What to Expect from Property Management Software in 2019
Technology advances greatly affect every single industry and how they operate. The software we have access to in 2018 is incomparable to what we would have had 5 years ago, never mind a decade ago. However, it’s not just industry that’s affected, we see these vast technology changes in a range of everyday activities, such as food shopping and watching tv.
The big difference between the media industry and the property industry is the reluctance to change; it has taken some time, but it looks like the property industry is finally ready to accept that technology can improve the service, growth and business efficiently.
The introduction of new legislation can be disruptive and with 2019 right approaching quickly, drastic changes to legislation are coming right along with it. The new year is scoped to bring a large step forward in terms of the adoption of technology in business; Making Tax Digital.
As of April 1st 2019 VAT registered businesses, with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold, are required to comply with Making Tax Digital standards, by keeping records digitally and using software to submit VAT returns. This is not something that can be ignored and software packages will have to adapt to stay relevant. Early adopters of MTD ready software, such as Sage 50c, will find themselves in a comfortable position once the legislation is put in place.
Over the past 2 years landlords have been hit with new legislations and financial restrictions that no longer make it as profitable as it once was, leading to many selling up.
Death of the High Street?
High street letting agents will continue to struggle not only because of the increase in online letting agents, but also because of the demise in the high street. Retail giants such as Debenhams and M&S are struggling to compete with the likes of ASOS and Amazon who can undercut any physical store due to minimal overheads.
Over the last 5 years 2,500 letting agents have closed down and this figure is set to rise, making the adoption level of online technology vital; however this gives a unique opportunity to offer more bespoke services. There’s still a lot of scepticism around online letting agents from both the industry and consumers. There’s always fear when considering change. Like Amazon, online agents can undercut the high-street branches as they have minimal overheads. It’s only a matter of time before they can offer a service comparable to the familiar brands that we are used to, at a fraction of the price.
The Bubble is Bursting
It’s been 10 years since the last property market crash in which we saw house prices plummet to an all-time low. The length in which the market took to recover has been extremely disruptive. There are still some areas in the UK yet to be back to where it was pre-2008. London, on the other hand boomed, a little too fast and the decline has already started, which could affect the rest of the country.
The fragile market and an unpredictable political landscape could be the catalyst for another crash in the coming year.
A new generation is now in the property market that would rather buy luxury items such as smart phones or holidays than save for a deposit for a mortgage and get one foot on the property ladder, making the rental market much more attractive.
The demand for homes still outweighs the number of houses being built whilst there has been a shift towards eco-friendly homes; both trends will see rent prices increase. However, the ‘on-demand’ generation expect a service that warrants the fee otherwise they’ll be on influential review websites which can easily destroy a reputation.
Growth of PropTech
The growth of technology for the property industry has become so prevalent that the term ‘proptech’ gets thrown around regularly. From CRMs to floor planning, technology has been created across the board, saving both time & money. Results in any new processes take time to come through & people don’t like change, especially those who haven’t grown up with technology, but there has been enough time to prove that these systems are beneficial.
According to Property Week, 88% of property managers in the residential sector in the UK felt unprepared to meet the requirements of their tech-savvy renters in 2016. Over the last two years technology has moved on to benefit both the user and the tenants, making it easier for the whole move-in process whilst cutting out the broker with automated processes, saving on fees.
It’s rare for one solution to tick all the boxes; collaborations between other packages is likely to rise as technology allows it.
Decorus for Sage remains a sure option for 2019 and beyond, continued development and a focus on merging key technologies such as e-sign, online advertising, tenant portals and cloud hosting make it an ideal choice for any property lettings business looking to stay ahead in an ever-changing industry. The unique integration with Sage 50c included in Decorus also means that you won’t miss out on any advances in accounting software either, from new features to legislation compliance.