On Tuesday 18th February, we hosted the first session of our new ‘PropTech Effect’ Roundtable series where we will explore the effect of PropTech on each stage of a property life cycle. Hosted by M7 Structura, the ‘Enabling better investment decisions’ roundtable was moderated by Conan Lauterpacht, Managing Partner at M7 Structura. We invited professionals and entrepreneurs from PropTech companies that are in this space along with property investors using PropTech solutions or are interested in learning how PropTech can support their decision making.
For every problem, there is a solution! Check out the key takeaways below..
The power of unlocking data
Whether you are an individual or company, property can be one of the most profitable areas to invest in, however this doesn’t mean that does not involve any type of risk. Unlocking data can provide transparency in property investments and provide clearer understanding of the market and by doing so this can help determine potential in an investment. Search Acumen provides more than 40 layers of essential property data digitally and on-demand through their intuitive ForeSite Platform. Their advanced system provides access to the right data for every property transaction, commercial or residential and analyse real estate sites before the purchasing process has even started, enabling better investment decisions and higher returns for their customers.
In addition, Coyote Software, an intuitive cloud-based platform, provides a central location for all commercial real estate data and facilitates smarter collaborations across teams. For example, acquisition and investment teams are able to review more deals, place more bids, and track pipelines more effectively.
In doing so, the Coyote ecosystem integrates market data sources like Infabode, who have over 850 content providers that contribute research, data and insights to a one-stop shop used by the real estate industry. Together they developed an API-based interface which enables Coyote to query and serve Infabode’s content into one consolidated dashboard; providing contextually relevant results and actionable insight on acquisitions and assets under management. Their data and technology combined helps asset managers to also see the risks and opportunities in their portfolios, enabling them to maximise income, reduce risk, and reduce vacancy.
Smarter decisions using available data
While there are no solutions for eliminating risks in property investment, there are PropTech companies that have developed software that assists individuals and companies in making high potential, low risk investment decisions.
Yardi is dedicated to the design, development and support of real estate investment management, asset management and property management software.
Their solutions enable more effective decision making through interactive and integrated analytics, that allow better collaboration between parties, including asset management and finance teams, while providing true visibility and insight into the portfolios, risk and tasks to be fulfilled during the leasing, forecasting, budgeting and development process.
As data becomes more and more available, the influx of information will subsequently enable smarter, faster, data-driven investment decisions. However the challenge that comes with there being more data becoming available is how organisations are using the data. Through the use of automated data standardisation, Proda’s solution allows real estate professionals to quickly gain actionable insights from their rent-roll data. With Proda you can standardise and validate this core data set and ship it out in any format that makes it easy for your organisation to analyse and then ingest into other underwriting models, cash-flow and analysis/visualisation solutions.
It is not just prior to investing in property that is important but also once you have invested in property and gathering data to understand the future potential within the building. Equiem’s market-leading app enables this with their complete platform for commercial real estate worldwide, helping landlords attract and retain occupiers, deliver seamless tenant communication, supercharge onsite retail and services, and unlock additional asset value across their portfolios.
Getting a quick yes or no
PropTechs have great solutions but are continuously challenged by the slow speed of potential deals with larger property companies. Property companies could see 4,000 pitches, have 400 meetings and work with just 10 of those companies. Accelerating the process of getting a yes or no would help PropTechs to move on quicker and waste less resources. Therefore facilitators around the table suggested top tips to help quicken the decision making process from leaders with budget and authority to PropTechs:
– Present shorter documents instead of a lengthy read for the decision maker
– Articulate the problem you are solving with your product and/or service
– Figure out who you need to speak to and aim for that person to avoid pointless meetings
It was also noted that by empowering department heads with a budget to make decisions collectively across the business could speed up the internal decision process. Although this was debated, it would not be a good idea as different decision making from individuals could conflict and subsequently impact the wider business and create more silos within the company. Instead, the following tips were suggested to help improve the internal decision process for large corporates:
– Setting up innovation councils bringing various department heads
– Setting up a sandbox environment to test new products and solutions
Collaboration is key
Partnerships and collaborations are immensely valuable in the real estate industry. When PropTechs come together they can provide a bigger and better solution that solves wider issues. In addition, it can help speed up the process for property companies adopting PropTech – which as mentioned was highlighted as one of the main challenges for startups, if not THE biggest challenge. This was also the main ask from the property professionals around the room, who stated it slows down the process when they have to have separate agreements and relationships with multiple vendors.
For ultimate collaboration, PropTechs could plug into one ecosystem set up by a larger company that could make the entire process simpler, quicker and more transparent. As such, the UK PropTech Association will be looking into developing a single template for the end client to be able to work with multiple vendors, and to encourage further collaboration between PropTech companies – stay tuned!
It’s all about data, collaboration and speeding up the process for both sides. In terms of data, there are several key players making key data available in an easy to read, accessible way and partnering with others to provide even greater insights and predictions. But there is still more that needs to be done to make integrations easier such as open API’s.
Property investors want to use PropTech. Investors are focused on value adds and profits and will use tech to achieve this. However, there are still challenges with the length of time it takes to make decisions and managing relationships and agreements with multiple vendors. Both PropTech’s and Property companies CAN do more to help address these challenges and ultimately drive digital transformation in this space.
The UKPA is here to stimulate these conversations and encourage engagement. Stay tuned for the next Roundtable!
Max Tulley, Coyote Software
Steve Murphy, Coyote Software
Daniel Clements, Emapsite
Bronny Wilson, Equiem
Michelle Corazzo, Hays Macintyre
Anna-Maria Kotciuba, Infabode
Daniel Truman, Leadoo
Conan Lauterpacht, M7 Structura
Lorenz Manthey, Makuria Investment Management
Naqash Tahir, PGIM Real Estate
David Oates, Proda
Christian Woodhouse, Search Acumen
Valentina Shegoyan, Second Century Ventures
Syed Noor, SRN Innovations
Avi Baidya, SSE Enterprise
Tim Orme, Startup Bootcamp
Sammy Pahal, UK PropTech Association
Jonathan Blackwood, Yardi
John Fitzgerald, Yourkeys
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