Estate Apps Digital Predictions for 2018 (Adam)

Adam James Evans By Adam James Evans

Rise of live chat that can actually help people

Last year, I struggled to hit an Estate Agent site which didn’t have some form of chat, be it bot or outsourced live chat. Facebook announced at their last f8 conference early last year upgrades to their messaging platform allowing for integrated bot and live chat into the site.

Now not everyone will be rushing towards this in 2018 as PropTech develops at the rate of a 1960’s postal service but it certainly shines through the others and will make its mark. The added benefit is the lack of contact information needed to enter in.

Bots don’t have a place for replacing live chat but I really hope to see instant valuations turn over to this side and utilise that shared user data to provide a better experience. Less forms, more results.

Stock imagery that isn’t the same as your neighbour

This one has a tiny place in my heart. Stock imagery went through a great phase last year of killing off terrible old cliche photos with a whole new brilliant range from talented worldwide photographers and I loved it. I had access to good photographic content and saw quite a few sites that didn’t have the same quality of photos produce fantastic looking marketing and websites.

A year on though and already I’ve started to see the same photos being used over and over again as if people got lazy and instead of working towards producing their own unique content, just left it with the stock ones.

So great, we’re back here again. Everything looks the same.

As the cycle goes, the breaking point will again be this year where I start seeing agents care that little bit more about the photography and sites pop out with beautiful looking content that is unique to them.

I already starting to see more video content being produced on the latter end so that will definitely keep pushing forward as well.

Software that removes the admin

Last year was another step in growth from 2016 on new start up softwares and we saw more integration problems being thought about and solved.

I fully expect to see some of the bigger players in property software reevaluate their own software and offer more integration after two years of solid software growth. Actually solving admin task and letting their clients get on with the job in-hand.

No longer do we have to export that list and copy it to a different format and import it over there. Stuff just works and when it does, it’s simply magical.

Sites with Character

Template sites have seen quite the growth last year but they get stale very quickly.

With browser support keeping up, and yes even Microsoft's Edge, with frontend code, designers can play so much more. Not even just responsive sites but ones that give you that unique branded experience with colour and imagery and movement like no other.

Template sites will be freshened up and custom ones will be even better than last year.

Rightmove announces their own branded phone

Rightmove’s dominance last year hasn’t surprised me at all, I’ve got my fingers crossed on this one that they’ll go full Microsoft / Apple / Samsung / Google and just launch a property phone because we don’t have enough new phones coming out to deal with the demand for housing. Bring it Rightmove, lets see what you do in 2018!

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