Who are the taxi drivers of the property industry?

Importance of Proptech

Who are the taxi drivers of the property industry?

This is the question we were all asking of one of the world’s most influential proptech analysts, James Dearsley, at Australia’s Proptech Summit last week.

Proptech is much more than a buzzword. The world’s largest early stage proptech advisory and accelerator, MetaProp, says investor confidence is rising rapidly. About $US12.6 billion was poured into proptech start-ups last year alone, and MetaProp expects acquisitions to increase by 75 per cent over the next 12 months.

This investment is being fuelled by both the inefficiency and ubiquity of property.


Property is known as a highly traditional sector, which is an extraordinary outcome when you consider every person lives, works and plays in property and the lives we lead have been fundamentally altered by technology.

The proptech ecosystem is growing rapidly, but there is no “single source of truth” to help the real estate sector understand what’s going on – which is why Dearsley is mapping the global proptech market and its 8000 or so start-ups.

Dearsley has identified 205 proptech companies in Australia but thinks there are more to be uncovered.

Some Australian property companies are striding out ahead. Charter Hall’s accelerator program is working with four proptech start-ups, InSpaceXR, BricksandAgent.com, Snaploader and Estate Baron, to test virtual reality, cloud, 3D modelling and blockchain.

In July, Lendlease and JLL launched Propell Asia, a Singapore-based regional proptech accelerator that gives proptech start-ups access to the entire real estate value chain to trial and validate their products.

Australia’s property companies could connect with a new proptech start-up every day of the week – but each start-up solves just one problem, or even just a piece of that problem.

This overload of solutions is why 98 per cent of healthtech start-ups fail and it is likely we will see similar rates in proptech.

The smart money will look at how to get aggregation. So expect collaboration and consolidation as the founders of these 8000-plus start-ups look for opportunities to merge.

Technology cannot be “tech for tech’s sake”. It must create a better experience or solve a problem – even if it’s one we don’t know exists.

We could get from A to B before Uber arrived on the scene. But Uber’s technology removed pain points we didn’t know we had – like the unwelcome inconvenience of paying for the fare at the end of the ride.

What are the pain points in property? We should all know – we are in property all the time.

The answer is found in knowing your customer, understanding how they move through their day and where you can remove friction.

We are spending billions of dollars on assets – but are we investing in the areas that customers actually care about?

At EY, we are already building AI architecture and customer analytics tools to help our clients make data-based decision making.

We are already seeing technology-enabled business models emerge. It’s about creating a different mindset to that of the traditional property player.

Company leaders need to immerse themselves in this new world. Technology is rewriting the rules for just about everything. As James Dearsley says, it is reinventing job descriptions and reimagining businesses.

It is creating new industries and eliminating others. The property industry will survive that same phenomenon that created Uber and changed the taxi industry. But only for those companies that are prepared to rethink the new normal.

Selina Short, EY managing partner for real estate, hospitality and construction

How Stratafy helps?

We have seen it before with Taxi’s  Vs. Uber, technology will come and disrupt those who don’t let it become apart of your business. With Stratafy its not a cost but cost savings, risk mitigation, new revenue and a better user experience. Get in touch today to see how.