This month I will be attending MIPIM, the world’s leading real estate market event, in France. The week always provides a unique opportunity to connect with peers, hear the latest news and views within the industry and gauge the overall temperature across different asset classes and geographies. There is always much food for thought on the plane back to New York.
Excitingly, the conference has also become an important moment in the year to assess the growth of the proptech market. As recently as five years ago, there was barely any proptech presence at MIPIM at all. These days, proptech is an established part of the conference, with the breadth of software and technology solutions showcased growing year on year. This year’s program is also full of technology discussions on the speaker and panel program. Proptech has shifted to an integrated theme and a key part of the overall experience.
This is a reflection of the accelerating rate of proptech adoption in commercial real estate, as more landlords look to technology to help them streamline operations, reduce costs, engage with and service tenants and unlock valuable data to guide their asset management strategies. More real estate groups are building internal capability, thinking outside the box and setting aside budget to experiment with new technologies. Those that can demonstrate a stable product that provides a return on investment are rewarded with further deployment across portfolios.
There is still a long way to go until wholesale adoption, but it’s encouraging that increased demand for tech solutions from commercial landlords is creating opportunities for new start-ups and scale-ups to thrive.
It may sound like a contradiction, therefore, to say that I expect to see a consolidation of the proptech presence at this year’s MIPIM. However, consolidation is growth and evolution of a different sort. Across different proptech sub-markets, it’s quickly becoming clear which are the go-to, most trusted and impactful solutions. There may well be an increased number of proptech delegates and exhibitors at this year’s MIPIM, but only those with a proven ROI will command attention and interest during the week. That’s a change from a few years ago, when any proptech provider could turn up and claim to be the “leading solution” in a certain space. Now the market stats are there to either prove those claims or expose them.
Taking our own subsector, tenant experience technology, as an example, a few years ago, there were a number of new entrants to the market creating noise and promising the world — some during MIPIM. Now there are just a handful of companies that have proven their worth and have built a reputation for quality and trustworthiness.
For our own part, we’ve added over 10,000 new users across 14 million square feet in the U.S. over the last two years, further cementing our position as the market leader. Our recent deals are a result of proving our worth to our first clients and delivering on our promises.
Building a reputation for trustworthiness is so precious within commercial real estate. It’s the reason why some proptech providers will have grown over the last year and why some will have fallen away.
That’s why I think the consolidation of the proptech market will be more apparent than ever at this year’s MIPIM conference. Those that have demonstrated their value to clients over the last year will find themselves much more sought-after during the week, whereas those that haven’t been able to demonstrate ROI simply won’t.