A like Artificial Intelligence, B like BIM, C like Cities of the Future, D like Distributed Ledger, E like Energy Crisis and F like FinTech. This week we pick up the ABC and take a look from G like Growth Hacking to M like Management Software. On our way down the alphabet we tackle ConTech, IoT, and LegalTech and ask ourselves the question: Why should we ever leave the sofa to buy an apartment?!

Growth Hacking is a marketing technique focused solely on growth. It is most of the time applied by early-stage startups, which need to achieve massive growth within a short period of time and with a tight budget. The goal of growth hacking is to promote sales and awareness by using creative, low-cost strategies and by combining marketing with data. The term “growth hacking” was coined by Sean Ellis, founder and CEO of GrowthHackers, in 2010.

Growth hacking with the help of PropTech

  • Automated out reach via Social Media: Connect with possible clients or partners via Social Networks. But instead of looking them up one by one and crafting an email for each, there are plenty of automated application out there, which boost your marketing. Take for example Facebook, which lets you test audiences, age, images etc. to more successfully promote different campaigns.
  • Track a potential lead viewing content via software with integrated lead generation modules, such as PROMPTO. PROMPTO combines a real-time visualisation software built on the leading game engine technology Unreal Engine, with a lead generation portal which helps marketeers to qualify, engage & track leads.
  • Customized landing page according to different audiences: Your landing page can automatically be adjusted, depending on who your customers might be: His needs, geolocation, demographic information, niche interest, buying interest and behavioral patterns. Let’s take a real estate company operating in Belgium. For one of their projects they are targeting two audiences: Retired couples and investors. Two target groups, which need to be addressed in a completely different way. Therefore the two different landing pages have tailor-made visuals, copywriting and call to actions.

H: Home building industry (ConTech)

ConTech is a part of PropTech. It focuses on the construction side of the real estate business and includes all technologies, which innovate the way we plan, design, install and build. Studies have shown, that 16% of all PropTech companies focus on construction.

ConTech Examples:

  • Robots, which are being used in the construction process for repetitive and tedious on tasks.
  • Wearable tech, such as Smart Helmets featuring for example augmented reality work instructions as well as direct communication to remote workers. Or Smart Vests – by integrating GPS hazard areas can be defined and workers can be warned when approaching.
  • Drone technology, which can be used for example for land surveillance. They are able to capture necessary data in much less time than traditional methods would take. They are also used for communication and management. By monitoring workers and tabs, they give supervisors the ability to manage the workflow 24/7.

I: IoT Internet of Things

“The internet of things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices.” Source: Technopedia

How IoT pushes PropTech to the next level:

The most prominent IoT device is probably Alexa! Who doesn’t know the virtual assistant developed by Amazon, who is able to speak to you, play the music you requested, provide you with weather information, news, or other real-time information? Alexa can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation system. Or take the Google Nest Home Assistant, which gives the promise that one can run its home without lifting your finger. Lights and other appliances can be adjusted with just the voice. But Alexa and Nest are only two examples, according to the World Economic Forum “by 2022, there will be over 1 trillion sensors connected to the internet”. The more connected we are, the more data about our behavior is available and can be used to plan smarter urban spaces and real estate projects.

J: Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated

JLL is the worlds second largest commercial real estate service firm and one of the key players, when it comes to investing in the real estate sector. In 2018 JLL created the JLL Spark Global Venture Fund with the aim to invest up to $100 million in PropTech companies.

And JLL is not alone. According to The New York Times, Forbes and The Real Deal 2019 is the year to invest in PropTech. Or as Forbes put it “we may be experiencing that turning point we’ve all been waiting for since the end of 2017”. The numbers proof them right. Only half way through 2019 investments in PropTech are already more than all of 2017. Investments in real estate tech startup just hit $12.9 billion compared to $12.7 billion for the full year of 2017. Most of the investments in PropTech are happening in the USA as well as in China, but the European market is also seeing growth.

K: Kangaroom or hunting your next apartment from your sofa.

You can basically order everything from you sofa nowadays: Food, clothes, furniture and even dates. Only renting apartments is up until today a business, where most of the time you have to show up personally. But startups like Airbnb, Zoopla, Kangaroom and Roomgo make it possible to connect with those who have a room to share directly from your sofa. Admittedly, once you made the connection you most probably have to show up and actually meet your possible future roommates. But the path up to there has been smoothed by these startups and Augmented Reality will surely turn it into a possibility within the next few years.

L: LegalTech meets PropTech

The real estate and construction sector is one of the last sector to be digitized. Which leads to many pain points when it comes to the construction industry and payments. The industry is for example notoriously poor at record keeping and there is a multitude of players involved, which leads to delay and a lack of transparency. It is a perfect case for Blockchain and integrated Smart contracts.

“Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network.” Source: Investopedia

Basically a smart contract is a conditional sentence. “If the foundation will be finished within four weeks, than the agreed payment will be paid out.” Not much different from an analog contract, except that it is an automated process, its terms are transparent to the network and immutable. Up to now contracts of these kind have been negotiated between law firms in long and cost intensive processes. Now, once agreed upon the terms and conditions, there is no need for a middleman anymore. Take for example BitRent, a London based startup and the first blockchain real estate platform that connects property developers with investors all over the world and attracts investments at early stages of construction securing them through Smart Contracts.

M: Management Software for Properties

Multiple tenants, landlords, needs and wishes – managing a property is a complex and time intensive task. Different platforms, ways of communications as well as analog remainders make it inefficient and slow. No wonder there are many PropTech startups out there tackling exactly these pain points by creating management software for properties. These platforms save time by automating repetitive tasks, bundling all incoming requests on one platform and by giving the manager the possibility to do it from their mobile, tablet or desktop – thus from everywhere. Companies operating in this area:

  • Landlordy – is a property management app for landlords in the smartphone world.
  • Condo Control Central – Automation of property management featuring: Accounting integration, online payments, facility booking, service requests and more.
  • Bloomreach – is a maintenance management software tool for organizations of all sizes. It is a SaaS solution which offers a customized interface which can be designed to suit users’ operational maintenance needs.

Also trending are platforms / apps, which enable the tenants of a building to register visitors, submit service requests, reserve resources, and receive updates from building management. The aim of these platforms is to facilitate the communication between the tenants as well as between the tenants and the manager. Let’s say the elevator is broken. Instead of tenant A, B, C all making a call to the manager, tenant A drops a message on the joined platform. B and C can see that A already communicated the problem and don’t have to do it themselves. The manager only gets one message and has time to take care of the problem instead of answering multiple calls and mails. Companies operating in this area:

  • Homebeat – a digital platform, which allows tenants to communicate with each other as well as with the house management. Their aim is to facilitate the communication with the house management and make it more efficient as well as to improve the tenant community.
  • askporter – aims to make managing spaces simple by providing every property manager with a digital personal assistant & every occupant a personal concierge.
  • Cunio – is tenant platform, which combines everyday life and contacts in regards to home in one app.

That was part two of four of the PropTech ABC. Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook, and we let you when part three N-T, and U-Z go online.

Thank you and kind regards,

Karolin in behalf of the Prompto.com team.