Why PropTech Doesn’t Matter Anymore – 6 Things You Must Know About Real Estate Innovation

Proptech – it’s a word that is frequently used in the property industry, with London staking it’s claim to be one of the most innovative Proptech centres in the world.

Executive Search firm Holtby Turner have created a mammoth report on how real estate will change by 2027, sourcing opinion from Proptech impresario’s like DealMakerz contributor James Dearsley, entrepreneur Faisal Butt and digital strategist Anthony Slumbers.

The report is extremely interesting (we haven’t been paid to say that) and most definitely worth a read. However, at 68 pages long it requires some dedicated time set aside. For DMZ’ers who are running short on time, we asked Holtby Turner to summarise the most important points, and here they are:


Innovate or Die

As global financial assets hit 10 times global GDP, it’s old school thinking that’s the greatest cost to real estate’s future growth.

Laggards will get left behind.

The report’s executive editor and Holtby Turner’s MD Toby Turner notes that ‘there are no special cases for real estate firms who do not innovate – the conversation needs to shift from why we must move innovate to how we can innovate.’


Humans Where They’re Best. Machines For The Rest

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49% of all tasks performed at work could be replaced by technologies that exist today. But just because a technology exists, it doesn’t mean it will get adopted.

As Founder Daniel Hegarty told us when bringing online mortgage advisor Habito to the market, “people can be complicated and there are big trust issues with machines, even now.”


Forget PropTech. Think Digital

We need to think about innovation, transformation and the entire built environment.

PropTech is just one part of the conversation. James Dearsley, Founder, PropTech Consult really nailed when he said, “the time is already here to stop paying all of our attention to PropTech, and instead start talking about the Digital Transformation. That way, a more holistic view of property is possible.”


There Will Be A Lot Of Failures

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Check your ideas with real estate’s heavyweights to see if your B2B start-up is viable – it may simply not be viable to integrate as a tech investment for a major real estate player.

Chief Operating Officer of CBRE, Martin Lewis wisely points out, “however good an idea can seem, there may be some commercial or practical reasons that mean the business will never get of the ground”, and as he says, in real estate “there will be a lot of failures.”


Leave Founders Alone

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Ideas and start-ups need room to breathe and explore. Taking a Chief Technical Officer away from an agile development where he or she is happiest and most productive, as part of an acquihire, is often a bad idea.

As PGIM’s Raimondo Amabile, Co-Chief Executive Officer points out from experience, you will get more value from start-up founders if they are “left to develop products they are passionate about”.

Set up a hands on feedback and learning loop but give founders their freedom to innovate.


Why Asking What PropTech To Invest In Is A Dumb Question

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It’s the wrong question.

What one should be asking is ‘What do I need to know, before I can know what PropTech I should buy or invest in’. The days of IT are over. Every business is a technology business. Wise words from Antony Slumbers, PropTech expert and ex-tech founder himself.


Do Your Homework

VC Faisal Butt, Founder of Spire Ventures, uses a solid method investment technique that helps him get under the skin of possible investments.

Only when you truly understand a certain technology down to its most minute detail, can you discover the next billion dollar company through method investing, he astutely points out in the report.


To read the report in full for free – click here.

Holtby Turner have arranged an exclusive business breakfast with CBRE and James Dearsley, “A Brave New World? Innovation In Real Estate”. Special guests will include AskPorter, Built-ID, Mace, PiLabs and Anthony Slumbers.

Attendance is complimentary – to RSVP click here or for more details on the report contact Kate Hodson at Holtby Turner on 07792 510 630.

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