Commsmatters recently travelled to the Netherlands to find out more about the local #proptech landscape. While there, we spoke to Menno Lammers, founder of ProptechNL, the organisation facilitating the #digital transformation of the #realestate industry through discussion and content.
1) First tell us more about PropTechNL and what you are up to at the moment?
PropTechNL is a community of ambitious leaders who are active in real estate and the built environment and want to take their business to the next level. Together we are engaged on a life-changing journey that is good for the world, the company and the individual. PropTechNL helps leaders make quicker and better decisions in a complex and rapidly changing digital world. We take their organization to a higher level, allowing for (new) customer needs to be better served and resulting in a positive impact on society as a whole.
We were officially founded in 2017 and are a growing community of leaders from Dentons Boekel, Autodesk, ISS, Schiphol Real Estate, etc. We are currently preparing for PropTechNL Live, our next event that will take place at Google offices in Amsterdam and will feature, among others, a talk by LEGO Group on “the Journey towards Sustainable Materials for the LEGO Bricks”.
2) What do you see as the biggest trends to affect the real estate industry in the next couple of years?
One of the current big trends is the digitalization and automation of processes with the use of analytics to make processes leaner. I see it happening in all segments - from design and engineering to construction, operations, financing and the marketplace as a whole.
Another trend is Healthy Offices with the adoption of people-centric approaches and pay-by-use and/or As-a-Service models. It started with the need to reduce energy consumption (to increase profit). Now the concern is more around creating a circular economy (for the benefit of our planet). The human factor is now getting the attention and is increasingly seen as a value generator rather than a cost item. So, we have to take care of employees by creating healthy, smart and sustainable offices and preferably coupled with a Digital Twin.
In the future, PropTech will be more connected with global challenges like urbanization, climate change, affordable housing, etc. I think we have the responsibility to do that because we did not inherit the earth from our parents... we borrow it from our children.
3) Who are the PropTech startups we should be watching out for?
Wow, that’s a difficult question! First of all, what is a startup? A lot of people start a company and call themselves a startup. So, to answer this question, here is a number of young companies that, I believe, have the potential to make an impact on society and/or on a segment of the real estate industry e.g. maintenance.
1. Li.me (US) - they are more an UrbanTech than a Proptech company but I hope their solution will reduce cars in cities. They provide first and last mile mobility solutions (from smart bikes to electric scooters).
2. Onh (Is) - A data platform to support maintenance and facility staff. Easy to use and user friendly tool that gives instructions on the job - what needs to be done, in what priority order and how to do it.
3. Octo (NL) - Smart building platform combining Internet of Things with Big Data analytics & machine learning to provide data to facility managers and building users.
4. Physee (NL) - The first and only company to provide completely transparent windows, that generate data by sensing the environment and convert sunlight into electricity, simultaneously. They recently received €1.9m in funding from the European Innovation Council.
5. Qii (NL) - A platform enabling communication between landlords and residential tenants. They have just launched a new solution that looks very promising: the tenants’ passport that enables the safe and easy sharing of tenants' personal profile.
6. Prognostic (UK) - The youngest in this line-up, it focuses on Cognitive Maintenance as a Service for asset lifecycle management. I really like their point of view. It’s in line with the ‘Digital Twin’ trend I recently blogged about.