Connect, in conversation with Sammy Pahal, Managing Director of UKPA

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Connect is a global event Unissu is hosting alongside 15 local partners, to give you the first simultaneous global view on the rise of technology in property. Unissu are working together with the UKPA and their managing director Sammy Pahal, who are hosting the London Connect event on March 3rd.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your organisation? How did you get involved in real estate and PropTech industry?

I previously worked for Ordnance Survey and was responsible for looking at the use and future needs of location data within the land and property sector. I then went on to manage partnerships with technology companies using Ordnance Survey data. Several of the partnerships I managed were with PropTech businesses, although, I was unaware of the term ‘PropTech’ until I was introduced to the UK PropTech Association in 2017!

When I joined, initially as Head of Memberships, my eyes were opened to what I have found to be an exciting and innovative industry. The number of PropTech companies in the UK alone is astonishing and the UK PropTech Association plays a crucial role in helping to support these companies, driving digital transformation in an industry where technology can make processes and workflows much more efficient and smarter. I also have a degree in Psychology – which is a big factor in digital transformation and makes it both a challenge and interesting space to be in.

2. What is PropTech like in the UK and who are the main influencers and companies to keep an eye on?

PropTech in the UK is evolving. Whilst many PropTech companies have been around for 10, 20 years, there’s a new wave of consumer facing PropTech and data driven B2B PropTech’s as technology has advanced. The main influencers can be seen on Unissu’s platform! In terms of companies, there are so many to choose from. I would suggest taking a look at our 2019 UK PropTech Award winners and our gold members.

3. Where do you think PropTech will be in 5 to 10yrs in the UK?

In the B2B space, I think AI based solutions which automate processes and actions will be a must have and more and more decisions will be based on insights from the data that’s starting to be collected from buildings now. I also hope the government will lead the way by demonstrating the value of tech on public sector buildings.

4. Any sector in PropTech you are particularly interested in?

As someone who rents in London, I am personally interested in PropTech solutions which help democratise the property industry and make investing in property more accessible to younger people. I am also interested in ‘Tech for Good’. There are some really interesting companies that are going beyond providing commercial benefits to the property industry, and are tackling national challenges such as the housing shortage, energy efficiency and societal challenges.

5. Why did you decide to partner with Unissu for this event and what are you looking forward to about it?

PropTech in the UK can be a bubble and it’s important to have a global view of how PropTech is impacting the property industry – particularly as many PropTech solutions can be adapted to meet the needs of different markets, and many property companies are global. As the representative body for the UK PropTech industry, it made sense to be the local partner for the event. I am looking forward to seeing what we can learn from other countries in terms of technology adoption and how challenges have been overcome.

UK PropTech Association offer different packages and benefits depending on the type of organisation that you belong to. Click here to learn more!

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