An opinion piece for RICS says digital disruptors are racing to transform the hitherto virgin territory of the property sector. James Dearsley, co-founder of the global proptech community platform Unissu, estimates that there are now more than 7,000 proptech businesses around the world. “One of the reasons why there is so much appetite for doing things differently is that, to date, the real estate sector is almost the least innovative,” he says. Thomas Herr, EMEA head of digital innovation at CBRE, observes that it is the skilful use of technology rather than the technology itself that will precipitate change: “It is not technology that will disrupt the property industry, but the ability of companies to adopt it and to educate their employees about it.” With this in mind, GoReport CEO Anthony Walker says successful transformation “is about how technology can augment those core skills with powerful intelligence. We don’t need to become coders or data analysts, because those are specialist roles in their own right . . . The core skill we should develop is design thinking, the ability to put processes in place that can generate creative problem-solving, because that is where clients see the greatest value in the services they buy from surveyors.”

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