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The Estate Agency Business Model and the Role of PropTech

   Bartlett School of Planning

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  Dr Danielle Sanderson, Dr Qiulin Ke, Dr P McLennan  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The main aim of this PhD project is to investigate the processes involved in housing transactions to

identify obstacles and how these might be overcome. The research will also examine potential Prop Tech

solutions and make recommendations to policy makers about the need for changes to legislation when

procedural or technological solutions will not suffice. Full training, including Research Design and

Management and relevant research methods, knowledge, and skills, will be provided by the Bartlett

School of Planning, while the industry partner, Propertalis, will give training in the estate agency process.

Research Objectives are likely to include the following:

1. Analysis of the “customer journey” and processes involved in buying and selling residential property,

i.e., to identify the taxonomy of the sales process.

2. Identification of impediments to efficiency in the current systems.

3. Using an appropriate business model, identification of ways to streamline the transaction process

and reduce the effort and stress involved, through the use of “Prop Tech”.

4. Identification of 'institutional' agency issues and aspects of the residential transaction process where

changes in legislation are required.

5. Creation of a toolkit comprising appropriate tools and techniques for estate agents to improve the

service they deliver to customers, creating a business model with key metrics for customer satisfaction.

Person Specification:

• A self-motivated researcher willing to develop their qualitative and quantitative research skills.

• An MSc degree in a built environment- or technology-related discipline is highly desirable. However,

candidates with a 1st-class undergraduate degree plus evidence of aptitude for research are also

welcome to apply. Relevant work experience will also be taken into account.

• Highly numerate, with good data analysis and I.T. skills.

• Good interpersonal and communication skills (oral and written).

• Strong organisational skills and a high level of attention to detail.

• Ability to use own initiative and prioritise workload.

Application Procedure:

Stage 1 – The following documents should be emailed directly to Danielle Sanderson

[Email Address Removed] by 15th March 2022:

1) CV;

2) academic transcripts;

3) 1-page personal statement outlining motivation, interest, and eligibility for the post;

4) Name and contact details of those providing an Academic Reference for you – references will NOT be

taken at this stage;

5) If applicable, pdf copy of the two most important pieces of research work to which you have

contributed. Please state clearly your contribution in case of jointly authored work.

 6) Please also complete this anonymous EDI form:

Stage 2 - Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview.

Following the interview, the successful candidate will need to complete the UBEL DTP application form in

Survey Monkey Apply by 4 April 2022.

References may be requested before interview after consent from candidates to do so.

Please note that if English is NOT your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you meet

the UCL's English Language requirements. Any offer made will be subject to references and proof of

meeting the UCL English language requirements.

Informal enquiries on the content of the research topic should be emailed to Dr Danielle Sanderson:

[Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership is an ESRC-funded organisation which brings together five leading Social Science institutions. This PhD is an ESRC Co-funded Studentship which is jointly and collaboratively run by both academic and non-academic organisations. The industry partner is Propertalis, a PropTech start-up business: UBEL DTP studentships cover tuition fees at the UKRI rate and an annual maintenance stipend. Funding is likely to be available to cover the difference in fees if an overseas candidate is selected. The non-academic co-funding organisation makes a contribution towards the maintenance stipend and tuition fees.
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