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Sunday PropTech Review; 8th April 2018

POSTED BY   james
April 9, 2018

Some fascinating meetings this week and a great load of progress. An interesting project is about to be launched and will fill you in with more details soon.

Another interesting project is already underway. Mrs D. and I are selling the flat we got engaged in. It has been tenanted for nearly 10 years but it is time to let it go and we are looking to test out all tech solutions possible. Given I like to share my feelings and experiences, my first update can be read here – if you can think of any solutions I should be trialing please do let me know

Before I really get started,  if you want this in your inbox each week please do subscribe here

Other than that it has been quite a quiet week. I know Will, who pulls together the daily digest has mentioned how sparse it has been this week. The calm before the storm perhaps.

By the way, do you want to join the 700 people who subscribe the daily digest – 10.30am every weekday – a different tone, a different voice and particularly opinionated – Register for the Daily Digest by Clicking Here.

David Beitz Partner Co-Founder Planned Grocery

What do developers need when they market a site to a grocery retailer? Where are the best opportunities for grocery-anchored developers today? What are the developing trends in grocery retail today? All this and so much more.

Most Shared: Purplebricks parachutes into NYC disavowing broker fees

On 3rd April, Purplebricks launched in New York City, an expansion to be overseen by Robert DiBiase.

They arrive in America asking one simple question: In 2018, why are consumers still paying a 6% fee to sell their home?

The company will spend $71 million on its U.S. expansion, funded by a recent equity investment of $177 million, from German media company, Axel Springer. As for the rest of that money, a sizeable chunk of it will be used on advertising campaigns across the city.

JLL Spark makes first acquisition as industry gets serious about technology

JLL’s tech division has made its first acquisition, purchasing Stessa, “a software platform that allows investors to track, manage, and communicate the performance of their property portfolios”.

“Optimising a real estate portfolio can involve tedious manual effort, which is why many investors see sub-optimal returns,” said Mihir Shah, Co-CEO at JLL Spark. “We chose Stessa as our first acquisition because its innovative product fills a gap in the market for small-to- medium investors.”

As this article discusses, JLL are the latest in a series of major property firms making big investment in technology. As Aaron Block says:

“Everyone is somewhere on the journey towards the destination of engaging with next-gen tech. It’s going to be a domino effect of money and time with these large real estate firms.”

PropTech Figure of the Week:

89% agree with the statement “Traditional real estate organisations need to engage with PropTech companies in order to adapt to the changing global environment.”

KPMG Real Estate Report, 2017

Influencer Quote of the Week:

“In history, humans invented tools, and then had to learn how to use them. In the future, devices will need to learn human.”

— Robin Li, CEO and founder of Baidu

Selling my flat – can I put my money where my mouth is?

I’m selling my flat in London, the flat where Mrs D and I got engaged. But it’s time to let go.

I’m using as an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is; I’m always rambling on about how much tech can help people buy and sell homes, but now I’m going to experiment with it from the perspective of a home-seller.

I wonder how it will go…here’s hoping I don’t end up going on the high street!

Countrywide goes back into online – this time for its mortgage side

Countrywide, who only recently announced that, in the face of trouble, they would be halting their moves towards technology.

Now they’re coming back, but this time they’ve got mortgages in their sights.

The product, called Dynamo, is will provide “free, impartial and quality mortgage advice to its customers through its simple and intuitive process.”

Retailers Race Against Amazon to Automate Stores

Amazon’s cashier-less grocery stores, Amazon Go, has, apparently, alarmed other retailers, leading to a race to robot arms.

Automating stores reduces costs and increases efficiency, and now companies like Alibaba and Walmart are making serious investments in automation startups.

In the case of Walmart, they are experimenting with robots which roll up and down the aisleslooking for shelves where cereal boxes are out of stock and items like toys are mislabelled. At 120 of Walmart’s 4,700 stores in the US, shoppers can also scan items using the camera on their smartphone and pay for them.

UKPA Awards – Recognising the success & wider impact of businesses and individuals in the PropTech & Property industries.


The UK PropTech Association will host its inaugural awards ceremony on 2nd May, 2018.

As a representative of the UKPA, I am really proud of the way in which these awards have been set out. Gone are the usual, Best Agent, Best Firm etc, and in their place we have awards for Diversity Advocate. Most Collaborative Business, and Greatest Social Impact.

I think theses categroies alone show how far property has come in the past years, and I hope that they go a ways to recognising the vital work that so many are doing not only to improve PropTech, but to find ways of using PropTech to help improve the world around us.

Nominations are now open. To Nominate yourself/business for an award, please complete the online form here.

PropTech Events This Week:

That’s all for now, folks…

Have a great Sunday.


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