Week in Digital: service-led support

By Teamspirit on Thursday, 5 February 2015

Airbnb, much like Uber, is part of a new wave of technology that aims to provide a service to customers, while letting property owners and cab drivers use an existing framework for making a living.

Airbnb is simple - for customers, it's a large database of free properties that can be used for short stays, and for property owners, a simple way of advertising the property as available to rent on a digital storefront maintained by someone else.

Interestingly, the disadvantage may be in the impact Airbnb is having on property markets. Recently, New York City Council took Airbnb to task over the council's suspicions that some Airbnb property listers may actually be running something akin to a spread-out hotel - a list of properties being rented out as accomodation, rather than someone ensuring a weekend away makes them a little money.

Controversy aside, the stats are clear - New York, and countless other cities around the world, are full of Airbnb-listed properties, and the reason it's such a popular system is because it's convenient, and enables people to automate aspects of their business that would be otherwise painfully time-consuming.

Advisers see similar issues in their day-to-day operations. Admin takes up a considerable wealth of time, as does adviser-client communication, and being able to use services from accounting software to better comms tools for IFAs means smiles all round.

As support services become more widepsread across financial services, clients can expect to enjoy better service from intermediaries who no longer have to craft their own solutions to basic problems. Allowing specialists to specialise is the goal of any good support network - so when will we see an Airbnb-scale system in FS?

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