Paul Unger Editor PlaceTech

Editor’s note | Show us how it’s done

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Paul Unger

Midway through the autumn events season it’s been encouraging to see an increase in the number of companies from other industry tech scenes in the room, notably from financial, legal and insurance tech.

Fintech is often used as a stick to beat ourselves with in proptech – ‘it’s so much more advanced, they’ve got it nailed and we’re rubbish’ – and even the less glamorous legal tech and insurtech are more advanced, able to show us a trick or two, so the story goes.

Great, let’s welcome in experts from all corners and see what they have to show us. A case in point was Ansarada, founded in Sydney in 2005, exhibiting at Propteq. The company is starting to target real estate armed with bags of experience from running online due diligence rooms for the global mergers and acquisitions market. Ansarada works with some of the biggest dealmaking investment banks and law firms in Chicago, New York, London and Australia. The company is now bringing its data handling expertise, and growing AI services to guide buyer and vendor behaviour in virtual deal rooms, to the real estate market offering sophisticated cloud solutions aimed at the whole life cycle of a building.

Another exhibitor I met at Propteq was Shepherd, a facilities management tool that monitors water for signs of legionella, which began life in the insurance sector – clients include Aviva – and is now stepping across into property more directly, not surprisingly focused on hospitals.

These are just two notable entrants present at one event. The same trend could be seen at MIPIM UK, the retail property expo Revo, where conference programmes were littered with phrases about change, innovation and revolution and sessions featuring sponsors and speakers not always drawn from the core property disciplines.

Happily and at long last it’s also more common to find property people attending general tech events; civil engineers from WSP were asking questions at the Tech Nation roadshow event we attended recently.

This is all hopefully a sign of the wakening of the property world and the readiness to engage – if the market wasn’t perceived as being in play, would techies from other arenas be spending valuable time and money tapping the property community?

When it comes to tech adoption, the pace is quickening and client volume is spreading but property still needs all the help it can get, including from sectors that might have exposed us lagging behind.

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