Last week we hosted our first in person debate “Should PropTechs Provide Greater Support to Property Companies for Implementation or Should Property Companies be Better Prepared?” as part of “The Big Question” debate series.
On Team 1 we had Helen Cave-Penny Head of Growth at Evora Global, Jonathan Avery– Head of Technology and Data at LGIM and Andre Bothma– Growth Principal at JLL Spark arguing “PropTechs should provide greater support.”
On Team 2 we had Guy Windsor-Lewis – CEO and Founder at Locale , Fam Ahamed- Head of Sales UK at Workero and Anna Moore– Partner at Mckinsey & Company arguing “Property companies should be better prepared”
Digital transformation is challenging and requires evaluation of people and business processes, change management and integrations between different solutions/systems. The solutions currently in place for Property companies are a core part of their system making it harder to integrate new solutions despite wanting to adopt new solutions. Both teams presented strong arguments ultimately aiming to answer the question whether responsibility of education lies with PropTechs or do Property companies need to be better prepared?
Arguments for PropTechs should provide greater support:
- Property companies adopting new solutions may not be equipped to know the software’s full capabilities and benefits which in turn could lead them to getting rid of these solutions due to the lack of knowledge and awareness.
- PropTechs know their products and solutions better than anyone. It is their responsibility to equip the key stakeholders of their client organisations with the knowledge they need to be able to get internal buy in and act as ambassadors.
- PropTech companies tend to target the larger clients, but their focus should be on clients that need the solution and can therefore help them land and expand these products and solutions.
- In many cases property companies are already working hard to get buy in from across the organisation and create the right environment and culture.
- Property companies often have complex internal systems and policies and also multiple areas in the business that need innovation and new technology. PropTech companies need to understand these systems, the company’s needs and where/how their technology can fit to provide an easier integration process and smoother communication between the two companies.
- There needs to be greater appreciation for where new products sit in the bigger stream of work, and willingness for PropTechs to work together through integrations or collaboration.
Arguments for Property companies should be better prepared:
- PropTech companies can provide on-going support and training programmes but change management is essential which Property companies need to internally introduce and action as PropTechs aren’t able to provide this.
- There are often lots of different stakeholders when procuring a product or solution that it can be impossible for the tech company to influence.
- Property companies need to understand the requirements and motivations of all the users using the products and solutions.
- If the person championing for innovation or a particular product/solution leaves the business, it becomes difficult for the PropTech company to influence. Cultural change is therefore essential to the success of technology adoption
- Property companies need to be ready to receive innovation and digital transformation. This needs to be actioned through all stakeholders and be central to a business’s strategy in order for change to happen.
- Businesses may invest in technology, but it will be wasted if they are not clear on what they want to achieve and why
Although the winning side was Team 1 (Helen, Jonathan & Andre), the audience were almost 50/50 with 55% agreeing PropTechs need to provide greater support and 45% agreeing that Property companies need to be better prepared.
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