Now that we’ve said goodbye to 2020, we’ve welcome (like many others) with open arms the new year and have began looking at where we want to take Property Hive.
For estate agents, it would appear on the surface that many weren’t adversely affected by the pandemic as they were allowed to remain open alongside many other services such as removal firms, surveyors, brokers etc. But we’ve seen first hand just how much the industry was affected as a whole and some of the difficulties many people have seen during this time, despite being able to remain open.
With day to day activities requiring extensive changes to comply with ever changing guidance from the government, we’ve seen the implementation of many more digital and virtual tasks. With virtual viewings and valuations becoming a hot topic over the past year and many estate agents being forced to rethink their traditional approaches with these crucial aspects of running an agency, we definitely think the new year will bring creativity and innovation, not just for estate agencies, but for the entire property industry.
With this in mind, we’d like to share with you some of our top priorities moving into 2021.
This is easily up there with one of our biggest features to date. Our development team have been working steadily on the upcoming management module which will give users the ability to record tenancies against a property, including tenants, deposit information, key dates and much more. As we move quickly into the new year, we’ll be looking to communicate the official release date for this over the next few weeks.
As more and more people are working remotely and less office space is being used, we’ve seen a shift in our existing Property Hive customers, where more agencies are ditching the pay by month software options available to them in favour of using us as their full time CRM software. With more time to look at how their business’ can progress and grow during unprecedented times whilst they are unable to get out to meet customers face to face, many users have opted to look at ways they can reduce costs within their agency and choosing a free open source software such as Property Hive has been their way forward.
After noticing this shift, we’re going to be looking at more ways we can support agents who want to switch to us full time as a CRM. We already have our data migration service and plugin in place to make the transition as smooth as possible, but streamlining this even further is top of our list for this year.
We’ve already integrated with the likes of OpenStreetMap, Locrating, Total Chatbots and many property import formats over the last year. We have no intention of stopping there and have already started development on integrating third parties such as What3words, Zapier, Mailchimp and Mapbox, with much more to be added to the list in the coming months.
New developers and house builders are falling short of the Government’s target of 300,000 new homes a year. With meeting only half of this for last year, there are predictions within the property industry that developers will be trying to accelerate this with 2021. Being able to support new developments has been on our roadmap for sometime. After numerous feature requests, our development team are looking at ways we can implement this over the coming year.
As restrictions move towards being lifted here in the UK, this should reopen the market for holiday lets. We want to be able to support this fully within Property Hive in the same way that we do for private and commercial sales and lettings.
Having spent a great deal of time working to reduce the number of support tickets that come through already, we’re looking to improve this even further. We now have dedicated staff working solely on support, freeing up crucial development time to enable us to improve existing products but also introduce new ones. This also means we will be able to expand our documentation and improve this going forward.
Last year we also started to add more troubleshooting and report options to some of our add ons and we’re hoping to roll this out to other areas to make diagnosing issues much easier and allowing our support team to assist with problems quicker.
Despite the shadow of 2020 wildly overhanging the new year and a return to normality still a long way off, we’re feeling positive and excited about the new developments we are looking towards with Property Hive and incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved to date.
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