Proptech Set to Shine in 2021
If 2020 felt like the work of downbeat dystopian fiction,2021 surely owes it to us to carry more utopian optimism.
And if nature brought us to our knees last year, maybe technology can help us back up over the next 12 months.
PropertyMe has collated Proptech predictions for 2021 fromfive experts, noting that with Proptech start-ups benefiting from over $43billion in funding since 2012, it could be set for a defining year.
1. The First prediction, courtesy of Justin Butterworth, Founder and CEO of Snug, is that 2021 will be a big year for automation and data-driven decision making as the natural progression following a year of “unprecedented migration across the industry into property management cloud software.” Many companies will have undergone enforced changes over the last year, impacting staff resources. Boardrooms across the industry will surely be looking at ways automation can reduce the burden on depleted teams, while also providing some security inthe event of further COVID-related staff shortages.
2. Continuing The theme of automation, Simon Chamberlain, Chief Strategy Officer and Director Of Marketing at Detector Inspector, highlights the increased adoption of cloud-based solutions as a way to automate workflow between various software providers. Chamberlain proceeds to predict 5G or purpose-built home networks as improving connectivity within the home, leading to an increased ability to segue from site visits to remote appointments. The knock-on effect of increased automation could be a frictionless market place, which Chamberlain predicts will lay the groundwork for a battle in the Proptech industry, citing the trend of open verses closed software as one to watch.
3. The Third expert to predict what 2021 holds for Proptech is National Manager of DirectConnect, Belinda Seers, who focuses on data security, flexible workplaces and hyperlocal businesses as areas to thrive in 2021. The wealth of data that circulates in the property industry creates endless possibilities for providing bespoke services and forecasting, as well as a compliance headache, which will drive regulations, cybersecurity and data security forward. One of the most widely relatable effects of2020 is the uprise of remote working, which will make replicating the office environment a key focus of Proptech in 2021, including maximising the efficiency of CRM tools. Finally, Sears suggests the support for local business will continue, with technology supporting human interactions, rather than replacing them. For the property industry, this could mean careful strategizing for which aspects of the customer experience to ‘delegate to technology, and which require the empathy of human interaction.
4. ‘Integration Is the buzzword again, with Andrew Colagiuri, founder and CEO of FLK It Over,suggesting that there is an expectation in 2021 for many of the Proptech Developments from the last few years to “talk to each other to help with time management and ease of use.” This will not only help companies continue to thrive in a flexible workspace environment,but increased mobile accessibility will also help site staff operate more efficiently when away from the office (be that the spare bedroom, a portacabin or a city high-rise).
5. Svetlana Nikolic, Sales and Marketing Manager at MyConnect, believes that“consumer-focused trends will accelerate in the post-pandemic space”, with companies using Proptech to “enhance the user experience and deliver products that streamline workflows and bring convenience and transparency to the workforce.” The outcome of this will be more efficient use of resources. This is something that Classic Folios has spent several years cultivating withSpaciable – a portal that improves communication between developer admins and their customers, while also streamlining tasks, such as defect reporting,registering appliances and requesting quotes for utilities and services. With three lockdowns in the bag, people have grown accustomed to carrying out most of their work and domestic admin from the comfort of their homes. As such, it isup to the Proptech industry to ensure this need can be met throughout all aspects of the homebuying, home selling and homeowning journey, while simultaneously saving developers, landlords and property managers time and money.
Suffice to say, 2021 is fixed to be a pivotal year for Proptech. For its many, many faults,2020 has accelerated certain trends and shifts in our professional and personal lives that had long sat on the periphery waiting for the right moment, perhaps none more so than remote working. As the‘new normal’ continues to throw out new challenges, Proptech has been working on the solutions for the best part of a decade.