An event taking place this morning in London is set to shake up the way agents and their suppliers work.
The event has already stirred up excitement on a scale that has exceeded both initial expectations and capacity.
Extra space has had to be booked for today’s launch of Reapit’s new ‘platform as a service’, Foundations.
Reapit chief executive Gary Barker yesterday told EYE: “I know it is a cliché but I genuinely think this will disrupt the entire property software industry and create fundamental changes for agents.
“When we announced the launch event, we were initially expecting 220 attendees. That soon became 300.
“We now have over 350 coming, and have had to take extra room at the venue, The Crystal.
“A third of the attendees are our clients; a third are from proptech; and a third are non-clients and others interested in finding out more.
“We have people flying in from America and Australia to attend, and we even have some of our competitors coming along.”
‘Platform as a service’ is a new concept in property software, said Barker, who emphasises that no other supplier is – yet – offering it.
It means that agents, who currently may use up to 20 different pieces of software, will be able to perform any task they want from one platform.
“They will no longer have to log into a different application if, for example, they want to switch from tenancy referencing to marketing, checking a conveyancing chain, looking at repairs that tenants may have reported, or making an anti-money laundering check,” he said.
“Everything will be in one place, and that place will be open to the entire industry – agents big and small; to designers of apps; and even our competitors, should they so wish. There is nothing to stop them.”
Already different apps have been designed for the platform: individual agents will not only be able to choose the apps they want, but also be able to adapt them to their own needs.
They will also be able to come up with their own apps, just for their own use.
At today’s event, a number of apps will be demonstrated live.
While launch of the Foundations platform takes place in the UK today, the practical roll-out will be in the first quarter of next year.
On Friday, Barker is due to fly out to Australia, where Reapit also has a presence, to start promoting it to agents there.
Barker said that the launch of the new platform – which he distinguished from API – would create a new ‘eco system’ in the estate and lettings agency industry.
He said: “It is timely. Agents do not have it easy at the moment, and life for them is only going to get harder in terms of increasing regulation and how they must perform tasks.
“This will be a market place, open to everyone, that will make working life simpler and more effective.”
The launch will not be live-streamed, but a video is likely to be made available within a few days.