So here's what I think might happen, and who I think are worth watching.
What are you keeping an eye out for in PropTech in 2019?
As with any industry, the best tools are the ones that solve real problems by empowering their users.
In this new wave of PropTech, companies are often doing this by bringing together vast amounts of information that can help property professionals make better decisions and presenting it in a simple, actionable format resulting in productivity gains.
The planning system is at the heart of the property industry and widely known for being antiquated and clunky to navigate. 2019 will be the year where it is unravelled by technology so it’s easy to work with.
This will unlock huge opportunities for the development industry, councils and communities.
Another interesting trend is how Big Data companies are moving into the space. Companies like Google, Amazon, Airbnb and Facebook are taking to the industry in a massive way.
This is particularly significant because they have the resources to stimulate the whole property ecosystem (not just PropTech) which will encourage investment and innovation all around.
Have you noticed any changes in the market in the past quarter?
For us, industry-wide recognition such as winning the PlaceTech Startup Prize has helped to get our brand out there, making it much easier to engage prospective companies when we reach out. More generally, we have really noticed that the PropTech ecosystem has matured.
Much more real time data about the market has become available and the investment sector is getting more organised with the likes of Unissu gathering momentum which enables investors to make better choices about who to invest in, or use for themselves.
What are your hot picks for companies to watch?
Hubble has just raised a Series A funding round which suggests they’ve overcome many of the scaling challenges that had held them back. They’ve built an impressive platform and if it can cover the whole market it is much needed and will add huge value.
Chatbots are also becoming sophisticated. It’s interesting because the hype died down a few years ago but the development and funding didn’t stop and now they are quite powerful with serious applications at every stage of the real estate ecosystem.
AskPorter for example is doing great stuff with property management with their digital assistant solution.
Finally, it seems like we have been talking about AI forever as a thing of the future, but all the products I’ve mentioned use it in some way – it’s happening now.
Another good example is PerchPeek, who are using AI to match renters with homes and are seeing better results than traditional renting platforms. That’s quite impressive!
Jonny's the CEO at LandTech. He lives and breathes PropTech – he’s often the guy who can see what's going to happen before it happens. He has strong principles and is known throughout the industry as an advocate for diversity in the workplace. He hates Diggerland and loves snowboarding.