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PropTech Summit encourages new tech adoption, embrace of data benefits

Key messages to emerge from the MIPIM PropTech Summit were that data should not be seen as a threat by real estate experts and that the use of new technology is crucial for companies as they serve commercial and residential clients.

In only its second year, the MIPIM PropTech Summit is the flagship event of NYC Real Estate Tech Week.

Reed MIDEM, organizer of global conference and business events, together with MetaProp NYC, the PropTech accelerator, drew real estate leaders and technologists from around the world to the summit to share the latest trends and how they will impact the future of their business.

“New York has emerged as the global capital of the PropTech industry – which has experienced rapid growth in the last few years – so it was mission-critical to bring global leaders in real estate and tech together for the first time to propel the movement forward,” said Filippo Rean, Head of Real Estate Markets, Reed MIDEM.

“We’re especially grateful to the experts who led and participated in lively discussions during our panels and working sessions, as well as the passionate delegates who forged strong connections that will serve as the foundation for the next phase of the industry’s development,” he added.

Industry insiders agree that 2017 is expected to be a record-making year for investment in the PropTech industry – surpassing last year’s record $2.6 billion in investment through 277 transactions, as reported by CBInsights.

Aaron Block, co-founder & managing director, MetaProp NYC, said, “This year’s MIPIM PropTech Summit did what no other real estate technology event could even imagine doing: presenting MetaProp NYC’s, industry first Global PropTech Awards winners and MIPIM’s North American Startup Competition finalists, while bringing together the best entrepreneurial minds and forward-thinking venture capitalists in the sector in the world’s PropTech capital, New York City.

We are enormously proud of the huge and electrically-enthusiastic attendees who again made the Summit the Davos of PropTech.”

The consensus among speakers and attendees across the board was that there are two fundamental elements currently driving the PropTech industry: user experience and data and analytics.

For Silverstein Properties CEO Marty Burger, who delivered the Summit’s real estate keynote, people are at the center of every tech-related decision the prolific developer makes.

“Today, real estate is not about buildings. It’s about people and how they live their lives,” he said.
“The industry is starting to look at real estate as a service – both on a commercial and a residential front, and those who embrace tech responsibly and strategically will succeed. If we ignore tech, we jeopardize our position.”

Chris Grigg, CEO of British Land, agreed, noting, “Whereas Google and Facebook are very much ahead of their audiences, shaping their needs, the real estate industry is following the customer’s lead in order to meet their needs. It’s all about the big picture, including strategic decisions as to which technologies make the most sense and determining whether it’s a simple case of adding features, or the much larger project of rethinking the entire system.”

Doug Chambers, vice president at WeWork, said, “It’s all about the end-user experience. When you walk into a WeWork space, you experience a buzz – that buzz is collaboration happening.”

Chambers – whose proptech startup, FieldLens, was acquired by WeWork earlier this year – also shared some advice for others in the field who are just starting out.

“Be open to talking to a lot of companies. Don’t stop trying, and don’t be afraid to beat down doors if you have to. Starting small and building upon your ideas is a great way to experiment and learn while continuing to grow.”

The PropTech Summit also hosted the North American leg of the third annual MIPIM Startup Competition, which welcomed nine finalists to present their projects, and the following startups were selected to go forward to the MIPIM Startup Competition finals at the MIPIM 2018 conference in Cannes, France, in March:

Acasa (UK), an app that allows users to manage all their household bills.

PlanRadar (Austria), a digital software that facilitates project management for construction companies.
Real Atom (USA), the first online marketplace for commercial real estate debt financing.

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