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Sunday PropTech Review

POSTED BY   james
September 8, 2017

Wow, what a week, it saw the release of my event list with over 30 exhibitions around the globe in the next 12 weeks – which also includes a link to a handy PDF download should you want to print it out.

Quite astounding the level of interest around at the minute.

It is also saw the return of the PropTech Podcast which had a record number of listens in the 36hrs after it got posted (nearly 250 in total). Felt good to be back.

Lastly, this week marked the sad death of a former estate agent who, aged 25, back in the early 90s, was kidnapped and held in a wheelie bin for 8 days – leading me to write a piece about solutions in PropTech to keep our staff safe.
Other than that it was interesting to see the lack of out of offices from last weeks review so I am assuming you are all back from holidays with new found enthusiasm for being organised. Best of luck. Keep it going!

It feels great to be back and this Podcast was planned back in the Summer when Purplebricks was appearing on the BBC for all the wrong reasons. We invited Russel Quirk of eMoov on to discuss that. Only then did both eMoov and Yopa raise a tonne of cash. Expect a lively Podcast discussing all manner of topics which was also the topic or a rather explosive feature on Estate Agent Today

1. This week’s most shared article: PropTech: The Next Buzzword – or the Next Opportunity?

The fact that this is the most shared article of the week suggests to me that there are still a lot of people out there who aren’t really sure of what PropTech is; who it’s for; what it does – see my definition below if you want to be sure.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but for those of us who spend our lives burrowed in the industry, it’s easy to forget that many of our key stakeholders still aren’t sure what we’re doing and why. Even if you’re sick of PropTech round-up articles, I still think it’s important for us to read them in order to ensure that the industry is being fairly and accurately portrayed for the outside world.

2. Wiredscore Launch in Germany Wiredscore, the digital infrastructure transparency certification platform, launched this week in Berlin. Coming just months after launches in France and Ireland, it’s proof, as if it were needed, that connectivity is fast becoming the No.1 requirement when selecting commercial property.

I have mentioned this a few times but worth reiterating it for those that perhaps are looking for a real definition of PropTech. Professor Andrew Baum and I came up with the following quote which could be of interest to some of you.

3. 30 Bitcoins for a one bedroom apartment in Dubai

Michele Mone, a serial entrepreneur, and Baroness, here in the UK is promoting properties for sale in Dubai using Bitcoin as the currency of choice. A huge PR move (especially as she was slammed in the same week for using the BBC to promote said apartments “I’m not dodgy, I’m a Baroness”)

Anyway, an interesting move for those of us interested in this space especially as The Collective this week, announced they would allow rental tenants to pay deposits in bitcoin

Cryptocurrency is big news across an increasing number of industries; in the past year, it has started to have an increased presence in property. After various recent examples ICO fundraising efforts By the end of 2017, they will also accept crypto rent payments. It’s a brave new world.

4. More Millennials Are Turning To Robo-Advisors To Manage Their Money But Is It Right For Everyone?

This is an interesting one; robo-advisors are proving to be a popular choice among young people when it comes to managing their finances – it is reported that robo-advisers are also of great interest to regulators as a positive step….

It’s all part of the world’s digital transformation, ignited by Millennials before spreading like wildfire throughout every industry. FinTech and PropTech, as I have spoken about before, share a symbiotic relationship, and this acceptance of robo-advisors in finance tells us a lot about the tech’s potential in property.

5. There are not enough young people in property

This is a superb interview with Diane Danielson, COO of SVN International. It addresses one of property’s biggest issues at the moment; it’s not attracting enough young people, not least because it fails to be seen as a very ‘cool’ industry to enter.

Danielson knows this, and she has a few ideas of how to address the problem. Let’s hope a solution is found sooner rather than later because property needs youthful energy and optimism to keep evolving and stay with the times.
I have often talked about PropTech solving a lot of issues from Planning through to Purchase through to Perception. If we can solve the perception that we are an archaic industry then we will attract the best talent.

6. To Save Retail, Let It Die

This is a fascinating and well put together article, and one which will undoubtedly make as many enemies as it will friends. The argument is that the future of retail will focus on advertising rather than sales. Shops will become living, breathing magazine pages, TV ads, and Instagram posts; places in which companies sell their vision rather than their products. In order to do that, retail as we know it ‘needs to die’. Agree or disagree, it’s an essential read.

7. Three construction innovations that will change the way we build

This is a great little video showing some of the most immediate innovations in construction, all of which promise to have a major impact on the property industry. We all know 3D printing, for example, is big news, but have you actually seen how it’s done? It’s unusually satisfying to watch.

8. Will blockchain technology transform real estate? I realise that this is a much asked and many times answered question, but this report from JLL is one of the best roundups of blockchain’s potential to disrupt property that I have read. Simple, concise and well-informed. Read it, absorb it, and then impress people with your knowledge next time you’re down the pub.

9. Over £45 million has gone into ‘PropTech’ in the last week alone

Yopa and Habito have raised tonnes of cash this week, and this piece looks into the fundraising efforts to try and decipher what they tell us about the immediate state of PropTech.

Is there another UK industry proving to be quite so reliably and consistently strong in its growth? It’s no accident, of course, it’s the result of years of labour and toil, but we shouldn’t get so used to the success that we start forgetting to register how important each individual story is. I am certainly proud of what we’ve all built; I hope you are too.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed that lot – quite a bit to get through so I will leave it there. No room left for my catch all lot at the end.

Have a great Sunday and message me if ever you want to chat. James

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