Conquering the barriers between Property Companies and PropTech Solutions

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By James Borg

Global Head of Sales , 



I recently attended a debate hosted by the UKPA titled –

“Should PropTechs provide greater support to Property companies to help with implementation, or Should Property companies be better prepared?”

This is a question I keep hearing.

My initial stance on the subject was why would Property companies need to be better prepared, if something isn’t broken why try and fix it?

Your value proposition as a PropTech better be strong enough to change the status quo but this won’t be an immediate priority.

However, after listening to the arguments from both PropTech and Property company representatives, my opinion has shifted.

As someone new to the world of PropTech, I was eager to hear both sides of the debate. I’m still learning everyday & this was a subject I’ve been following closely for some time. So to be in a position to gather views from both sides of the table in one room, I had to be there.

I joined PropTech as it fascinated me after years on the front end dealing with countless spreadsheets and outdated solutions.

The PropTech speakers expressed many frustrations with the numerous obstacles that hinder implementation and certainly raised some key points. What I took away was there are way too many hurdles from stakeholders to get the ball rolling and no solid plans for cultural change inside these companies.  Nevertheless, from my point of view I’m a numbers guy, and unless you were showing me exactly why your value proposition benefits me directly, things are going to move slowly or worst case the solution is going to be binned. It’s all well and good buying a piece of tech but unless this is a key part of the business it will be very much be ‘just another system’ that gets lost as time goes on.  Habits are extremely difficult to get out of, and without some element of change management from the property companies the adaptation of the tech will never be used to its full potential.

On the other side of the room, Property company representatives highlighted very different views. They emphasised the importance of ongoing training and support even after implementation to ensure sustained adoption and continued success. The Proptechs need to understand that the property companies do have various stakeholders in different areas and coaching is what is going to create champions inside of the property companies. They need to guide & coach their champions and the Proptechs need to act as ambassadors even after the tech has been implemented. Without ongoing training/coaching, the minute a key stakeholder leaves the company, who is going to be their champion moving forward? Just another piece of tech not renewed if a proper handover Is not done…

Overall, my view is not so lopsided anymore and ultimately, I believe that the solution lies in a 50/50 partnership between Proptechs and Property companies.

Tech Companies need to understand the frustrations of Property Companies. Proptechs should guide and support their clients, understanding their unique needs and helping them navigate the implementation process. You have done this before, its new to the property guys. Every single week I come across another PropTech that makes me think, why didn’t I think of that? Teach others.

Property companies must be open to cultural change and fully grasp the benefits of the technology they are implementing. It is crucial that Property companies are willing to be flexible in their approach and adapt to new ways of working, leaving behind outdated thinking and embracing innovation to drive their business forward. What worked in the past will not necessarily work in the future…

By setting mutual KPIs from the outset, both parties can work towards a successful outcome.

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