Can PropTech maintain its momentum in 2021?

Yesterday the team at LMRE tuned in to watch the webinar hosted by SEC Newgate, discussing the question and exploring where PropTech has been and where it is going.


Panellists on the webinar;

Sammy Pahal, the Managing director of the UK PropTech Association,

Guy Windsor-Lewis, Founder and CEO of Locale,

Muri Baxter, UK Sales Director of SmartRent,

Jules Barker, Global Director of Product at Wiredscore,

Emily Laverick, Marketing Director at Built-ID

The webinar was hosted by Rishi Banerjee and Tali Robinson from Newgate Communications.

The panel set out to discuss three questions/topics. Primarily, discussing where PropTech is as a sector. When discussing what hinders the continued growth of PropTech, it was widely agreed across the panel that the property industry is slow and often reluctant to adapt to tech advances. Although as Guy Windsor-Lewis mentioned, historically there has been no need for the property sector to adopt PropTech as there were limited pain points and tech innovation was not a priority. However, the global pandemic has since changed this.

The panel also discussed the lack of PropTech skillset and education, however the likes of Reading University are now integrating PropTech into their Real Estate courses. Whilst there has been huge growth in the PropTech sector in the last five years and in particular the last year, all believe there remains a long journey ahead for the PropTech sector.

Sammy Pahal mentioned that the UKPA since she joined in 2017 has seen an increase in 400 PropTechs operating, they now have around 900 firms registered. They are also seeing a lot more collaboration in PropTech, integrations that are forming the whole solution for companies as opposed to one singular aspect.

The panel then went on to discuss investment trends in PropTech. It was noted that many investors are looking to invest in ESG solutions, these are solutions that allow you to monitor air quality and as Muir Baxter noted, solutions and software that improve the overall well-being of the occupier, tenant and resident across the property sector. Sammy from UKPA noted a bold statistic that currently only 9% of PropTech founders are women, and whilst there is an increase for diversity in the sector, it is important to see increased support and encouragement for women in PropTech.

The final point of discussion was of connectivity in the PropTech world. Jules Barker noted that connectivity in 2021 is of utmost importance to the real estate industry, from Wi-Fi connectivity to engaging with tenants, investors and developers. Emily Laverick agreed, adding that they at Built I-D have recently been working with more leisure and retail companies who are looking to increase engagement with their communities, another important aspect of ESG intentions.

A very interesting webinar, providing an overview of the UK sector from multiple perspectives. A great education piece on the 2021 priorities of the sector!

By Olivia Dobson - PropTech Recruitment Consultant, UK

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