PropTech is not new, but it’s new in the eyes of the market is serves. And it has only been recently that is has had money poured into it, and technology products rapidly being built to solve problems within it.
The Lack of Adoption for the Products You Offer
A string of four words you really don’t want to hear as an entrepreneur “Lack of Adoption”. It’s Real Estate, the majority of the owners and investors in such assets are above 30 years old, right where technology adoption is rather low (it’s increasing over time however.) and they’re a bunch that are hard to convince when it comes to your shiny new application.
But convincing those people is not you’re goal, it’s listening to them, Real Estate doesn’t move as fast as many industries, especially not technology. So figuring out why they’re slow to adopt through observation needs to be your focus.
Early Funding is Hard to Acquire
PropTech is something that only in the past few years has seen a significant interest from venture capital and angel investment. The majority of the available market segments are not yet reacting fully to how much this new wave of companies and products will affect them. Which means engagement rates, adoption and willingness to pay for your products might be against you, at least for now.
This is not the most ideal situation to be in, as investment into your company might be harder to acquire from investors who are after metrics before they make a call on your company.
However, the recent booming trend in money being dumped into this space means that investors eyes and wallets are increasingly opening up.
Many Unknowns about the Future of You, Your Company and Your Products.
This is true with any startup, the unknowable future of your product or company. People, and companies will be slow to react to new tech products and innovations available to them in Real Estate as the adoption of such is really only just starting. Many newer innovations have an aura of uncertainty around their usefulness, survivability and stickiness among their desired customers. Even early adopters of such products approach them carefully, treading neatly before allowing them to integrate entirely into their workflows or life.
Fully expect to witness unexpected drop-off rates and sceptical interest at the beginning of your journey. Make sure you’re prepared for the road ahead and make sure your users know that by reacting positively to their voice, questions and suggestions.
The nature of such is not just true for new PropTech companies but the large majority of startups in any new field. The availability of new products but also the ever decreasing survival rate of startups means people are more easily aware of the options available, or not to them.
Resistance to Change in the Industry
All in all, each of these points boils down to a common theme, there is a resistance to change in the industry as a whole and even those who’re putting lots of money into it.
But that resistance is folding, large Real Estate companies like JLL and big investment firms like SoftBank are diving on the PropTech band wagon in full-force, and if you’re interested in this space, then you’d be a right fool not to follow. Real Estate is one of the last strongholds of largely untouched ground when it comes to tech, and people are noticing, making changes as they see the opportunities are ripe.
We’re what we’d consider a lucky bunch at Kitt, we we’re able to achieve a small amount of early stage funding from people that believed in the company and the team. What’s more we did it in New Zealand, where PropTech is hardly a known portmanteau.
None the less, we’ve experienced every one of the above points, but tenacity and resilience have been our friends, as to they should be yours, regardless of whether or not you’re in a PropTech startup.