A seismic shift in the way homes are bought and sold has placed technology at the core of the property industry. And that’s where it is set to stay, according to a tech entrepreneur who is celebrating the first anniversary of his software launch.
Yourkeys launched its sales progression platform for new homes in January 2020 and soon added a feature to facilitate remote sales.
CEO Riccardo Iannucci-Dawson believes remote viewings, reservations and sales progression, born of necessity, will remain a vital part of the sales process.
He said: “Yourkeys came about in a bid to fix slow and broken processes in the property market. As we sought to automate transactions, we identified a need to process remote reservations from overseas buyers. Then lockdown hit and the whole industry was working remotely.
“We launched our online reservation feature and immediately saw 60 to 70 per cent of transactions becoming fully remote.
“Since then, while face-to-face viewings have resumed, more than 60 per cent of reservations are still taken remotely.
“Buyers’ expectations have changed. They want to complete the administrative tasks associated with buying a home at a time that suits them. They don’t see the need to travel to the development to reserve once they have seen the home they want to buy.”
Yourkeys connects mortgage providers, conveyancers, search providers and even CRM systems. The company’s technology will be available to estate agents by the middle of 2021 and there is scope for further diversification.
Riccardo said: “The past year has demonstrated that a whole host of tasks associated with residential property sales can be digitised. While some advances were necessitated by the health crisis, the industry has discovered that technology can solve many problems and transform outdated processes.
“Crucially, this is a change that the industry has embraced. Perceptions have shifted and there is a real openness to consider new tech solutions.”
Yourkeys currently works with more than 50 new homes developers and agents. It has 9,000 homes listed on its platform, with a total value in excess of £2bn. More than 70 per cent of all sales through Yourkeys progress to exchange in 28 days or fewer.
Riccardo said: “While it’s easy to refer to a number of ‘properties’ or ‘units’, these are people’s new homes. We take great satisfaction in helping our clients to provide a better customer experience and to progress the sale as quickly and seamlessly as possible.”