Sunday PropTech Review – 14th May 2017

POSTED BY   james
May 14, 2017

Seriously, there are some really important articles in this review. Really important. Blockchain in the UK, Google taking over Toronto and Zillow being sued due to their AI based valuation model. Please read them all

I was asked this week, at the release of the PropTech 3.0 Report (quite a bit more on that later) to come up with a definition of PropTech (“surely you have been asked this many times before” it was suggested but no, I had never been asked outright). I came up with the following:

PropTech is one small part of a wider digital transformation in the property industry. It considers both the technological and mentality change of the real estate industry, and its consumers to our attitudes, movements and transactions involving both buildings and cities

What do you think? Agree, Disagree? Lets crowdsource a true definition. Join me by giving me your definition on this document. Don’t forget to leave your name so I an attribute you in a follow up article about it.

Aside from that, sadly I missed the PropTeq event here in London as a result of the two other conferences I was attending. How was it? Feedback from anyone? Let me know PS. if you are interested in Artificial Intelligence. I was offered 50% discount on a huge conference for all my subscribers. Check out the events section below as should be a good conference

The first, a fascinating podcast following the release of the PropTech 3.0 Report by Professor Andrew Baum, providing context and thought to his overview. There were (and still are) huge questions on the report but, as I, and many others have said, it is a good benchmark for the next one. You will hear some of our reservations in this Podcast with Professor Baum but, aside from that, it is a really interesting and quite high level discussion (except the swearing in the first 20seconds!)

You may also like the review we put together on the whole report here at PropTech Consult. The next, a 36min discussion from the Estates Gazette team, looking at a new piece of software they have released for their audience, a review of Future : PropTech, a suggestion that they were the original PropTech pioneers and a discussion around emoji’s and Donkey Kong.

I only saw this late on Saturday night so cannot vouch for this next podcast. However, having appeared on the first, I know the care and attention Josh puts in therefore, I have no hesitation recommending this as a good listen this Sunday

1. This week’s most shared article: Guardian article on businesses transforming the property market It seems to be the week of the listicle with several coming out but, being the Guardian, it has received the most shares of the week – over 1,000 in fact. Here is their list of companies to look out for in PropTech

I said it was the week of listicle stories about the best property companies so here are a couple more for you:

Property Portal Watch – the top 10 PropTech businesses

A more American perspective with 5 companies to look out for

2. “Building from the Internet up” – Google applies to build a 12acre extenstion of Toronto

Is there any greater evidence of the convergence of digital assets and the real estate industry (hence my complete belief in the movement from PropTech to look at the entire Digital Transformation play) than Google, the original search engine, now applying to build a city??

Sidewalk CEO (one of the Google Alphabet companies) Dan Doctoroff stated: “I’m sure many of you are thinking this is a crazy idea. We don’t think it’s crazy at all. People thought it was crazy when Google decided to connect all the world’s information. People thought it was crazy to think about the concept of a self-driving car.

Personally, I believe this could be one of the most important city developments of a generation if it is passed and approved. Designing a city “from the internet up” will be a fundamental shift in attitude towards our future design. However, we just have to remember that this is all well and good when building new cities. What about the fact that, for the most part, we will be retrofitting our buildings and cities for the next stage of society – Retrofitting is key to success currently.

3. Blockchain gets a bit of a green light for UK Land Registry

In the PropTech 3.0 Report, Professor Baum highlightted Blockchain as the core aspect of PropTech 3.0. I have been championing it for nearly 3 years now as fundamental to the future of our sector BUT, when asked whether it was the most exciting thing in the future, I said no.

I actually stated our mentality shift (consumers and professionals alike) was the most exciting shift in PropTech. Was I wrong? Mail me

BUT, I also stated that Blockchain was a long way off in the UK and that we would follow others like Sweden, the UAE and Georgia, Ukraine because our Land Registry is a huge barrier to one aspect of its adoption.

I was reassured when in City AM, which I read on the train as I left, I had seen that the Bank of England is looking at Blockchain as a payment mechanism but it “isn’t ready yet” – just what my thoughts are…. BUT then the Land Registry released a bit of news about testing a “Digital Street”. This could be huge news for the future of our land registry.

4. Article of the week – When Artificial Intelligence gets house values wrong, you get sued (as Zillow is finding out)

At the PropTech 3.0 Report panel discussion, we were asked about how AI was getting involved and I, to many peoples surprise, expressed my concern.

I do worry about ceding control of valuations to an algorithm (partly because of historical bias and not being able to predict, for now anyway, impacts of future decisions, buildings, railway links etc etc, on projective pricing of properties or leases (the way that a human valuer – a good one anyway – would do).

Interesting therefore that this week Zillow is being sued for undervaluing a property (on the market for $626,000 but valued by the algorithm at just $562,000). There are some really interesting figures in the article about “Zestimates” so it is well worth reading through. Very interesting indeed.

5. The Worlds most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

It was a question put forward at the Future : PropTech event that prompted my sharing of this. Sadly, we didn’t have time to debate the point that “data was the new oil” but this should answer that question. An interesting article about how the world’s largest companies have made data central to their plans. As a consequence, and the reason I am sharing this, it is very important that we all understand how data will be an important part of our real estate future.

6. Featured Post – 20% of UKPA membership

With the growth of PropTech there was a need to set up a Trade Association to link it all together. I am a Steering Committee Member and a huge advocate of what should be an interesting journey for most to go on. Two things to look out for are the PropTech Awards at the end of the year as well as the trade delegations. However, use the code TDMB for a 20% discount on this link

7. The best article ever about Shared Mobility

As with the earlier podcast, I hadn’t had a chance to read this as was only shared late on Saturday, however, it’s source, Arnaud from MIPIM, is always known for sharing good quality pieces and therefore no hesitation to share with you. Again, at the PropTech 3.0 Report review, autonomous cars, and the impact of shared mobility, were of much debate. Professor Baum was not a big fan. Personally, I see them as having a huge impact within a generation. Therefore, an interesting piece for those of you that are interested in this area.

8. Envelop, a zoning and planning firm, raise $2 million

Off the back of Gridics raising $1.1million last week, it is now the turn of Envelop, another planning and zoning company (theme running here?).

Envelop have just raised $2 million and I am a big fan. Judging them at MIPIM this year, where they one of the awards of best start up, it took me only a minute or two to see the potential of this company.

I remember thinking though that this would be great if it could be expanded. Perhaps this is what they will now do with all the cash. Here are some more thoughts from the Founder Cindy through Medium

9. All my recommended PropTech reads of the week.

As always, I like to list all the articles I have been looking at and reading through this week so here is a complete list in case you want more. Hope you enjoy them…..

Have a great Sunday, I’m off to find Mrs D and the boys to remind myself what they all look like!

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