Proptech – industry friend or foe?

The Sunday Telegraph explores the property technology sector and observes that many traditional estate agencies and mortgage lenders remain confident they won’t face disruption. Unlike financial technology (fintech), where start-ups have challenged banks directly, many proptech start-ups are instead choosing to work with traditional companies. There are also signs that investors are taking a more cautious approach, as VC investment into UK proptech start-ups has dropped to £131m in 2019 from £321m in 2018. Mark Hayward, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), says that “there is a threat to a certain extent, but it’s not going to be cataclysmic.” But he acknowledges improvements in the industry are needed: “The house buying process needs something because the process just takes so long and there’s no certainty while it’s going on.” The Negotiator picks up on comments made by Mr Hayward in his interview with The Sunday Telegraph which it says suggest the industry contends with too many tech companies trying to sell them solutions to problems that don’t exist. “There are so many products being punted at them on a daily basis to solve problems that they didn’t actually know they had,” he said, in comments that The Negotiator says puts his organisation at odds with government policy.

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