of the curve.

This article explores how estate agents can benefit tremendously by carefully adopting solutions that automate their workflows and make their jobs easier.

Automation is key to estate agent success 

Scaling businesses can benefit significantly by embracing technology that can be entrusted to complete tasks instead of humans, and those in the property space are no different. Estate agents who fail to embrace automation risk falling behind in the increasingly cutthroat and volatile property sector. The drive towards business automation and digitisation is stronger than ever. By 2027, investments in digital transformation are estimated to reach $3.9 trillion (£3 trillion) worldwide, with the EMEA region expected to deliver 26.8% of global digital transformation spending in 2024 alone. 

We live in an era where automation is, however, more than just about preserving money and time; it also allows estate agents to enhance their service quality and empower their teams. Proptech, specifically, is growing rapidly year on year, with a 2023 report indicating over half of UK estate agents are already using market-leading solutions, citing the market itself as in need of innovation and efficiency. 

In this context, equipping estate agents with the right automation tools and assets allows them to facilitate property sales and transactions more easily and efficiently. For all the fears that many working professionals have about widespread business automation, learning about the specific applications and benefits it can offer is crucial to overcoming any barriers towards successful digitisation. 

How estate agents can benefit by leveraging proptech and automation

1) Increased productivity and time savings

Automation is widely lauded for its ability to increase productivity and save time in business applications. Manual and time-consuming processes prone to human error and delay can instead be delegated to software and tools that offer more convenience and reduce time spent on arduous and repetitive tasks. 

With the help of automated document management systems and instant document delivery solutions aided by eSignature functionality, estate agents’ workflows can become more streamlined and time-efficient. Agents can store and organise all paperwork and important documents digitally, making them easier to retrieve and track when needed, reducing the need for physical storage space and the risk of misplacement. Agents can send documents electronically using enterprise-leading software that prompts vendors or clients to sign or follow up, ensuring that deadlines are met and missed opportunities are reduced. 

eSignatures are deemed to be legally binding in any property transaction, meaning that physical or in-person meetings during contract exchange and completion aren’t mandatory. As such, all parties benefit greatly from reduced travel time and lengthy postage delays. 

2) Enhanced client experience 

Most service-based markets are primarily driven by providing an exceptional customer or client experience. Ambitious and competitive estate agents stand a greater chance of attracting and retaining more loyal clients if they can demonstrate tangible, positive results, and their reputation often suffers if they fail to. 

Automation can prove instrumental in helping agents deliver an efficient service and satisfy their clients’ changing needs. Leveraging automation through tech-led property listings, digitised document signing processes, and personalised communication through various online channels are just some of the ways that a client experience can be enhanced from satisfactory to exceptional.

Estate agents can reduce the burden on their clients by making in-person meetings few and far between and instead offering mobile-enabled electronic document storage and management. Property listings and advertisements can be accessible from any device, with agents instantly reachable through channels like instant messaging or email. Agents can also turn to innovative AI-powered tools like chatbots to handle basic queries and intervene in more complex situations, maximising their time on higher-value work. 

3) Improved compliance and security

It’s no secret that property transactions can be quite invasive given the amount of sensitive information divulged from vendors and sellers, not to mention the legal hoops that all parties have to jump through to ensure a sale is valid and compliant. Estate agents – often the facilitators between all parties – can leverage automation to ensure all sources of funds are valid and that all documentation is compliant.

Digital documents and property information can be stored in secure, cloud-based systems, and patched with enterprise-grade authentication and encryption to prevent loss, theft, or breaches. Online estate agencies have safeguards in place against scams, and offer trusted platforms with stringent verification processes that can help to protect landlords and listings. Securing them in cloud repositories means that they are safer than a plethora of printed and posted communications which can often get lost or misplaced in transit. 

Automation tools often provide secure audit trails and timestamped logs as evidence in case of legal queries or disputes. Many leading proptech tools often have built-in compliance and validation checks to ensure that all necessary steps are followed. Any required documentation during conveyancing or surveying, for example, can be alerted to users before a transaction proceeds.

4) Cost savings 

Automation can also lead to long-term cost savings for estate agents and property professionals. From operational expenses to legal fees, the upfront costs of upgrading to comprehensive automation will often pale in comparison to the money an estate agency can save in the long run.

For example, transitioning to digital document storage and management systems allows agents to drastically reduce their paper and printing expenses. This may be considered a ‘like-for-like’ replacement on the surface, but the long-term sustainability and eco-friendliness factor and cost savings are also worth bearing in mind. 

Automation can also minimise the need for as much physical office space; with digital documents accessed and managed remotely, overhead expenses associated with utilities, rent, and maintenance are exponentially lowered. Built-in compliance checks with automation tools also reduce human error or oversight during a property transaction, ensuring that legal risks and fines for non-compliance are eliminated entirely. 

5) Scalability and future-proofing 

As the property market continues to evolve like many others, technology will continue to proliferate and become more accessible to users. Estate agents who capitalise on automation now will be best placed to succeed in the long run as the industry continues to reap the benefits of an evolving and unpredictable proptech market. 

Many automation solutions can now seamlessly integrate with existing systems and infrastructure, making implementing new technologies easier than ever. Automated workflows can be easily tweaked and adjusted to accommodate changing industry regulations and compliance – such as the soon-to-be-replaced Renters (Reform) Bill that did not pass before the dissolution of Parliament, for example – meaning that estate agents will be inherently more flexible for their clients in the long term.

Additionally, by streamlining processes and increasing productivity, automation empowers estate agents to scale upwards with confidence. From stepping up and optimising their marketing activities and workloads, they can begin to take advantage of in-house automation to handle higher volumes without sacrificing quality or risking burnout.

Let Signable transform your document processes

Take that first step towards estate agency automation with the help of legally binding electronic signatures and real-time document delivery processes. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today and see firsthand how your legal requirements can be transformed.

Author Bio

Dakota Murphey is a Brighton-based, established freelance writer with experience in business growth and a strong interest in all things digital. Aside from her love of writing, she loves good times with family and friends and admits to being a bit of a film buff.