The event, Future of PropTech panel discussion was held on June 15, 2022. The meetup was all about discussing and exchanging ideas with real estate industry experts and prominent firms who are shaping the future PropTech landscape.
The Future of Proptech panel discussion was held on June 15, 2022. This meetup was all about discussing and exchanging ideas with tech-savvy experts in the real estate industry as well as prominent firms who are each shaping the future of the PropTech landscape.
Jostein Aksnes, the CEO of Seven Peaks Software & Property Flow, invited the following for the panel discussion:
- Mario Peng, the CEO & co-founder of PropertyScout
- Brennan Campbell, the CEO & co-founder of FazWaz
- Ekapak Nirapathpongporn, the CEO & co-founder of Fraction
- Fredrik Bergman, the CEO & Co-Founder at Proptech Farm
The event started off with Mr. Jostein talking about the real estate industry in Thailand. He mentioned that having been a real estate portal before, the real estate market in Thailand has been slow to adopt new technologies compared to other industries. It seems to be because of under-investment and skepticism around the value of new technology.
Therefore, he wanted to digitally transform the real estate business by trying to bring properties online and market the properties to different portals in a more efficient way. Lastly, he also aims to help improve the sales processes for agencies through the use of CRM tools.
What is PropTech & how do you use technology to improve your business?
According to Mr. Mario, agents spend the majority of their time finding & uploading listings to different portals, therefore, they tend to focus less on customers, which is why building a technology where all of the processes are automated can help real estate agents or brokers put more of their focus and time on customers.
Whereas, Mr. Brennan talked about the concept of leadtech. Usually in real estate, it’s a name and a contact number of a lead, but as online search is becoming more powerful & the players that control access to those leads become more powerful, it enables agents to profile people online to better understand who they are & what they are trying to buy. This will then help agents or brokers to serve customers’ needs, leading to massive improvements in conversion rates.
Lastly, Mr. Fredrik added that ultimately, for real estate agents, it all comes down to having online traffic. If you have traffic, you have access to consumer-based buyers & sellers, which is what is required to be able to grow a business and increase the margin of profitability.
Post Covid-19: A push for the digital transformation of real estate businesses
Due to covid-19, there is a massive demand for e-commerce. More people are going online & a lot of companies have started pushing on transformation. With more people being comfortable with this transformation, will virtual reality & metaverse take over the real estate market?
According to PropertyScout, 20% of their transactions in 2022 are happening through virtual viewings. Although people are getting more comfortable & there has been an increase in virtual viewings throughout the pandemic, some people still prefer to have an on-site showing. As for real estate and the metaverse, Mr. Mario believes that real estate is there to live and work in, therefore, he thinks that there is less potential that people will buy real estate in the metaverse.
Mr. Fredrik quoted, “I have just recently purchased an apartment in Spain, and no, I have not seen it”. He mentioned that if you trust the agent enough and have detailed information about the property, then properties can be purchased online. This is what we hope for to happen in the next 5-10 years, where people can purchase any property they want without having the need to physically be there.
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Raising Capital for a Startup: Why is it so difficult today?
Mr. Jostein quoted, “With the complexities of the current economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of startups today have been struggling to raise money as people are more careful with the way they spend. Therefore, according to BC’s perspective Frederick, how will startup businesses get through the winter that is coming?”.
It is very difficult to raise money for startups unless you really have a good business model that works, said Mr. Fredrik.
Mr. Ekapak added that he has gone through the difficulty to raise capital for a startup himself. He mentioned that it might be more difficult to raise capital compared to before, but people who create real value with a good business model will survive in the market.
Mr. Brennan remained positive regarding the economy in Thailand and how it might affect his business because he is confident that the technology he is building will be useful to many real estate professionals out there.
Lastly, Mr. Mario added that it is essential to have good unit economics to maintain growth, which PropertyScout has, so the way he will react to any economic downturn is by raising more capital & investing heavier.
As the event was coming to an end, there were a few questions asked by the guests. One of the most interesting questions included, “Are portals going to eat up brokers eventually?”.
Mr. Jostein mentioned that in his opinion, it was the other way around. Real estate does not happen online 100% of the time as we still need agents and brokers to close the transaction. Hypothetically speaking, brokers make more revenue in a month & a half than portals do in a year.
PropTech is one of the young industries that we can expect to grow dramatically in 2022 and beyond as the world becomes more comfortable with new-age technologies.
PropTech has helped create a connected ecosystem between investors, lenders and property managers, contributing to more automated transaction processes and improving transparency and visibility underpinning impactful investment decisions. A variety of business decisions may now be made more quickly because to the expanding use of PropTech solutions, which greatly eases access to data.
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