According to KPMG’s Global PropTech Survey, 89% of real estate businesses know they need to engage with proptech companies to adapt to the changing global environment. However, only a third of us have a digital strategy in place.

James_Gray Cluttons

Everywhere you look, technology is shaping the way we live our lives and the spaces that we occupy, both at work and at home. Our customers’ expectations are evolving, with new demands being placed on the property industry workforce.

So, whether it’s educating landlords about the benefits of upgrading a building’s connectivity infrastructure or looking at ways to improve tenants’ experience by widening the applications of smart tech within the block, there is tremendous potential for us to improve the technology and drive better experiences.

When I started my career, the research told us that property management was the service element that drove tenant loyalty. We now know that in order to differentiate, we must learn from other sectors such as hospitality and retail to deliver a proposition that is based on customer experience. This experience is delivered through technology that will be based on customer data.

Find out more - Leader: hyperbole does proptech firms no favours

We must get to grips with everything from how blockchain technology will influence property transactions and valuing homes built using 3D printers, to how agile working and co-working will change how we plan and design the homes and offices of the future.

Learning from others

As a business, we are embracing these challenges by creating world-class technology solutions for some world-leading businesses. We are also responding to the critical issues around London’s core digital connectivity and what it takes for landlords, tenants, infrastructure providers and property professionals to solve it.

We understand that the best way to educate ourselves is through learning from others. We are doing this by:

  • Partnering with start-ups that will help us reinvent – not just remaster – the solutions we deliver to our clients.
  • Engaging with companies that deliver in an agile manner – this mindset of ‘act and learn’ is critical to us and challenges the historic approach of a road well travelled.
  • Recruiting specialists from industries that have already evolved and are inherently more diverse in both mindset and approach.

We are making sure that we can provide a culture in the business that will allow this diversity to flourish, as well as developing flexible working tools that will allow us to interrogate the data and make faster and smarter decisions.

We are delighted to be involved in the RESI Trailblazers initiative as we know it will help to identify the future talent that will come to lead and inspire the property industry.

With that in mind, I would like to leave you with a comment from Steve Jobs: “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

James Gray is managing partner at Cluttons