Debate Round Up- Is PropTech Disrupting or Helping Estate Agents?

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Last week we hosted our first debate of the year “Is PropTech Helping or Disrupting Estate Agents?” as part of our “Big Questions Debated” series.

The debate was moderated by Philip Farrell and our debaters included;

Gary Barker & Sally Holdway arguing PropTech is helping Estate Agents and

Andrew Stanton & Vik Tara arguing that PropTech is a disruption to Estate agents.

Arguments for PropTech is disrupting estate agents:


  • Disruption represents a paradigm shift. People that are coming into the industry with disruptive ideas and technology are creating a knock on effect which in turn disrupts the way estate agents carry out their trade.
  • Adoption of technology is slow due two reasons;
    • Lack of awareness. Andrew – “ Under the surface of real estate in the UK, we have got agents sat in the office unaware of it all.”
    • Lack of willingness to change. John Mcauley from Ask Veya – “ From my experience agents don’t want to pay for PropTech to improve customer experience unless pressure is put onto them or they have to through legislation.”
  • Change is inevitable but doesn’t have to be negative. Vik – “ It is inevitable the way businesses operate change and that isn’t a negative things.” Digital has come in and changed the way things are done. We have got a tech savvy nation that wants to do things quickly through their smartphones but buying/selling/letting property has remained slow. Consumers will be the reason behind the push for technology adoption from estate agents.

Arguments for PropTech is helping estate agents:

  • Technology helps estate agents in a number of ways;
    • Providing better consumer experience.
    • Gaining USP’s and providing competitive advantage.
    • Making processes like Digital Signatory, CRM and ERP easier.

Sally – “We are at the cusp now of having some really interesting products available to help estate agents better their consumer’s experience and most importantly providing them with USP’s.”

  • Technology isn’t disrupting, it’s evolving. Kristjan Byfield from The Depositary – I don’t think the residential market has been disrupted at all. It’s evolved sure but disrupted-nope
  • Buying property is an emotional process that requires a human centric approach such as estate agents. Gary – ” Buying houses is an emotional process unlike popping into Tesco’s and buying a milky way”


Where should PropTechs focus their efforts and what does the future look like for estate agents?

Vik – In 10 years, I see property transaction being almost instant.

Sally– In 10 years, I see the industry moving away from the tolerant processes we have in place, fixing it and ultimately making the buying process more holistic and fun.

Andrew– In 10 years’ time, I think banks will be the ones responsible for the buying  process and providing a one stop digital platform

Gary– In 10 years’ time I believe there will be a platform available for consumers that is fully digital, a true marketplace allowing for an easier and better consumer experience.

So what was the result?

Although Vik Tara and Andrew Stanton were able to draw a few people to their side by the end of the debate (an initial 18% said PropTech was disrupting compared to 37% by the end of the debate) ultimately our debate winners were Sally Holdway and Gary Barker who argued PropTech is HELPING Estate Agents and had 67% of the audience in agreement! 

Latest News