25 Sep 2018
Policy area: Tech and Innovation
The British Property Federation (BPF) today launches a Technology and Innovation programme for the UK real estate sector – to support the sector in its digital transformation – following the Government’s challenge to all sectors of the economy to improve productivity and deliver growth.
The programme is launched with the publication of a new report produced by Future Cities Catapult, commissioned by the BPF, to understand the barriers to and opportunities for improving the productivity of the real estate sector through the application of technology.
The report Lost in translation: How can real estate make the most of the PropTech revolution? highlights that while 50 per cent of PropTech companies focus on sales/leasing, only 16 and 12 per cent respectively apply themselves in construction and investment/financing respectively.
Land acquisition and refurbishment have less than five per cent of active PropTech companies.
No companies, from the data sources used for the report, fell into the category for demolition/remediation.
Following a BPF-member survey, interviews and roundtables with key real estate and PropTech leaders, the report finds that there is significant untapped potential for greater adoption of technology to enhance productivity – and that the real estate sector must start by better articulating its pain points across the property lifecycle, so that innovators can better understand where there is more scope for technology to provide solutions.
To improve the sector’s engagement in and adoption of new technologies, the report’s recommendations to the sector, the BPF and the Government are:
Aligned with and responding to these recommendations, the BPF is setting up a new Technology and Innovation Group for the sector, to oversee its programme and drive closer collaboration across the real estate and technology sectors, to allow the benefits of technology to be maximised, and to preserve and enhance the UK’s reputation as a PropTech leader.
The Group will be led by Andy Pyle, UK Head of Real Estate, KPMG and also includes Nick Wright, Senior Director, Strategic Consulting – Investors, CBRE; Susan Freeman, Partner, Mishcon de Reya; Dan Hughes, Founder, Liquid Rei; and James Dearsley, Co-Founder, Unissu.
Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:
“Today the BPF commits itself to provide thought leadership and deliver a practical programme to ensure the real estate sector harnesses the benefits of technology, in line with the Government’s ambition for all sectors to better future-proof themselves, innovate and improve productivity and economic growth.”
Stefan Webb, Head of Digitising Planning, Future Cities Catapult says:
“Digital tools, technologies and business models have transformed sectors from automotive to aerospace, yet the property sector has proven to be resistant to these forces. Many argue that the sector is too diverse, complex and complicated to be disrupted. However, there is more that unites the different asset classes, activities and actors across the property lifecycle in terms of data and digital than many realise. The choice for the sector seems clear, create a clearer vision, better market information and more collaboration between the sector or wait for someone else to join the dots and create a business that makes the impact of WeWork look relatively benign.”
Andy Pyle, UK Head of Real Estate, KPMG adds:
“In our 2018 global proptech survey we found that whilst nearly all decision makers in the real estate industry agree they need to engage with technology, two thirds don’t have a clear tech strategy. Therefore it is hugely helpful to have an industry wide group to help understand how to respond to and capitalise on the opportunities technology creates. As the industry’s representative body, BPF is perfectly placed to do this and I look forward to leading the group.”