Having recently completed proptech investments in Unissu and Dashflow, I was interested to read Andy Saull’s article, “Proptech disruption won’t hit any time soon”, in the last issue of Property Chronicle. It introduced me to the concept of Gartner’s Hype Cycle, which at first glance seems to neatly embrace the challenges, and the reality, when it comes to the adoption of “proptech solutions” across the real estate industry.
Having been an active member of this community for over 35 years, I have seen massive change, and on the whole qualitative improvements, over this long stretch of time. But, as well as benefitting from the advances in technology, I have also seen both the hype and the disillusionment arising when so-called transformative technologies fail to deliver.
Additionally, what I find also slightly curious today, is that references to Proptech seem to suggest that this is the first time that innovation and technology has been directly pushed up against the real estate industry. But of course, many tech innovations have already run their course, following the lines of Gartner, adding material benefits to the industry: mobile phones, computers, excel spreadsheets etc! Today, I regularly hear the refrain that Proptech will both disrupt and transform my old business world of real estate fund management. As an aside, I often wonder whether the constant reference to Proptech being disruptive, acts as some kind of road block against wider trialling of many of the great ideas and concepts out there, but that’s not a topic for here.