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Finding A Home In Ireland Is Competitive And Time-Consuming. Technology Can Help


Ireland’s housing crisis has reached a high pitch. The shortage in rental homes means that an estate agent can receive thousands of enquiries for a single listing, while buying or selling a home can involve many interested parties.

People are finding the process extremely time-consuming and stressful, Chief Commercial Officer Adam Ferguson said. This is why has spent the last few years finding ways to improve the experience of buying, selling and renting using the latest technology.

“Today, nobody has any time,” he said. “At the moment, the experience of buying, selling or renting a home can be fairly tortuous. It takes a huge amount of time and energy, but agents are rushed off their feet with enquiries and people have no time to find a home to buy or rent. We want to make the lives of agents easier and improve the resident experience.” has recently launched several solutions to help ease this process. The first innovation is an enquiry downloader tool for agents. This is primarily aimed at the rental market to help agents handle the barrage of enquiries they get for each listing.

The number of enquiries per rental home has increased sharply, Ferguson said. In Q1 2023, recorded on average 170 leads per advert compared to 94 leads per advert in Q1 2022.

“At the moment, an agent isn’t able to respond to every enquiry for a rental home because there are simply too many,” he said. “This creates frustration on both sides and could even harm an agent’s reputation. Using our solution, agents can reply in bulk so at least a renter knows their enquiry has been acknowledged.”

A second solution the company has created, Offers by Daft, is a real-time offers platform for the home sales process. The solution benefits buyers, sellers and agents, Ferguson said. 

For agents, it reduces their administrative burden. Traditionally, if 10 people bid on a house, the agent has to ring 10 people to communicate the news. With offers, this can be done online and bidders are automatically notified.

For buyers, Offers allows them to place a bid 24/7, which allows them to fit the housebuying process around their busy lives, Ferguson said. Currently, 62% of sellers are older than 45, a demographic that is often employed and busy. found that 40% of consumer bidding takes place outside working hours.

“Traditionally, a buyer or seller spends all day phoning an agent to find out whether a bid is successful, but then at 5pm the agent goes home and they have to wait until the next morning for news,” Ferguson said. “Not having information that you know exists can lead to real distress — these are big decisions. With a traditional process, there is a lack of communication.”

Placeholder has also developed the Instant Valuations Tool, which uses machine learning to give property owners an initial indication of what their home might be worth. Since the tool was launched in January, more than 21,676 valuation requests have been made.

A survey by found that 35% of sellers say the biggest obstacle when selling their home is knowing what price to list their home at, Ferguson said. While the aim of the solution isn’t to replace agents’ expert valuations, it improves the sales process for residents.

“It’s not possible for the whole valuation process to move online as it still takes an agent’s expert knowledge to price a home correctly,” he said. “However, the solution provides a great starting point for planning.” 

Ferguson said that machine learning and artificial intelligence will increasingly be used in both the sales and letting markets. While technology cannot ease the housing crisis, it can provide greater transparency and immediacy for everyone involved.

Already, it is clear that consumers want to introduce more technology into the experience, he said. In April 2023, had more than 8.3 million website visits, including three times more buyers than other property websites.

“We’ll continue to innovate and create solutions that ease the process for everyone,” Ferguson said. “We receive constant feedback from users who review our app and we invest the time to act on it. Overall, we’re moving towards reduced human interaction, moving consumers’ buying, selling and renting journey online.”

This article was produced in collaboration between and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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