Home Run

There is a lot of noise in the market around PropTech, and I’m as guilty as anyone of fanning that flame. That’s because the potential impact on processes, roles and more fundamental industry factors is huge. However, understanding which horses to back is as yet obscure. MIT and others have recently published a paper on real estate trends, in which this is discussed. Funding tech start-ups is what’s called a ‘home run game’ by venture capitalists. In other words, of say 10 portfolio businesses, it’s likely that one will succeed big (say 25x equity multiple) and pay for the losses of the others. The challenge for our industry is that with no clear winners to-date it is difficult for property owners and agents to know which ‘real tech’ to adopt. The MIT report suggests that we are in a period of consolidation and M&A, where common standards are likely to emerge. For the moment a watching brief is essential for all involved.