3 ways proptech companies are improving the property industry
Last month at RE: Connect, we hosted a panel discussion on proptech in property images with Autoenhance.ai founder and CEO, Jamie McInally, Autoenhance.ai Chairman and non-executive director at Reapit, Adrian Gill, and Partnerships Director at Reapit, Matt Goddard. The panel shared their thoughts on how proptech is disrupting the property industry. This blog post discusses 3 ways proptech companies are improving the property industry.
When Adrian worked with agents at LSL, Connells and Leaders Roman, one of his frustrations was the lack of integration between the CRM and other proptech tools. A solution to this is Reapit — a customer relationship management software (CRM) for estate agents that removes the dual keying of data and provides a central database for property information and workflow tools using cloud software. Benefitting the agents’ time management and organisation, Reapit CRM automatically updates property information, whether this concerns a listed property, communication with tenants, sellers or buyers, or property maintenance. According to Matt, a successful Reapit feature is the geolocation diary, which informs the vendor or landlord of an agents’ estimated time of arrival on site.
Matt spoke about Reapit partner proptech companies, including Goodlord — the tenants progression app that removes data entry and feeds documents into the Reapit CRM — and Inventory Base — an app for check ins to improve property management. Drone technology is now used to check gutters, and smart locks provide a unique code for agents or contractors visiting the property. Both of which, Matt says, improves property maintenance and feeds back into a CRM system.
Autoenhance.ai is a photo editing software. We’re currently focussed on building an application programme interface (API) that can be integrated into an existing workflow, either cloud based storage or CRM. An agent can upload a property photo that goes through our artificial intelligence (AI) and in seconds, the agent receives an enhanced image ready to list on the property market.
Enhance a property photo in seconds using Autoenhance.ai.
In addition to improving agents’ workflows, Autoenhance.ai improves the workflows for property photographers, who often have a dual role as a photo editor. Our software cuts out the long photo editing process. We’ve recently integrated our API into a property marketing company so their customers can upload images into the user dashboard and receive instant enhancements. If they have additional requirements, such as object removal, the image can then be sent to a team of human photo editors.
Autoenhance.ai not only improves workflows, our software also improves the quality of property images. This has been achieved through the development of the AI that manipulates image data, such as turning up saturation and adding a sky replacement. These are necessary features for the UK property market due to our frequent grey skies and dark days. Autoenhance.ai “makes [a property image] look like it was shot on the best day of summer”. **There are different photo editing styles across the world; for example, in Australia, the saturation of an image needs to be turned down due to the bright blue skies and vibrant green grass, and there isn’t a need for a sky replacement feature for property images. Meanwhile, countries like Canada have similar requirements for editing property images as the UK. Jamie says “it’s interesting to learn this and it won’t be long before the AI is customised for the global market”.**
And who else uses proptech for photo editing? Remove.bg has a background replacement feature that improves the photo editing workflow. Jamie also spoke about the Let’s Enhance and Restb features that improve image resolution. Although these companies aren’t focussed on enhancing property images, Jamie believes that “there will be a new wave of productising AI… as AI is becoming more capable of higher resolution images”.
3.** Proptech makes virtual viewings possible.**
Virtual tours are becoming more popular. Photo source: Photo Plan
Virtual viewings enable a buyer or renter to experience what their property is going to be like without actually stepping foot in the property. Matt says that Reapit partner Nichecom are at the fore of offering virtual viewings, with their recently launched GotoView app. In the last year, Matt’s experienced an increase in consumer demand for virtual viewings over physical viewings where this wasn’t the case previously. As Matt says, “they always say that innovation comes forward during a state of emergency, and in the last year we’ve very much been around that”.
Additionally, Matt suggests that the pandemic has led to concerns around safety in the home. Jamie agrees that “**potential customers are looking for solutions that reduce the human risk”. **The need to utilise artificial intelligence to edit photos over a team of human editors has not been considered before.
And can virtual viewings appear more appealing to the seller or rental market? Absolutely, in Jamie’s opinion, we’ll soon start to see the emergence of virtual tours edited by artificial intelligence. Yet, it needs to be economically viable.
Watch the full video: Proptech in property images from RE: Connect.