For the past few months, the UKPA board directors have been interviewing some of our gold members as part of our new “In Conversation” Series. During the series gold members have been tackling topics such as entering the UK market, challenges, growth within the industry and where the PropTech industry is headed. Series 1 included interviews with Christian Scandurra, Head of Sales UK at Moving Hub, Tomas Evans, Head of Sales UK at Myr.ai, Bogdan Nicoara, Founder & CEO at Bright Spaces and Trevor Stunden, Co-Founder and CEO at Kettel Homes.
During the interviews, PropTech members expressed some common challenges; one of the first challenges being difficulty reaching decision makers. In our recent debate event, we heard a similar frustration amongst companies, so how should PropTechs tackle this? The answer to this question starts with PropTech companies empowering the innovation teams to act as champions and supporting throughout internal discussions as they seek buy in. Another challenge we often hear is the disconnect between how budgets are perceived versus cost saving benefits of the existing solutions. Adopting technology requires an investment of money, resource and time, and often a change in processes and culture. With any investment and change of this kind, there are risks and perceived risks. As such, it’s vital that property companies understand how the solution fits within their business, and all stakeholders ultimately realise the benefits and how it helps them achieve their objectives. PropTech companies need to support through this process and articulate and measure the ROI they can offer early on.
The ultimate answer to a lot of the challenges expressed by members often leads to education or the lack thereof. Both on the Property and PropTech side, there is a gap on knowledge about solutions and what solutions might be the right fit for the customer. The PropTech industry is growing exponentially which has given rise to several great companies and solutions hence making decision making for Property companies difficult. Most users of the tech solutions are the ones that experience the pain points first hand but are often not the decision makers. Senior management can often be disconnected from the inefficiencies or frustrations experienced. In order for such change to take place, property companies need to be thinking about tech and innovation from the top as part of their core business strategy and amongst their stakeholders. On the other hand, PropTechs are best equipped to educate clients and decision makers within these organisations, hence doing this through focused events, thought leadership content, case studies and widening their network can help them demonstrate their value.
The interviews have also given us an opportunity to hear from our members about what they think the industry is shaping up to and what trends can we expect to see. A common point raised from PropTech members is the recognition of the need for integration. Property companies often have many different pain points they are looking to solve, and typically they would implement multiple different software and platform to do this. Hence solutions that can integrate and connect to other solutions is key to growth and realising the full ROI.
Another common trend members expect to see is the growing popularity of AI. We recently tackled a similar discussion at a past event wherein members expressed whether AI would eliminate the need for human interaction. The adoption of AI can reduce inefficiencies and human error especially within data capture, workflows and management of assets. Therefore, in the future AI will be deployed a lot more within companies to ease these processes and help employees focus on areas where human interaction is prevalent and ultimately build relationships.
As we look forward to starting the interviews for Series 2, we are grateful for the participation from our members and are looking forward to several insightful points of discussion being brought up.
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