I had the priviledge to participate Propteq Europe 2016 on 2nd of June. I was having a joyful and exciting day where I met some of the brightest minds of the Property Technology industry. I even had the honour to co-host one of the last sessions of the day with the theme ’Global Proptech’.
Here are three takeaways from the day in London:
1. There is more than the software
As digitalisation is gradually eating its way everywhere nowadays, one should take a broader look than just the software. As properties as physical objects are still very bricks and mortar, the ultimate driver is the merge of digital with the analog. There is a lot of advancement in other areas of technology, such as VR, nanotechnology and even such conventional thing as digital displays. Think of a building covered with wall paper, which is actually one huge display. Pretty exciting, I would say. Opens up a totally new world.
2. It’s all about data
The sessions I participated almost all touched the issue of data. The biggest discussion revolved around the issue of data transparency and ownership of the data. Like Propstack influencers from India who said that they are considering next steps on countries whose data structures and policies are close to theirs. This leads to me think of Commonwealth, but how well that would work e.g. in Germany, where the data of regional submarkets can be in the hands of the few, who do bulk of the deals and transctions of that certain region? Are they willing to go for US Compstak model or crowdsource their information through Deal-X Lab, nowadays based in Berlin as well? I do not know, but sure it will take time before all the relevant data is accessible even to the tiniest set of a smaller city outside the mighty capitol regions.
3. Platforms or apps – or both?
I think this is the most crucial take away for me from my stay in London. For me ‘Proptech’ or ‘ReTech’ has for long been standing for a vision, which is very concrete and tangible. I envision the future of “Proptech Zapier” – an ecosystem of connected applications though APIs offering seamless integration between the services. Think about the very real opportunity today to start and scale business operations from 0 to 100 without any own infrastructure – get Google for document management and emails, fix the project management with Trello, acquire CRM to organise your pipeline and inform your customers with MailChimp – all connected through APIs in one ecosystem. Apply this to real estate – for every functional need there are two or three alternatives for best-of-industry breed application.
However, is this possible or even feasible without an ’anchor’ platform, one dominant service around which all others connect to? A decisive question, the answer of which I do not know yet. Outside real estate industry there is an example: one dominant player, namely Salesforce, has created an ecosystem around itself. However it still has made itself accessible through Zapier. So my bet is – both. There will most likely be dominant platforms, but there will be an ecosystem and space for entry players – and if not, then the industry and the customers have not understood the whole point and missed something very valuable from their point of view.
So that’s the brief capture from London. Until the next time!
Author of this blog is Hannu Rantanen, CEO at Nasta Technologies Oy. Assetti is a registered trademark of Nasta Technologies.