Proptech for landlords: what is it, and why do I need to know?

5 min read
Jan 17, 2021
Updated: May 9, 2024

How does the idea of fewer spreadsheets sound?

The rise of Proptech is to make any property professional take notes – and it’s easy to see why.

Early adopters have found its benefits include: easier task management, improved communication, and a more insightful view of their property portfolios.

What’s more, as the technology becomes more mainstream, any property business – large, small, self-run, or conglomerate – can reap the rewards.

So why is everyone talking about proptech?

Here’s an overview of how these new solutions could help you.

What is Proptech?

Proptech is the new buzzword in real estate. Short for ‘property technology,’ it’s used to define the startups set on developing innovative products and business models for real estate products.

It’s designed for stakeholders in the real estate space, and ranges from software to sensors, smart materials (like bricks that house solar powered batteries) to manufacturing.

Why is Proptech such a hot topic?

Five years ago, no one was talking about it. Yet in 2019, property’s digital landscape is changing by the day.

With proprietors potentially winning on top and bottom line gains, it’s a major opportunity for landlords and agents alike – so it’s no wonder investors and entrepreneurs are watching this trend with interest.

That said, it’s important to distinguish between developments to look forward to in the near future and technologies that will make a difference to you – as a property professional – right now.

KPMG’s recent Global PropTech Survey gives an overview of where the industry is headed. Among the trends to watch, the Internet of Things (IoT) is an especially hot topic.

Devices that optimise interconnectivity, like Nest can collect and use useful data like footfall, energy usage – even the presence of damp. A greater prevalence of IoT promises property owners efficiency savings (e.g. virtual security and the ability to identify maintenance issues earlier).

Meanwhile, prospective tenants will find these benefits to efficiency and security enticing, so ‘smart’ properties will increase your property’s value, too.

For most landlords, the IoT trend may not be a reality for a while. By contrast, technology focused on property management can lighten the legwork of your day-to-day admin tasks right now.

Reducing the volume of property management’s administrative tasks, these software platforms are designed to automate key obligations, from references for new tenants to reminder-setting for obligatory safety inspections.

Communication between landlord and tenant is also a key focus - by providing tools so tenants can report issues.

By bringing all of the moving elements of a property into one place, Proptech also gives landlords complete control over their portfolios, giving them a clearer view of their investments and allowing them to make better decisions.   

Is it time to switch to Proptech?

The right tech can make a career-changing difference to your business: something that growing numbers of landlords and agencies are quickly realising.

In Property Week’s latest Power of Proptech survey in 2018, 61% of respondents say they believe tech investment will have a positive impact on revenue. In the previous year, that figure was less than 50%.

We’ve answered some key questions on whether it’s worth making the switch:

Does Proptech improve marketability?

Rents are currently rising at the fastest rate in two years.

At least to some extent, this increase is driven by landlords needing to compensate for recent tax changes, along with the upcoming ban on tenancy onboarding fees.

But how far can you increase your asking price before it’s too high?

If you were able to show tenants a hassle-free onboarding process, or a platform for reporting problems, you may be able to justify the price increase by showcasing your professionalism.

This innovative approach improves your customer service too, increasing your value as a landlord - and may even be the deal clincher that sets you apart from other landlords.

Does Proptech help with organisation and productivity?

With the end of Section 21 evictions on the horizon, vigilance with lease formalities is even more important.

Forget to send a notice, or lose track of a tenancy term – and you may sleepwalk into a much longer arrangement with your tenant than you intended.

Insurance, inventories, local authority licences, safety and identification checks: general admin along with specific compliance obligations can all spiral into a stressful burden to manage.

With a single view of your portfolio, automated reminders of important obligations and automated responses for lease formalities, these management tools are helping to make a landlord’s life a lot easier.

Will Proptech add value to my property business?

When weighing up whether to introduce any new technology into your business, this is the key question to ask.

The right Proptech solution can help streamline tenant onboarding, boost retention rates, and reduce staff and resources.

What’s more, with access to your portfolio, communications, and reports on a single, cloud-based platform, it’s now easier than ever to collect data that informs your portfolio’s future performance.

This helps you make clearer investment decisions; so proptech actually enhances your profitability.

Interested in becoming a first-mover in Proptech?

Konnexsion is a cloud-based property management solution interconnecting organisation, productivity, and communication through a single, easy-to-use dashboard.

See how much easier your life can be by contacting us with your questions – or register for your one-month free trial today.