This week, I’ve been honoured to moderate the proptech panel at the API Conference on the Gold Coast. It’s a huge event of more than 800 people with a strong contingent of property valuers, property consultants and commercial property and facilities managers.
The proptech panel is made up of some groundbreaking businesses that help these industries understand the value of property assets more quickly and accurately, model future values, extract and use data, and grow the value of properties by improving their performance, or streamlining communications.
We saw businesses that are cleverly using AI, data being collected in new and unique ways, cloud computing, chatbots, real time property site analysis and even ways we can turn our industrial space into solar power generators.
Here’s a quick overview:
Accurait by Leaseinfo
Leaseinfo is a company that is passionate about achieving total transparency in the Australian leasing marketplace. They are a source of retail and leasing data, together with integrated lease management systems and analytics. Their new product Accurait, has been developed with the CSIRO to extract data from contracts and make it completely searchable database. Suddenly, instead of having to laboriously go through contacts to find the clauses or issues you were searching for, you can type a search term and click a button. This saves PM teams thousands of hours a year, and allows you to streamline and batch tasks.
IDS delivers both detailed property analysis at property levels, high-volume valuation analysis and trend forecasting with cross-sectional data services that are both highly accurate and fast. Their data is being used to power government, banking and superannuation apps that use data in exciting and ground breaking ways. They are the data behind the Uno app for Westpac that helps you understand the health of your homeloan, and have recently executed a property listing app for St George as well as superannuation apps.
Valocity is Australia’s first cloud-based full property valuation ordering platform. It uses artificial intelligence and insights to allow property valuers to build their unique value propositions. Valocity helps lenders validate properties and their value faster, more accurately and more efficiently whether it’s through an automated valuation model, or creating a digitised end to end workflow for sending a valuer out to inspect. Valocity streamlines the process and connects the entire ecosystem of brokers, valuers and lenders and allows lenders to digitise their credit policy to automate decision making so the right valuation is matched to the right risk.
Rental Heroes is a product targeted at commercial property managers – particularly in the retail space - and seeks to remove communication holdups between tenants and property managers, especially around maintenance requests. Rather than an app, Rental Heroes is a communication hub, acting as a centraliser of messages from Facebook, Messenger, Voice or even Google Assistant. The smart assistant streamlines the time spent communicating about low-level tasks such as understanding the issue, booking appointments and approving quotes.
Lotsearch are experts in spatial intelligence and risk mapping. Their Enviro Pro product has become the industry standard for environmental consultants to help identify environmental risk. Lotsearch brings together 200 separate datasets to provide comprehensive reports about a site and its potential contamination sources and receptors, including over 250,000 historical aerial photos and 3 million historical business activities. Lotsearch also delivers planning and ecological constraints reports to support planning and environmental consultants.
Planet Ark Power is working to save the planet by turning every rooftop into a solar power collector. The company specialises in transforming rooftop solar into an investment-grade asset, with innovations that increase bi-directional energy flows across the power grid. Clean energy is generated and consumed locally, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs. Planet Ark Power conducts commercial energy analysis for clients to identify savings and help clients understand the return on investment for their business. This has led to their customers saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on wasted and inefficient electricity usage while demonstrating how solar power is a viable investment with a cashflow positive model.
Archistar has developed a world-first artificial intelligence that helps property professionals find profitable development sites. It assesses sites for feasibility and generates dozens of architectural design strategies – all within a few minutes. Using Archistar, it’s possible to understand the potential of underdeveloped sites and discover development opportunities with extraordinary speed and it removes the need to use multiple different platforms and data sources with consolidated zoning, council, bushfire, flood and construction data in one platform.
And a special shout out goes to Chao Feng and Mina Li from the University of Melbourne who kicked off the session with their academic analysis of proptech. They recently won the Corenet Academic Challenge against 80 other universities from around the world creating frameworks and case studies for understanding how proptech is likely to impact different businesses.