Covid-19 has created an unprecedented opportunity for different sectors to rethink technology in the built environment. However, with many new and developing technologies to choose from, how can one help to determine which solutions are the best for their needs? In this blog, we discuss the future of 'PropTech', whilst also mentioning some of our favourite UK-based companies who are making an impact on the Real Estate industry.
Like many other industries, the PropTech space has managed to use the global pandemic as an opportunity to innovate to meet changing customer needs and locations. With many offices having to close due to the lockdown restrictions, property companies needed to increase their reliance on purely digital communication and infrastructure in order to maintain their daily operations - but is it here to stay?
What Is PropTech?
PropTech is a combination of the words 'property' and 'technology', which is a collective term that's used to describe the technology that innovates the real estate industry. PropTech facilitate's and redefine's how people now rent, research, buy, manage and even sell properties. This industry in fact supports operations within residential and commercial real estate - benefitting investors, brokers, developers, and their customers.
The term PropTech is applied to the variety of technology platforms and services that operate within the real estate industry. It can refer to software, services, or even hardware. For example, digital dashboards, smart-home technology, research and analytics, and also listings services.
In the world of digital-first working and consumer models, where online interactions across every area of life now the 'norm', the real estate industry has had no choice but to evolve quickly in order to keep up with the other industries. This has now led to the dramatic rise of PropTech start-ups to try bridge the gap between increased remote working, digital customers, global property sales, management, development, and leases. With that being said, data shows that the UK is the leader among European countries when it comes down to the amount of PropTech funding - as of June 2019, over $5bn was invested in 805 UK PropTech companies, which was five times more than Germany.
It's clear that real estate and placemaking organisations must now adopt more tech solutions to stop the risk of missing out on great opportunities within the sector, so we thought we would mention some of our favourite companies within the PropTech industry who are disrupting the sector as we traditionally know it:
UK PropTech Companies
Landbay, which was established back in 2014 by John Goodall and Gray Stern, is a buy-to-let mortgage lending platform and is in the business of modernising mortgage finance. The company lends UK prime buy-to-let mortgages, whilst offering institutional investors direct access to these loans through their platform - borrowers pay interest and Landbay's platform then passes this interest on to investors.
Landbay's main marketplace technology platform is built on cloud based micro-services architecture and has in fact been featured as an Amazon Web Service (AWS) case study. Their platforms cover the full cycle of a mortgage, from origination all the way to servicing. They also focus on their technology to help automate workflows, manage products through configuration and analyse data which enables an efficient operation alongside continuous improvement.
Founded back in 2015 by co-founders Ishaan Malhi and Jonathan Galore, Trussle have taken the mortgage process online by removing the time, hassle and costs involved when securing your mortgage. This platform is completely free for their users and will receive a fee from the lender as soon as the mortgage is completed.
Customers can see how much they can borrow or save in minutes, whether you're a first time buyer or looking to remortgage - their online calculators help customers to take the next step on their home ownership journey.
Using Trussle to help secure your mortgage is entirely online, so there's no need for paperwork, time consuming phone calls, or being left out of the loop during any stage of the process.
Housemates was founded back in 2018 by CEO Lydia Jones - the platform is a global marketplace and SaaS solution which allows students around the world to book their accommodation fast, securely and completely online.
Their platform enables global PBSA operators to convert students into bookings across every acquisition channel without any of the associated costs along side of it. The Mates Group ecosystem consists of their marketplace, SaaS, API's and affiliates offering a solution for the growth of the PBSA market covering both new to market as well as more established operators.
Movebubble, founded back in 2013 by Aidan Rushby, Logan Estop Hall and Tony Edwards,
have developed solutions to problems encountered by renters by looking into how people search for rentals in a completely brand new way.
The company came about as a result of the bad experiences the founder's had encountered - having seen how bad things could get with agents, landlords and unloved properties, they decided that something needed to change.
The app facilitates a seamless end-to-end solution for renters and property partners, video walkthroughs, real time communication with partners (in app chat), affordability checks and also gives users the ability to transact online and even book viewings.
Founded back in 2013 by Emre Kazan and Cem Savas, Plentific was designed to make it easy to find reliable trade services and manage property repairs and maintenance, as they both believed that property management could do better for local trades specialists, property managers and also tenants.
Plentific is a purpose-driven technology business. The company works with trade professionals and also their property partners, in order to transform their processes as well as the communities that they serve. The company's platform and also the marketplace is currently being used by landlords and property managers across residential, commercial, and also social applications - not only throughout the United Kingdom, but the United States, and even Germany.
Rightmove, founded back in 2000 by Alex Dail, their platform operates as a digital property portal - allowing them to bring the UK's largest and most engaged property audience and largest inventory of properties together in one easy, accessible place.
"By creating a simpler and more efficient marketplace, we can make home moving in the UK easier." - Rightmove.
Rightmove believe that creating a better marketplace which empowers their consumers and property professionals, will create a better housing market as a whole. By building their long-term partnerships and creating value for property professionals and consumers, they're able to grow their revenue which allows them as a business to innovate and create more value for everyone.
Founded back in 2015 by James Turford, Matt Robinson and Phil Cowans, Nested's mission is to give home-sellers certainty over their property sale from day one, without having to compromise on prices - they do this by helping their consumers understand what what they need for their new home, whilst they sell their old homes for the best possible price.
Nested are committed to using technology to bring transparency and clarity to the market. They have built tools to give their sellers insight and visibility into their home sales, allowing them to see for themselves what the company are doing for them. Nested agents are dedicated to the company's missions, which is why they constantly work closely with them to create processes and tools to make their services as open and honest as possible.
Here at Talented Recruitment Group, we love to see and integrate our business within sectors who are developing and progressing with the ever changing technology market, as well as the many different start-ups forming along side of the top companies within PropTech.
As for the future of PropTech, with the benefits of modern technology, this industry is only going to continue to grow faster than it has within the last decade. For the real estate industry, time is the main asset - which technology tends to benefit in many different ways. Integrating technologies in the real estate sector brings plenty of opportunities to better the current industry, whether thats to help towards mortgages, maintenance or renting, the list is endless.
The companies we've discussed today are only a few of the many that are helping to bring light to the PropTech industry, and we can't wait to see how it progresses further in the coming years.