PropTech to propel property sector to new phase

December 05 2018

Proptech is here and will have a major impact on the property sector in the coming years, according to experts.

On a visit to Sydney last month, Andrew Baum, visiting professor of management practice at Oxford Said, said he believes the proptech revolution is likely to impact us all.

Speaking at a JLL event, he said it might be that in five to 10 years’ time we will be using crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin or Blockchain to buy and sell our houses.

PropTech is defined as autonomous cranes, window-cleaning robots, flexible solar film and auditor-busting blockchain, according to the Property Council of Australia.

Professor Baum said the cost effectiveness of vertical living means "we should be prepared to live in high-rise towers in which we commute to shared working spaces in the same building".

"2017 seems to mark a turning point. Proptech has been building such mass and momentum that it will change the world," he said
Professor Baum said the fintech industry, in particular, online payment systems, crowdfunding equity and debt platforms and online exchanges, provides the foundation for a large part of the Proptech 2.0 revolution. The development of intelligent control engineering is another plank.
Colliers International has also announced its inaugural class of 10 proptech start-ups for the Colliers Proptech Accelerator powered by Techstars.
The Colliers PropTech Accelerator powered by Techstars bills itself as a first-of-its-kind program that identifies and mentors start-ups around the globe that are developing industry-disrupting technologies in the property and real estate industry.

Savills Australia has also formed a strategic alliance with Queensland-based proptech start-up company, SA1 Property, in a move to command greater market share of the industrial and occupier services sectors.
Savills Australia’s national head of industrial and business services, Michael Fenton, said the union with SA1 Property would allow Savills to provide its clients with unique information for location decisions, which could result in "millions of dollars in savings for industrial occupiers and de-risk the investment thesis for investors and developers in transactions".

SA1 Property and Savills will use big data, modern analytics and property metrics to help occupiers optimise their supply chain networks, and to help investors and developers create powerful insights into Australia’s industrial property markets.
Charter Hall’s David Clarke and Buildcorp’s Josephine Sukkar will this month lead an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce mission to investigate disruptive property technology in this high-tech hub.

Mr Clarke said PropTech is changing how buildings are constructed, managed and traded. He sees the biggest opportunities in the sharing economy, virtual reality and blockchain.

"It's pretty rare to get on a plane and find lots of empty seats these days, but in real estate we have vastly expensive pieces of capital goods sitting empty for long periods of time – even during the working day," Mr Clarke said.
"Virtual Reality (VR) technology can save a lot of time when institutional investors – particularly those internationally – are looking at our assets. And VR will bring to life architectural drawings to help us make quicker and better decisions."
As for blockchain, Mr Clarke likens it to the internet in the early 1990s.
"I don’t think any of us are quite sure where blockchain will take us," he said.