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Proptech reaches pivotal moment

Proptech reaches pivotal moment

6 June 2019

Last year, proptech in all its varied forms was arguably the dominant theme in the global real estate business. The need to ‘work smarter’ and get a competitive edge over your rivals saw the proliferation of a huge number of platforms and processes.

However, a year on, the proptech sector is now reaching a pivotal moment as the hype dies down and the market begins to sift out the proptech that adds vital value and those can be less charitably categorised as ‘solutions looking for a problem’.

The dilemma for most players in our market is that they want to be early adopters to get an edge, but how do you engage with the right tech?

It’s clearly a pivotal time both for the producers of proptech and its users. The Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, GIC - which is investing heavily into proptech through venture capital funds - estimate that a third of all proptech ventures will fail, a third will meet their targets and a third will exceed these targets. This reflects the difficulty of knowing which tech to choose.

In this respect, the choice of platforms is roughly split between data application and process management: in other words, how to use knowledge or how to work smarter. Data benefits are probably more straightforward to access immediately. If a system is either giving you better use of your existing data set or augmenting it then the value will soon be clear.

However, the ability to ‘work smarter’ and supercharge your expertise – particularly in leasing, development or investment appraisal – is probably where the biggest value lies for property consultants as this will make them advisers who provide a competitive edge to their clients.