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Sunday PropTech Review; 12th November

POSTED BY   james
November 12, 2017

Well, it has been a busy few weeks and now it is Mrs D’s birthday so must be quick as a birthday breakfast to prepare and enjoy with the boys…..

There was the Qube conference (which saw the first after their acquisition by MRI – apparently this deal will make them “the leading global #PropTech business” according to new CEO Pat Ghilani) and then there was the next instalment of Future : PropTech with another great turn out (probably 350) in Vienna – my slide-deck can be found here if you are interested.

  • On that basis let me give you some very quick links to some interesting news this week: • Huge announcement that MIPIM are launching a PropTech event in June next year out of Paris – should be a big one
  • Finally, someone has moved to a more transparent approach in the Online Estate Agency world – Emoov launch a No Sale No Fee model to work alongside their Up Front Fee. Lets see what the others do now…..
  • Neom; the futuristic idea for a $500 billion city from the Saudia Arabian government; all my thoughts here and here. Interesting project

It has been sometime we have been trying to get the team behind eHouse into the podcast studio. In the UK they facilitate a lot of the essential tools that estate agents need but they do it in a very clever way. They are the epitome of using tech in a seamless and streamline way making complex tasks very easy for people using them all. An interesting listen.

1. This week’s most shared article: HM Land Registry makes commercial ownership data free

Commercial and Corporate Ownership Data and Overseas Companies Ownership Data are now available for free from the Land Registry.

The data will cover all of the land currently owned by U.K or overseas businesses. Over 3 million data points are being made available, totally free, in the hope of increasing transparency over who owns what. One specific HMLR goal is to “support growth in the property technology (PropTech) sector”. After the government recently committed to driving innovation in the UK’s digital economy, this is a great step in the right direction

2. Countrywide puts ‘hold’ button on digital roll-out while it carries out evaluation

So, Countrywide said that in the third quarter of 2017, its estate agency revenue was down almost £10m compared with the same time last year.

£47.8m, compared with £57m in the same quarter last year is a significant drop, and it seems that, to try and combat that drop, Countrywide has decided to put its digital rollout on hold. They claim to be re-evaluating the need for the digital rollout to continue, to decide whether or not it’s truly helping the firm’s fortunes.

I think you can all guess my view on this, but here it is anyway – it is unforgivable and dumbfounding to cut a digital rollout halfway through! Remember this analysis from Eddie and Mike Delprete? It suggests that CW was sat on a razor’s edge – either they join the digital transformation and fight for survival against Purplebricks, or they reject innovation and fall by the wayside. It seemed, for a while, they had chosen to fight, now, does it feels like they’re thinking twice?

3. How ISS transforms Facility Services with Internet of Things

IoT, mixed with AI and Big Data can radically improve our lives within buildings.

ISS is the global leader of facilities management, and they are leading the way in the delivering high-tech services, using technology to drive performance and increase returns. Also, this video contains some interesting insights into the use of The Digital Twin. If you are interested in that concept; read my thoughts on The Digital Twin here

4. Dorms for Grownups: A Solution for Lonely Millennials?

If you’re spending all your days in a co-working space, why not spend your evenings and weekends in a co-living space? For the unattached millennial, could it be the perfect solution to affordable living?

In Syracuse, a city in the state of New York, a new facility is under construction which will see members both live and work under one roof. Such is the layout that you have ‘roommates without having roommates’,

The thought behind it is if you bring together all of these people who are working on startups, not only will they benefit from shared workspace, but they’re also encouraged to socialise, which is when most of the best ideas are conceived. I have huge concerns about this model and our dependance on being immersed in work and play – expect to hear more from me in coming months….

5. Zillow Group on track for first $1BN year

Reporting a record $281.8 million in revenue and an all-time traffic high of 187 million unique visitors, Zillow’s third quarter puts them well on track for a $1 billion year.

These record-breaking numbers coincide with a number of new services launched by Zillow over the same period, most notably they extended their Instant Offers services – connecting homesellers directly to agents. Another recent addition to the Zillow canon has been their ability to let customers build their own 360-degree virtual tours of their homes, a feature they call 3D Home.

6. Proptech co launches to address issues facing student letting

The UK student lettings market is something that many a PropTech entrepreneur dreams of disrupting. This time it’s SPCE, an app which helps university-goers to find a room or entire property to rent, whilst improving transparency and communication between the renter and landlord.

The launch arrives after it was revealed that 70% of UK landlords would not let their property to a student because they do not trust them to not cause damage. Interestingly, SPCE customers are also able to start building up a positive credit rating, simply through fastidiously paying their rent. For Generation Rent, high university debts and unattainable house prices mean that a good credit rating is more important than ever, yet further and further out of touch.

7. Datscha: Q3 Transactions Report

Datscha tells us that over £16bn of commercial activity has been transacted in the UK in Q3 2017 and that 90% of all London investment came from overseas investors. A fascinating insight into the quarter in property, filled with all the data and stats you could dream of, download the full report here.

8. Redfin shares fall 7% after real estate earnings disappoint

Redfin, the online brokerage site sometimes referred to as ‘the Amazon of real estate’, saw its shares tumble by 7% in after-hours trading, shortly after posting its Q3 earnings of $109.5 million – they had been hoping for $110.6 million.

The market is kind of rough,” CEO Glenn Kelman told TechCrunch. However, it’s not all bad news because the revenue is still up 35% on the same time last year.

And on that note, I shall leave you be. Lots of interesting news next week no doubt so I look forward to writing that all out too.

Happy Sunday, i’m off to prepare smoked salmon and croissant….. James

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