The future of property technology will see a move away from single integrated software systems, according to Matthew Dreyer, head of innovation at Eurolink.
As part of his keynote presentation at the Association of Residential Letting Agents’ (ARLA) 2016 conference and exhibition in London, Dreyer explained why he believes that the future lies in software ‘hubs’ into which pluggable services, such as online document signing and credit referencing, can be connected to provide tenants and landlords with the seamless property transaction that they are demanding.
He said: “We’re anticipating that we’ll see software companies moving away from a single integrated monolithic system to offer a multitude of periphery micro services. This has many benefits, not least the fact that you would no longer be beholden to just one periphery service provider for, for example, address validation or document signing.”
Dreyer went on to urge the packed audience of lettings agents at ExCel London to question the efficiency of their software.
“We all need technology to work as efficiently as possible for us and to make our lives easier, not more complicated,” he said. “I can’t stress this enough, particularly when it comes to lettings.
“So, I guess you have to assess where you are right now with your technology, and be honest with yourself about how complicated it is. Is your technology actually benefitting you and your clients, or is it just making your lives more difficult?”
As part of this assessment, Dreyer called on agents to consider if and how they could work more collaboratively with their peers and software providers to help drive industry innovation. This, he said, required agents’ willingness to share data.
“The exchanging of data is now just so commonplace, but it comes from a landscape where nobody wanted to share anything, which I think is a mentality still dominating many areas of the property industry,” he said.
“Agents simply don’t like to share information, but for the sake of technological progress, this has to change.”
He added: “Things can only change if agents start to really consider the opportunities that data sharing could create for their business, rather than the competitive advantages that they believe they may miss out on by being so ‘open’, which simply isn’t true.
“Do you think that the likes of Google and Yahoo would be so open with one another about data usage if that were really the case? These technology giants recognise that only through collaboration can they innovate and develop their respective businesses.”
Eurolink, which is at the forefront of property software development, was a Platinum sponsor at ARLA’s prestigious annual event, which also welcomed keynote speeches from the Rt Hon Michael Portillo, ARLA managing director, David Cox, and housing minister Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, who talked about the government’s plans to tackle rogue landlords and improve the private rental sector.
Contact Eurolink’s Matthew Dreyer to join the property technology debate and help drive industry innovation.