The Year in Proptech 2023

The Year in Proptech 2023

Proptech President Kylie Davis gave her annual overview of the past 12 months in proptech, based on observations of the Proptech Award entries. 


I am absolutely delighted to be here with you all live and in person this year.

For those who were here last year, you’ll remember I managed to catch Covid just before the awards and spent the night watching you all on Zoom and missing all the fun. The only upside was that I was able to beam in secretly wearing my trackie dacks and ugg boots below decks. 

I really hope you like my dress because it has literally been hanging in my wardrobe for 12 months waiting for an outing. Although I’m going to confess I really miss my ugg boots and I’m not sure how long I’m going to stay upright on these heels. 

The Proptech Awards are a truly auspicious night for us as an industry – they’re an annual celebration of who we are, what we’re creating and our vision for the future of real estate, property and construction in Australia. 

Proptech is one of the most exciting and positive industries in the country because we are made up of innovative technology businesses that support Australia’s most important sectors both in terms of dollars and sentiment. 

Property is Australia’s biggest asset class. Depending on who you believe, there’s between 10.9 million to 12 million residents in Australia worth around $9.5 trillion. Commercial real estate adds an extra $1.3 trillion to that. According to the RBA, construction is the country’s fourth largest industry and generates more than $360 billion a year in revenue. 

But the industries we serve are so much more than just dollars and cents. Because what Covid taught us is just how psychologically important ‘home’ and ‘community’ really are. 

Now more than ever, we truly – in the core of our beings – understand the importance of feeling safe and secure at home and the value of community connection – but never before has it been more unaffordable, more out of reach for so many of us. 

The problems that we are solving in the proptech industry are deep and many and as we’ll see tonight, there is amazing work being done by all our finalists to fix the pain points and reveal better ways to build, buy, sell, rent, develop and manage property.  

Every year, the awards seem to capture a moment in time in how we are growing as an industry. So I wanted to take a moment to highlight the key insights from the awards this year that reveal just a little bit more of who we are and what we are becoming. 

Reading through all of the entries of the awards this year, there’s been three key trends that we’ve seen emerge. 


The first is the rise of AI

The world changed in November with the launch of ChatGPT. Suddenly the world had a poster boy for AI that everyone could understand and use. The adoption numbers were incredible – 100 million users in two months. It’s now been surpassed by Meta’s Threads, but you could argue the Zuck cheated because they just imported Instagram users. 

AI and automation had been steadily increasing in proptech over past years but the ChatGPT juggernaut gave it added impetus this year. 

The “Now with Added AI” label has clearly been seen as good for sales because every real estate agent and property owner has been keen to embrace the coolest tech on the block and that’s had an upside for proptech. 

We have seen AI components not just in the Data and AI category, but embedded across nearly every category of the awards. And that’s as it should be – because AI is not always going to be something that happens in isolation as separate solutions. Its something that becomes part of the fabric of who we are and what we do.

The second is the rise of new growth sectors

At our first Proptech Awards three years ago, it was Sales and Marketing proptech that dominated the categories, followed by back office systems and property and facilities management last year. 

This year, our growth sectors have been proptech solving for problems experienced by property developers and builders, and the steady growth of ESG with solutions addressing both environemental and social issues.   

These are the two main areas where we see the startup innovation is happening. 

This makes sense. The big issues that we are facing as a country are affordable housing and housing supply. The rise of Build to Rent, and reducing inefficiencies and unnecessary costs in sales processes designed in the 1980s is absolutely crucial. 

Equally, the need for us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint are some of the most pressing issues we need to fix. The majority of Australia’s residential housing stock is estimated at being just two out of seven stars in terms of energy efficiency, playing a major role in our greenhouse gas emission and energy consumption.

With Federal Government initiatives targeting this over the next 12 months, the smart money will be looking at our finalists tonight. 


The third trend from the awards is the leaning in of Established Suppliers 

Interest rate hikes, cost of living pressures, inflation, post Covid exhaustion – the past 12 months have been hectic and for many proptechs they have been tough. 

From having VCs bidding to invest 18 months ago, today proptechs founders are having to work harder than ever at finding funding.

This year we’ve seen some awful lows with proptechs going into administration and the highest of highs with an unprecedented number of proptechs being purchased by established suppliers.

MRI Software, CoreLogic, PropTrack, Domain, Reapit – have all made major acquisitions. 

What has been great to see though is that these are not just about taking out annoying upstart competition. 

All have been strategic purchases designed to fill gaps in the tech stacks and to vertically integrate businesses to get closer to customers. 

And in every instance that I can think of, the purchased proptechs have been able to retain their own identity as products. They have not been homogenised or broken by their new owners. (Yet!) 

What does the next 12 months hold

With three proptech awards under our belt, The Proptech Association Australia is itself moving from startup to scaleup. 

As an industry, we face not just economic challenges, and the challenges of property market performance, but increased legislative action. 

State and Federal legislation offer both challenges – and opportunities – for us as proptechs in areas including environment, governance, cyber security, data protection and consumer and renter rights. 

The fact that we’re being asked to consult, and provide input into legislation and regulatory execution is a sign of our growing maturity and legitimacy as an industry and one I’m personally very proud of. 

Because Proptech is an industry with deep roots. When I look around the room, I see proptechs who claim to be 30 year old startups – and even 60 year old startups. And I see brand new startups, and rapidly scaling proptechs. 

We are solving old industry problems in new ways, new problems with fresh eyes and envisioning new ways that make creating and living in our homes and working in these industries easier, less stressful, more transparent, more affordable – just better. 

So it’s time to celebrate. 

But just before we kick off there are a few people I’d like to thank. This event – with more than 350 people in a room and our biggest and most hotly contested awards – is the result of nearly six months of work.

I’d like to thank our major sponsors Ashurst. In particular Leah Peakman and Stuart Dullard who have been the backbone of the Proptech Awards. Their belief in the association allowed us to hold our first awards in 2021, and their generosity this year in supporting the awards again has been unparalleled. 


To our Gold sponsors: 




Our individual award sponsors

MRI Software







Our foundation and community partners

Stone & Chalk


REACH Australia and


And finally a huge thanks to our judges

153 entries take a LOT of judging. We’re truly delighted that so many of our judges could be with us here tonight. Every award was independently judged by at least three judges, and when voting was tight, they were sent to a second round to break any deadlocks. It was all consuming and we thank each and everyone of them for donating their time and energy into the judging.  

We literally could not host awards like these without the support of our sponsors and judges so please take the time to say hello and find out more about their businesses. There are some great integration options in there. 

And I’d especially like to thank the Proptech Association Board of Directors – my vice president Jennifer Harrison who coordinated our judges and sponsors, treasurer Marie-Anne Lampotang and the very fabulous and aptly named Sophie Cheers our new Member Manager who has been the backbone of these awards. 

Also AJ Chand, John Minns and Cecille Weldon. Thank you for all the time and effort you commit to the association.  

And lastly, thank you to my cohost Peter Schravemade – who is seems is my new work husband – sorry Nath, you’re sacked. 

Congratulations to every one of our finalists. One of the hardest things about any awards is that only one person can win each category. 

If you have not won this year, do not be despondent. We can now see a pattern of past finalists who doubled down on their entry technique and won in following years. And I know Jennifer and myself are happy to give feedback on entries – after we’ve recovered from tonight.  

I love this quote from five time Olympic gold medal speed skater, Bonnie Blair because it sums up exactly how I’d like us all to look at the past 12 months.

“Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before.”

Making it as a finalist truly is a huge achievement, so kick back, have a drink and mingle with your peers – who knows you could meet your next investor – or purchaser at these awards. It’s been known to happen!