Renting will never be the same again

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The future of Proptech has come sooner than we imagined

Leasing Post Lockdown

Many people are asking what’s going to happen to property viewings post lockdown as we all expect there to be a substantial amount of social distancing for the near future. Even if we are to “flatten the curve”, we project that tenants and agents will continue to try and avoid close contact with each other for at least the next 3 months and it’s anyone’s guess but this could go on for much longer.

How will leasing evolve?

At Flow, we believe that these unexpected circumstances will likely result in what is known as a leapfrog event in the property industry.

“Leapfrogging is the notion that areas which have poorly-developed technology or economic bases can move themselves forward rapidly through the adoption of modern systems without going through intermediary steps.”

The property industry is ripe for change, it hasn’t seen major technological advancement since the emergence of the portals in the 90’s over 2 decades ago. Ordinarily we would have only seen the first adopters embrace new tech like Flow to conclude leasing deals but with the emergence of covid-19 we are seeing an acceleration of adoption as a wider base of the population is forced to use technology as their only way to safely engage with each other.

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The standard adoption curve for proptech will accelerate as people will demand a digital way of renting

How does Proptech help solve this problem?

An example of an emerging innovation is the way that Flow has introduced a unique tenant journey which allows landlords to pre-qualify tenants for an apartment before they setup a viewing.

Getting tenants in the door is not the same anymore. So Flow has developed a messaging function that gives tenants an easy ability to ask questions and get to know more about the apartment without having to take the risk of going on a physical viewing.

Tenants register on Flow and provide key information like their ID which allows landlords to do credit checks before potentially wasting time on a viewing so that you know whether you are dealing with the kind of tenant you want.

Globally, we’re seeing that agents are starting to increasingly introduce virtual tours that make the storytelling and visualisation the center-stage of the viewing. Leasing is now far easier than before by using the latest video technology, that’s all about communicating the story of the space to show how it meets the lifestyle needs of the tenant.

Virtual tours have the ability to transform the meaning of physical and digital spaces and give tenants a whole new way of making informed rental decisions. Agents and tenants have no choice but to create a new way of engaging with each other. Apartment rentals rely on human interaction in a built space, but thanks to technological advancements in virtual tours, it no longer only needs to be in-person.

What happens post the viewing?

Once a tenant submits a signed lease on a property, you can also reduce the number of times they’re required to come into the letting office, by implementing technology that lets you progress a tenancy application remotely, online. Flow is developing it’s platform to allow for online contracts, payments, and contract signing, which will significantly reduce the amount of in-person contact you’ll need to have with new tenants.

Tenants build a profile throughout their leasing journey which becomes the foundation for their application so that when it comes time to apply they simply press a button compared with the old way of having to fill out a long manual application form every time they apply for a rental.

Get tenants to know more about your rental before viewing

Now more then ever, landlords will be needing to give tenants more of a feel for what they are signing up for without them having to visit the property. Flow has developed building ratings which makes that possible with our unique facility rating score which tells you a lot about the building without having to go and see it for yourself. It’s no different to a hotel where people have become comfortable relying on ratings to know that they booking accommodation that meets their requirements.

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Building ratings are just the beginning of what is known as a self regulating ecosystem. As we have seen with ride hailing and with the likes of Airbnb, we expect all participants in the marketplace to rate each other over time so that tenants and landlords are rated regularly with an end result where buildings become managed more efficiently and lived in more responsibly and everyone shares in a better more reliable tenant/landlord relationship.

The vision continues

Our vision for flow is to create a full stack journey for renting which allows for easier and cheaper renting for tenants and a more rewarding investment for our landlords. Above, we have highlighted some of our most recent development achievements and how that relates to Covid-19 but it’s important to note that we are not changing our platform to react to this virus, rather we believe that some of our development will now be fast tracked as we expect for the faster adoption of technology in the property space which to date has lagged other industries in terms of transformation.

As we continue with the execution of our vision, we look forward to hearing feedback from our users and appreciate any ideas you have — add your comment below or email to us info@flow.rent.