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Proptech, Fintech what next tech?

  • Date: Wednesday 9th November 2016
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Last week I was asked to be the opening speaker at the Scottish PropTech Roadshow in Glasgow by my friend Sam Zawadzki. Sam and I met a few years ago when I was doing a guest lecture at Edinburgh university. Since then I have, in an unofficial capacity, been mentoring him. Sam is a Proptech entrepreneur. His software Apply.Property allows property agents to offer prospective property buyers and tenants the ability to easily book viewings online 24/7, 365 days a year.

It is gaining traction with a number of high-profile clients, including Rettie & Co and Rent Locally, adopting the platform. Apply.Property significantly heightens efficiency by providing instant responses to all portal enquiries, emails, and out-of-hours calls, automatically indicating the agent’s viewing availability. Apply.Property moves the application process online, reducing paperwork and enabling agents and tenants to sign a lease when on a viewing, or for buyers to make an offer while actually in the property.


Prior to reading this, I am sure that quite a few of you didn’t know what a PropTech and its cousin FinTech were.

Essentially, PropTech and FinTech are buzzwords used to describe two types of business which use software to disrupt current markets. FinTech companies use technology to provide and improve financial services. PropTech companies use technology to improve end user experience across the whole range of services in the property industry. From buying, renting, selling, building, heating or managing residential and commercial property.


After speaking at the roadshow, it seems there are quite a few other PropTech start-ups being planned in Scotland.  Various entrepreneurs and agents are emerging out of the woodwork to talk about their take on PropTech. We have Chris Duff who has resigned from IME with plans to imminently launch his “disruptive” commercial property start-up. Meanwhile, Keith Watters from chartered surveyors Graham +Sibbald has been chatting to me about an innovative commercial property platform, and seasoned ecommerce entrepreneur Chris Jack has been picking my brains about raising money for his PropTech start-up.

I think this interest in PropTech is great news for Scotland, which has developed into one of the biggest UK hubs for tech start-ups outside of London. I’m sure I don’t have to go through the exceptional businesses that have started here – but I’ll namecheck a couple – FanDuel, Skyscanner, Money Dashboard and Mallzee.

 Hopefully 2017 will see a couple of PropTech businesses join the Scottish start-up hall of fame.



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