The term PropTech refers to the use of technology to transform the way that we buy, rent, sell and build commercial and residential property.
Having always been considered to be a relatively conservative and slow-moving industry, property remained unchanged by technology for a long time – but over the last decade has seen an explosion of invention, innovation and investment.
PropTech has been driven by the need to make services cheaper, quicker and more convenient – especially now that tech-savvy millennials are reaching the age when they will be buying and renting property.
Most property searches begin online, so it’s no surprise that property technology has become big business in the last few years – and why there is now so many graduate jobs in PropTech.
A booming industry still in its early stages, PropTech is quickly gaining momentum and becoming an increasingly familiar term.
So what exactly is it, and where did it come from?
A brief history of PropTech
The property industry has provided us with thousands of jobs for almost as many years.
Cast your eyes back no more than 20 or 30 years and walking into a letting agent to find a home was very much the norm – but as technology has infiltrated almost all industries, the face of real estate has changed in a big way.
PropTech has been dubbed “FinTech 2.0” – and it’s easy to see why. The union of technology and finance has provided the foundations for a large part of property technology, and just like FinTech companies have responded to challenges in financial services, PropTech has done the same for property.
It’s often said that the first wave of PropTech companies emerged in the early 2000s, as online letting agents like Rightmove replaced traditional estate agents and became the go-to way to search for homes.
Since then (and particularly in the last few years) PropTech has advanced immensely.
Drones, data intelligence, AI and VR have propelled the industry forward, increasing efficiency and changing the way we buy and sell homes.
Whether they are helping businesses gather investment data and insights, homeowners seeking assistance in selling their property, or first-time buyers looking to view properties around the world, innovative technology companies are having a huge impact on every part of the property industry.
These pioneering PropTech companies have received huge investment – according to Forbes, venture capital investment topped $3 billion globally in 2017, up 36% from 2016.
Now increasingly associated with technologically innovative products and young, dynamic start-ups, the changing face of the property world has meant that it has become one of the most progressive industries in the world.
So what is it like to work in PropTech?
Why work in PropTech?
Because it is predominantly young start-ups that are having such an impact on the property sector, working in PropTech can be a great opportunity for graduates to experience big responsibility, frequent opportunities and rapid career progression from early on in their career.
As it’s such a new and rapidly evolving industry, working in PropTech can be challenging and unpredictable, but also exciting and often very rewarding.
We spoke to Maggie Lay from the successful PropTech company Nested, who is confident that there is still much more that can be done within the industry:
“I am fascinated by the way technology is disrupting a space that has seen little change to the status quo in previous decades. Tech is truly transforming not only the way we transact property but the way we think about property altogether.”
Exciting stuff, right?
And with business models changing and the digital world taking over the property sector, graduate jobs in PropTech are also booming.
Graduate jobs in PropTech
We’re always on the lookout for commercially savvy graduates who want to carve a career in the booming PropTech sector.
Check out our jobs board for graduate jobs in PropTech.
Like in any industry, there are a range of graduate jobs within PropTech, which all require very different skill sets:
Working as an Analyst in PropTech requires someone who is mathematically minded, so would be best suited to a graduate with a BSc degree.
The role often involves undertaking in-depth industry and competitor research, designing financial assessments and performing thorough market analysis in order to gather vital data and trends.
- Mathematically minded
- Problem-solving skills
PropTech Developer / Engineer
It’s a given that Developers and Engineers are necessary in any technology industry.
In PropTech, they will be required to develop the tools and solutions that will streamline and enhance the property market.
Because of the diversity of the industry and the range of innovative products offered by new start-ups, being a developer or an engineer is likely to be both varied and highly rewarding for graduates.
- A Computer Science degree
- Develop and test software
- Scripting skills
Client Services in PropTech
Working in a Client Services graduate job will require exceptional written and verbal communication skills and a great knowledge of the business, as you would be the very first point of contact for customers.
A Client Services graduate job might be a great fit for someone with a Humanities or Business degree, and it would definitely be suited to someone who is personable, outgoing and confident.
- Exceptional communication skills
- Great knowledge of the business
- Negotiation skills
PropTech Business Development / Sales
Property is now one of the wealthiest and most progressive industries in the world, so sales and business development roles are hugely important.
These kinds of roles will require someone who is ambitious, quick on the ball and great on the phone in order to grow new PropTech start-ups.
- Confidence and ambition
- Excellent sales skills
- Business acumen