- Andrew Miles, chief executive, ReallaI’ve been watching the proptech ‘scene’ develop as a proptech founder for a while now, having come over from British Land where I formerly worked, and Andrew Stone’s piece, ‘Rise of the machines’, shows how far the sector has evolved.
Firstly, the funding momentum behind proptech is real and will ensure that the proliferation of start-ups continues.
The property industry is far too big and too behind on technology not to be a target of ambitious entrepreneurs and rich investors.
Within a decade we will see major changes. Automated valuations, machine-created basic leases and software-powered workflows (particularly around lettings) will be some of the first things to arrive.
Agents and landlords buying technology should focus on several things: real value propositions with a genuine ROI for your business; experienced teams; a real product that you are not the guinea pig on; real customers; good data protection policies; a solid financial base and modern ‘open API’ systems that can work with other software.
Trend under wayFor its part, the nascent proptech sector needs to stop looking so hard for the next thing to ‘disrupt’ and work with the industry to solve the real problems people face today. I don’t like fantastical claims of AI replacing investment professionals or a start-up becoming the next CBRE - they mostly come across like pie in the sky.
Proptech is still in its infancy. However, nearly all commercial property agents and landlords will be heavily using at least one data product and one software system in 2017, so the trend is well under way.
We need calm heads and savvy technologists who know the industry well if proptech is to cut through the hubris and reach its full potential.