What should the response to PropTech be?
Nadeem Shaikh argues that the astonishing growth of PropTech across the property industry, becoming an established trend in the future of business, it is interesting to look at how established companies should react. This can cover large property companies, potential investors, and smaller traditional businesses. As so much of PropTech revolves around the use of technology to better provide services, the reaction to it need to be seen not just in the context of ability, but at a human level. It is ultimately fair to say that the change begun by PropTech is inevitable, not only from trends in the property industry but in the growing digitalisation of modern society as a whole. The significance of PropTech is the speed and projected scale of the change it can bring, and it should be important to note that efficiency and centralised working should not come at the cost of stability.
For potential investors, PropTech is a clearly successful, growing and strong market for startups. Since the first developments in 2012, PropTech has a combined global market of $6.4 billion, with a disclosed $2,665 billion of investment. There are 4 $1 billion PropTech companies, none more than 6 years old. It is a market that lends itself well to small or individual ideas or companies, as so much of the work is done by technology, and potential risk is offset by the much greater comparative potential for profit in relation to the level of investment. The constant growth, and the scale of is due to the holistic nature of much PropTech, that it seeks to remake the property industry and not simply modernise it. This is the core potential of PropTech, and what marks it out from any other new rising trend. Its fundamental nature ensures permanence in the development of the property industry, and this is why it should be regarded as a safe, flourishing market for investors.
For established businesses, there should not be fear. The technological change that drives PropTech has been harnessed by the market, but it has not created itself. PropTech is not an inherent negative for more traditional businesses, but a potential blessing if they can keep up. Any modern business should ensure it is digitally connected well enough for the modern age, and the growth of PropTech does not change that. Companies need to ensure they keep up with the news, with development in technology, to keep their customer communication at a high level. They should do this as a matter of course, and ensure they keep up with general industry trends. If they do, established businesses can take full advantage pf the benefits of PropTech. They can use technological developments within their own systems, for their benefits, because a s long as they keep up with technology, they do not have as much need to compete with growing PropTech companies, if suitably established.
PropTech is not mutually exclusive with traditional methods of business. Businesses need to ensure they remain technologically up to date, but this is not a PropTech issue. The very nature of much of PropTech, small independent startups ensure that larger established business do retain some advantages. They can use PropTech services on a much larger scale than the original companies, while also retaining a human touch. They can communicate and personalise their dealings with customers far better than small firms to have to fight for every inch of ground. Technology should be utilised to its full possible extent, but to be truly successful even in a fundamentally changed economy, businesses need to not forget the value of humans.