It is no secret that the property industry has been slow to react when it comes to the adoption of technology.
That being said, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s not like property changes hands as often as we order taxis or takeaway food and it’s so often a transaction that provides the opportunity to deploy new technology. Happily, recent developments in both the property and technology sector – as well as the rise of the ‘proptech’ zeitgeist – suggest that change is certainly upon us.
There is no ignoring the record number of proptech M&As and fundraising events seen in 2016 and this looks set to continue in 2017. Already, proptech funding activity in the UK alone has been astounding this year, with Purplebricks’ £50m raise to drive their international expansion the latest example. This comes on the back of three strong fundraises by proptech finance companies: LendInvest, Habito and Trussle.
In order to support this burgeoning sector, we launched the UK PropTech Association (UKPA) this month. Established to further support both businesses and individuals interested in proptech, it is the UKPA’s mission to promote engagement between technology and property businesses, representing their interests both at home and abroad.
The UKPA’s steering committee is made up of some of the most influential people in proptech, including James Dearsley, Juliette Morgan, Edwin Bartlett and Dan Hughes and has thus far had an overwhelmingly positive response. It’s hugely important to us that, in Dan and Juliette, we have representatives from key property organisations, namely the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and British Land respectively.
In addition to advocacy, thought leadership and trade missions, the Association will be supporting a series of events throughout the year. The first is a now sold out proptech meet up at MIPIM in Cannes, forming part of an impressive roster of technology related events – a first for MIPIM.
Other up-and-coming events include the first in a series of international trade missions in partnership with the Department of International Trade to New York. The three-day trip will comprise knowledge and relationship building events – hosted at the British Consulate – and will provide the delegation with the opportunity to network with investors, property industry professionals and US proptech companies.
The UKPA is open to any individual or firm with an interest in the sector.