PC Pro Magazine recently published a column by @Barry Collins highlighting the case for broadband and mobile coverage assessment to be included with property listings, in the same way that EPC ratings are done currently. It followed a report by CCS Insights, an analyst firm, predicting that by 2025 connectivity performance rating will be mandatory as part of the sale of any property in a major European market. It is a long-standing talking point in the industry and one that has gotten a new impetus post-Covid and the associated rise of home-working.
Mobile Connectivity – vital property information and an important value driver
It looks like Barry’s prayers have been answered: on 30 November, the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) published a new guidance on the information to be included in a property listing (for rent or sale). This now includes information about broadband and mobile coverage.
This regulation of the residential property market comes behind recent market evolutions in the commercial property sector. Here, WiredScore, an organisation certifying buildings based on their digital connectivity and smart capabilities, are a prominent industry player. WiredScore is a strong advocate of the notion that enhancing the digital and smart capabilities of a building (including mobile and fixed connectivity, as well as smart technology) can increase the rental value of a property by as much as 5%.
This also aligns with a 2021 UK Government report indicating that the £2.6 billion scheme to roll out superfast broadband to ‘commercially unviable’ parts of the UK led to a surge in home values of up to £3,500.
Mobile Coverage data needs to be accurate
But mobile coverage rating by itself is not a panacea – the rating needs to be truthful. We are all familiar with the flowery and optimistic descriptions estate agents give to their properties. But that has nothing on the way mobile operators describe their own mobile coverage levels. A universally “good” rating (as most operator coverage maps say) will have zero information value for the buyer. And as the regulator’s coverage maps are essentially built from the data supplied by the operators, their maps are not much better.
Mobile coverage data needs to be accessed efficiently
Then there is the question of efficiency: despite the commonplace impression of estate agents as sharply dressed men and women running around and showing properties to prospective buyers and renters, the profession actually has a high administrative overhead.
Agents spend a significant part of their time on various admin tasks. These are not so much about making the transaction itself happen (although that is not be sniffed at), but the significant “pre-listing“ workload: pulling together the property photos, collecting the floor area measurements and plans, assembling the relevant legal information in terms of ownership, leaseholds, EPC ratings, etc. No one in the industry will be thrilled knowing that for every property listing they need to spend an additional 30 mins to go over the four operators’ coverage maps to extract the relevant mobile signal information.
Teragence Signal Checker API: a truthful and efficient mobile coverage data source
So the industry needs a simple to use, truthful source of mobile coverage information which can be easily accessed and integrated into the existing workflows.
For EPC certificates something similar already exists: there are various API’s and consultable databases available. Teragence Singal Checker offers exactly that for mobile coverage. The Signal Checker API can be accessed at the simple push of a button and bring back the relevant coverage information for every operator and every technology. It minimises the amount of time spent on admin and overhead and maximises the time spent on actually bringing a property to market.
Mobile coverage data is an important value driver for commercial and residential property. Market operators and regulators are looking to include accurate mobile coverage data in property listings.
As we look towards a future where connectivity performance ratings become a standard part of property transactions, tools like the Teragence Signal Checker API will be instrumental in shaping a more informed, efficient, and dynamic real estate market. Embracing such innovations is not just about compliance; it’s about leading the charge in a digitally connected world.