'2017 seems to mark a turning point. PropTech has been building such mass and momentum that it will change the world.'
Will we soon be able to buy a house with the click of a button? A report released by Saïd Business School, University of Oxford takes an expansive look at property technology (PropTech), and its findings detail the dramatic changes facing the real estate industry. The 95-page report was written by Andrew Baum, Visiting Professor of Management Practice at Oxford Saïd and real estate industry veteran, using data from PropTech venture capital firm PiLabs and interviews from over 50 real estate professionals.
‘Proptech came from FinTech (Financial Technology), which brought us online banking, peer to peer lending and the crowdfunding movement,’ said Baum. ‘So, why have we not seen a similar revolution in real estate? The answer is that real estate tends to be conservative and closed off to innovation. However, thousands of extremely clever people backed by billions of dollars of investment are working hard to change the way it is traded, used and operated. 93% of tech start-ups fail to last more than three years, losing millions in investment, but those who prosper will have a radical impact. Change is coming, and my report provides a detailed examination of the forms it might take, as well explaining how we got to this point.’
The report also describes how PropTech is opening doors within the industry. ‘Real estate has typically lacked diversity,’ said Andrew, ‘all of that is now changing because of PropTech, and we are seeing people from a variety of backgrounds breaking into a sector that was previously inaccessible to them.’
The findings are not just relevant to real estate professionals – Baum believes the PropTech revolution is likely to impact us all. ‘It might be that in five to ten years’ time we will be using crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin or Blockchain to buy and sell our houses,’ he said. ‘Not only that, but the cost effectiveness of vertical living means we should be prepared to live in high-rise towers in which we commute to shared working spaces in the same building. 2017 seems to mark a turning point. PropTech has been building such mass and momentum that it will change the world.’