Why do we need a proptech association? Why do we need something that is member based? And how on earth can a church as broad as proptech, covering as it does everything from residential real estate, commercial real estate, facilities management, property management, building and construction find common ground?
Over the past 5 years, I’ve watched this industry explode with innovative ideas and amazing technology that is disrupting how we build, buy, sell and manage properties.
But regardless of whether the tech is majorly disruptive or even just a efficiency improvement to current processes, we are all selling into a market of agents, facility managers and builders who overwhelmingly don’t understand technology and don’t know how to confidently integrate it into their businesses.
This is not a problem any of us individually can fix. So instead of focusing on what makes us different, it’s time to rally around the challenges that unite us.
We need concerted conversations from every angle around what good technology adoption looks like. We need to educate our market of real estate agents and builders and property managers around how to adopt technology with confidence.
We need standards and training to show our industry how to change.
So that’s the first reason why we need a Proptech Association – to grow our market and build confidence in adopting our products regardless of whose they are.
The second reason is from the other side, of startups and innovators. There is a plethora now of startup support out there with accelerators and scaleups all looking for the hottest ideas and next big things.
As a startup, where do you start? What are the benchmarks in THIS industry that you should be aiming for, regardless of whether you’re bootstrapping your own growth or looking for funding? Where can you go for independent advice or to understand common milestones?
And the third reason is a shared language and frameworks.
Now God knows, I’m not technical. At HomePrezzo, we joke that the tech we develop needs to be ‘Kylie-proof’. If I can work it out, we know our users will manage it.
But how can we as innovators come together to create common standards and practices that will allow us to innovate faster and with greater collaboration? That will allow us to create eco-systems that foster solutions that talk to each other and hand off, rather than building silos.
These are my three big vision goals for the association.
So how are we practically going to do that?
Well we have registered the association with NSW Fair Trading, and are in the process of registering our ARCN and then ABN. Once those things are in order, we’re able to get our bank account up and running.
But we need members now. We’re a member association after all.
We’ve uploaded our Constitution (it’s the NSW Fair Trading model constitution) onto the website, and you can see our timeline there as well.
Once we have all our paperwork in order, the cost of general membership will be $45 a month for startups and innovators, or $495 a year. This is a business membership – if your proptech is a member, everyone in your team can enjoy the benefits.
If you’re a more established innovator, or an aligned corporate that subscribes to our goals and vision, we have Foundation Supporter levels and Foundation Member levels.
So what do you get as a member?
Well, you’ll get invites to regular Meetups and Events like our launch. Some will be sponsored and free to members and supporters. Some will be ticketed and discounted.
You’ll get opportunities to promote and talk about your services and products.
We’ll be creating a Proptech Directory.
And we have the Proptech Popup happening on the Gold Coast in May before AREC which will be a Proptech Association supported event.
We’re also working to create an awards night for proptech. God knows every child gets a prize in real estate – except the innovators! So let’s change that. The benefit of holding awards is that it will provide structure for us to benchmark excellence. And from that excellence comes confidence for our customers about what they are buying.
If you think I’ve missed something, I’d love you to sign up as a member right now and tell us how you’d like to contribute.
Until we get our house in order, membership is free. So what have you got to lose?
I wanted to thank some people who have been instrumental – whether they knew it or not – in my thinking around the association and inspiring me to get it started. In no particular order, they are:
- Marie-Anne Lampotang – Stone & Chalk
- Dan Evans – Macquarie Bank
- Julian Kezelman – Taronga Group
- Chris Rolls – PieLab
- Isaac Coonan and Shelli Trung – REACH
- Leanne Pilkington & Tim McKibbin – REINSW
- Nathan Krisanski – HomePrezzo
- Lara Scott – AgentHaus
- Peter Schravemade – Box Brownie
- Justin Butterworth – Snug
- Chris Omeissah – KPMG
- Mark Hollands – Real Content.
If you’re a real estate agent or someone just curious about the tech, you might want to become a Follower and sign up to our newsletter here. It’s free.