Our shopping habits continue to evolve. Whether it’s buying food, clothes or even cars online – UK ecommerce sales totalled £586 billion pounds in 2017, and this figure is set to rise. Digital access to goods and services continues to expand and today it’s possible to find and book secure rooms online – at the touch of a button.
This type of access gives us greater flexibility. The ability to see and book rooms securely online gives renters greater confidence when it comes to moving – even to a new job, city or country.
The ‘Generation Rent’ lifestyle
While proptech is opening new opportunities for renters, traditionally, the market has been slower to adapt in order to make the rental process more accessible and streamlined. This means the market has not implemented new technologies at pace and adjusted to a digital-focused generation of renters that demand flexibility throughout the entire rental process.
This challenge comes at a time when the number of renters continues to rise. According to ONS, the number of households renting in the UK has more than doubled over the last decade to 4.5 million. In London in particular, 60 per cent of home occupiers will be renters by 2025.
On top of this, more people are renting for longer. A study of ‘Generation Rent’ found that two out of five believe they’ll be renting for life.
For many, renting is now being embraced as a lifestyle choice. ‘Generation Rent’, including Millennials and Gen Z, want more flexibility in life – in terms of how and where they work and live. This social change has been driven in part due to the rise of on-demand services like Uber and Spotify, as well as greater awareness of the importance of keeping a good work-life balance. People now want to rent rather than be tied down to a mortgage and a physical ‘base’.
Additionally, movement from countryside to city continues to accelerate. The UN anticipates that nearly 2.5 billion people will live in cities by 2050. At the same time, we’re seeing an increase in movement from city to city. Flexibility in renting is supporting this freedom of movement. For example, requests to move to the UK from other cities abroad has doubled in the last year and a half, according to data from Badi.
Breaking down barriers and unlocking new opportunities for renters
This movement opens the door to a myriad of opportunities. Today people can move to experience a new culture and community or to accept a job in a different city or country. New opportunities could take us anywhere in the world – yet no matter where we are, it is only natural to want to feel at home.
This is where proptech has made a massive impact and can continue to do so. Room rental platforms enable us to easily and seamlessly book a room from anywhere at any time. It provides much-needed and instantaneous accessibility – unlocking doors to new opportunities.
To make city living more accessible, it’s critical to meet the demand with scalable, future-proof and secure platforms. This is where proptech can support and help to further build trust among both landlords and tenants by providing greater information and verification throughout the rental process.
By enabling renters to easily see available and secure rooms online, it gives them greater confidence when it comes to moving – even to a new city or country. At the same time, it helps to meet the ever-increasing demand for city living. The ultimate win-win.
Room rental platforms should encourage and reward authenticity. Airbnb recently confirmed it was working to verify all the listings on its platform in a bid to identify and remove fraudulent postings. It is the responsibility of platforms to root out fraud and further enhance the experience for prospective tenants. Authentic and quality recommendations help to build trust in the online rental process – and this is critical to maintain as these platforms continue to scale and support more users.
Badi uses multiple safeguards to protect renters and landlords on the platform. For example, Badi employs automated systems to detect fraudulent behaviour. When detected, Badi’s Trust and Safety team is immediately alerted. Besides closely monitoring fraudulent activity, Badi works to ensure its listings are accurate with its visual verification tool for landlords. This means that a Badi representative visits the room, takes professional photos and confirms the amenities included in the listing. These additional security features help to give tenants greater confidence when booking a room online.
What’s next for proptech?
Booking online is certainly a game changer – opening new doors and opportunities for Generation Rent, who are looking to make genuine connections and build a meaningful community with others, wherever they may live. This provides a clear path to new modern living.
It’s incredibly exciting time for proptech as these platforms continue to offer additional services to tenants and landlords alike. From managed properties to harnessing the full capabilities of AI and machine learning to personalise the rental process – the future is bright.
Steven Hiltermann - General Manager, UK, Badi