Over recent years, the property industry has often been accused of being too slow to embrace and adopt new technology. However, there are signs that this is starting to change and a growing number of organisations in the industry are seeing the value in areas like data analysis, virtual reality and digital communication.
In this post, we explore the current and potential role of IT in the property sector in more depth and consider how this role is likely to evolve in the coming years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The property sector is in the middle of a significant period of technological disruption, as a growing number of businesses in the industry come to realise the potential of 'PropTech'. In fact, according to research for the MIPIM PropTech Europe Conference, 85 per cent of respondents believed digital technology was relevant to them and 82 per cent felt this technology could have a moderate to major impact on their business over the next few years.
The potential uses for IT in the sector are numerous, from improving communication with clients to collecting and analysing data, or using virtual reality technology to conduct remote property viewings. Nevertheless, the aforementioned research also revealed that a quarter of businesses in the sector have no clear digital strategy in place.
This presents a real competitive advantage for those organisations that do decide to get strategic with their IT needs, and one of the best ways to do this is to work with a managed service provider, or MSP, like Fifosys.
At present, digital communication ranks as one of the biggest areas of potential growth for IT in the property sector. As was highlighted in an article for Property Investor Today, communication within the real estate industry is lagging behind other major industries and IT can play a key role in facilitating improvements here.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, digital communication has become more important than ever before. Businesses need to know that they can maintain operations to the fullest possible extent, even if they need to work remotely, and this makes having the right IT infrastructure and technology a necessity.
Similarly, more companies in the property industry are recognising the need to collect and analyse data. However, this brings with it some challenges too, as data is potentially at risk from hacking, phishing, social engineering and other malicious threats and needs to be kept secure at all times, with options for recovery in the event of a disaster.
Again, this is an area where working with an MSP can be beneficial. At Fifosys, we can help you to design and implement a security strategy, which will protect your data and allow you to achieve business continuity even if physical storage devices become damaged, malicious attackers break through your defences, or your employees make errors.
Here at Fifosys, we have worked with a large number of businesses in the property sector, assisting them with everything from infrastructure management and security, to assisting with relocation projects.
One example of this saw us collaborate closely with The Santon Group on office relocation. For The Santon Group, swift communication with clients is essential and this means IT availability is a top priority. For this reason, one of the biggest challenges we faced was carrying out the re-location without disrupting their access to IT services.
We also insist on getting to know our clients and we do not believe in offering generic solutions to problems. In working with The Santon Group, we discovered that with their old setup, a single server failure could have left the company without access to email communication for up to three days - a situation that would prove costly.
To rectify this, we assisted the business with their re-location, while also bringing their IT infrastructure up-to-date. Their servers are now maintained in a secure environment, the company has scope to expand requirements without needing a complete re-design, and the transition itself was completed in one weekend, avoiding lengthy downtime.
While some have criticised the property sector for being slow on the uptake of modern technology, the signs suggest this is now changing fairly rapidly. Over the coming years, many businesses in the industry are likely to re-think their IT strategies and working with an experienced MSP like Fifosys is the best way to do this. Get in touch today and see how we can help you.
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