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UKPA: Top 10 PropTech firms to watch in 2017

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A view of Canary Wharf. Image: Shutterstock

The UK PropTech Association is based in London. Image: Shutterstock

Key industry figures from the UK PropTech Association (UKPA) have compiled a list of the top ten PropTech companies they think you should keep an eye out for in 2017.

The UKPA launched in February 2017 and aims to represent companies and individuals who are active in the UK's PropTech sector; the organisation promotes engagement between technology businesses and the property industry.

Four members from the UKPA participated in the peer review - exclusively for PPW- and were not able to vote for their own start-up. Participants included:

Kristjan Byfield, the Depositary

Tom Wallace, Re-Leased

James Dearsley, PropTech Consult

James Davis, Upad

The top 10 are:

ViewMyChain

View My Chain will help bring some much-needed transparency to the sales conveyancing process that confuses and befuddles buyers and sellers alike. Hopefully, adoption and uptake by agents, will help to alleviate many of the frustrating elements which, often, get unfairly blamed on the agent as they are the most visible person within the entire transaction. If this can lead to expedited sales and a drop in failed transactions, then all the better again. It will be exciting to see how these guys do in 2017.

REalyse 

REalyse are taking great steps to revolutionise the residential property sector with a mix of technology, expertise and data, in order to improve investment decisions. It will be exciting to see what they’ll do next - possibly a move into the commercial property sector?

Klipboard

Klipboard are transforming the way in which companies run their businesses by digitising paperwork processes and instilling a mobile-first attitude to help manage field-based teams more effectively. I’ll be watching to see how they further develop their product and anticipate that they’ll keep giving the market what it wants.

The Depositary

The Depositary is the UK’s first-ever letting regulation compliance platform and is exciting because it’s a company that innovates and disrupts old processes paired with usability and customer centricity. The Depositary aims to reduce the risk and burden of complex legal training for lettings agents, whilst introducing transparency and empowering tenants by removing the 'mystique' of rental legislation - this is an important step forward for the residential market.

Re-Leased

Block Management, especially within the residential sector, is one of the slowest marketplaces to adopt the benefits of PropTech and Re-Leased looks set to change that. It’s targeting many of the key friction points experienced by leasehold owners across the country. These include slow and convoluted accounting, expensive and often incomplete management packs (required when selling), poor oversight of time sensitive tasks from key stage maintenance to essential accounting procedures, easily accessible inspection reports, digital maintenance reporting and poor communications throughout the relationship.

Reposit

Reposit offers tenants and landlords new ways to deal with the often, thorny issue of deposits. In a world of ever-increasing regulation, their insurance-like product means tenants must spend less cash, landlords get paid faster in the event of a claim for damage, and agents earn commission for selling the product. Now backed by Seedcamp, it will be interesting to watch how the market responds to a new product like this.

EyeSpy360

EyeSpy360 is brilliantly bridging Virtual Tours (VT) with affordability, to drive faster adoption. While the rendering is by no means as beautiful as some of the higher-end products out there - with consumers still naive about VT - what is important is the widespread adoption by the sector to achieve this. The other issue with VT is not just cost but turn-around times- especially when you are talking about small independents who dominate the UK property market but only have small-order pipelines. The affordable kit, easy-to-use-platform and planned additions and improvements in terms of functionality and features means there are almost no hurdles to adoption for agents across the UK.

The likes of Rightmove and Zoopla are embracing VTs in a more ‘front and centre’ manner and this will also help to further embed this in the expectations of the public; so we hope to see these developments later in 2017.

Mindworking

Danish company Mindworking, is a great platform to monitor. They already work with over 90% of agents in the country and are now here to work with UK agents. They have a really slick marketing automation platform, and their social media algorithm marketing tool is something I have not seen elsewhere. It would be great to potentially see this integrated with some of the agency platforms out there and, if this can be achieved, this will add some great tools for agents in these essential areas.

Disruptive Technologies

Disruptive Technologies have developed make sensors with a chip the size of a sim card that can be fitted into both old and new properties to collect data about a building. It will be intriguing to follow the company’s journey alongside the company’s UK Country Director Alex Storey. With smart properties increasingly on everyone's radar, one of the biggest challenges currently is the simple implementation of this product within existing structures, to secure a sizeable uptake to deliver this to market. Disruptive Technologies are a company to watch, especially as they develop the potential of their tool set, alongside more 'button' functions.

Viewber

At Upad – 39% of tenant inquiries arrive outside of normal office hours and; in sales, most viewings occur in the evening and on weekends. This scenario creates a massive mismatch between what traditional agencies are offering, versus what the customer now demands. Viewber have developed a solution, which offers superior customer service.

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