For the first time, on June 4, 2019, REdirect Consulting sponsored and attended PropTech360 – Israel’s premier networking summit for international proptech professionals and real estate investors. With an atmosphere centralized around innovation, the summit was a very exciting place to spend our day.
Since the conference was jam-packed with many great insights, we will break down the top highlights and share why you might consider going to PropTech360 next year.
What Is Proptech, Anyway?
Proptech, or property technology, is the use of technology to address the needs of the real estate ecosystem. While there were representatives from across the PropTech spectrum at this event, the predominant theme was building and construction technology, rather than property management and accounting systems.
Two recurring themes of the conference stood out: automation and proptech opportunities. Those seeking opportunities for connection included: investment funds, government and educational institutions, incubators (like WeWork Labs - looking for startups to work and partner with), and consulting firms (like REdirect! – looking for potential partners among other things). Seeing all these opportunities at this one event clearly shows a trend of explosive growth in the proptech space overall, and in Israel in particular.
Automation in Investment and Decision Making
“Digitization of Investment Management and Decision Making: from back of the envelope to big data and AI” was one of our favorite sessions, as anything concerning Investment Management tends to be. The panel was centered around the ways in which investors are shifting from “figuring things out” on paper and in their heads to looking at real analytics based on the wealth of data now available. One of the panelists focused on how these analytic tools allow the smaller, less experienced investor to compete in environments that are traditionally dominated by larger legacy real estate investors. This theme of leveling the playing field and disruption of old models, which has been seen in so many other verticals like travel and food, seems to be making its way into the real estate space. We look forward to sharing more thoughts on this in a future, detailed blog.
Proptech and Innovation in Retail Spaces
“Retail: Who are today’s trend setters, and who is successfully creating productive and profitable shopping experiences?” gave us some further insight into the challenges facing retail spaces across the globe. Owners are trying to make these retail centers profitable in the shadow of the shift to online shopping, and panelists offered up compelling success stories. The panelists illustrated how they are bringing customers back into physical buildings by enhancing the shopping experience and transforming the retail spaces into destinations where people want to hang out and socialize (plus having some very “Instagrammable” decor never hurt).
Most of the attendees at this year’s conference seemed to be Israel-based, although there was a significant European (UK and Germany, mostly) presence. If the conference footprint grows as the organizers plan and more international attendees join, this will without a doubt be a conference to watch for next year. There is potential for significant growth in the Proptech Israel space with big money currently in place, so plan to keep PropTech360 on your radar for 2020.